After finishing War and Peace, I devoured this fluffy little ice cream sandwich in two days. Brain needed a snack after all the kale of W&P, it seems.
I liked it a lot. It was fun. Fluffy. Light. Easy to inhale. But I also disliked a lot of things about it. So let's get into that, huh?
I liked that it was a book about people who write fanfiction, and that it showed how people often look down on fanfic, but that fanfic can actually be a very creative, rewarding endeavor. I've been writing fanfic and sharing it online for 20 years now. Most of it is for the TV show Combat! (1962-67), though I've written a couple stories involving characters from Angel (1999-2004) getting crossed with Combat! characters, and I co-wrote a follow-up to a Bobby Darin movie once. But anyway, writing fanfic was a way for me to hone my skills. Some people say you need to write a million words before you're a good writer. My fanfic was a huge chunk of my million words.
I liked that this book was about a shy girl who went to college and had trouble adjusting to it. I was a shy girl who had a lot of trouble adjusting to college. Fanfic consoled me. Friends I made through the fandom for C! consoled me. I related a lot to that.
What did I dislike? The abhorrent language, for one thing. Oh my goodness, so much bad language. I'm now hesitant to pick up any of Rowell's other books because I was really bothered by the rampant, casual obscenities.
Also, the fanfic in this is slash. "Slash" in fanfic terms means you take two same-gender characters from a show/book/film and make them a romantic couple. Slash bothers me just like all "shipping" bothers me when people take two characters who are NOT a couple in a movie or show or book and make them a couple. It's non-canonical and I hate it. HATE IT, I SAY!
(Happily, there's basically no slash fic in the Combat! fanfic world. Because people who love my favorite show are sensible people, obviously.)
Also, there's quite a bit of talk about teens being sexually active in college, and I believe that sex outside marriage is wrong, and it is obviously very damaging to some of these characters. It bugged me, though I liked seeing that it did have repercussions and wasn't just portrayed as harmless.
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: R. Very, very R. I'm kind of appalled that this is marketed to teens, when they wouldn't be able to see a movie with this level of content in the movie theater. The one good thing about the content I can say is that there were no actual written-out sex scenes.