More and more recently, I've been reading books that I LOVE, but that I don't feel like I can review on Feminist Fiction. Not because they're not feminist, but I don't have anything to say about feminism in the book. So this is a new blog series where I just get to straight-up squee about recent books I've really loved.
Sloane isn't expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that's exactly what happens.
Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera's twin brother and the most serious person Sloane's ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins' late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins' lives.
Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.
This book was so WONDERFUL. So readable and so fun, and all the characters felt so REAL. At first, I overlooked this one on my "to read" list, because the "missing painting" plotline didn't feel too interesting to me. Then I started hearing people rave about it, and after reading a couple of serious non-fiction books, I reeeally needed a good book to cheer me up.
Not that this book is fluffy. God, it hits where it hurts. But the characters and the friendships? Gah. It was so perfect. I just want to squish all the characters. I want to crawl into this book and hang out with these people forever.
And it has a side-plot about fandom.
I've read quite a few books recently that have attempted to tackle fandom, but I haven't come across anything that felt real since Fangirl. But This Adventure Ends absolutely nails it. The addiction, the excitement, the community. How fanfiction and fandom in general take on a life of their own, separate from the source material. What the characters come to mean to you. The weirdness and wonderfulness of AU fic. And also the why. Why people love fanfiction so much. Why it's so enjoyable. Why we need the happy endings.
Fangirl was about BNF Harry Potter fans, which is a little out-of-date with actual fandom these days, and not exactly an experience many people have. This Adventure Ends was about everyday fandom, about finding solace in stories about stories, and omg it's so good.
I need to buy a physical copy of this to sit on my bookshelf. And then I need to go and buy Emma Mills' debut novel, First & Then, because I'm in LOVE with her writing. I'm so in love.