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All the Feels: All is Fair in Love and Fandom

Review

All the Feels: All is Fair in Love and Fandom

ALL THE FEELS is author Danika Stone’s first foray into young adult literature and it does not disappoint. Exploring the ups, downs and inner workings of fandom, the reader follows Liv, whose favorite character, Matt Spartan, has just been killed off in her favorite franchise, Starveil (a fictional series of movies that reads as a Star Wars/“Firefly” hybrid).
 
Devastated by Spartan’s death and frustrated by people telling her “it’s just a movie,” Liv decides to take action. Spartan can't be killed off. Hatching a plan and creating an anonymous twitter account, @SpartanSurvived, Liv bribes her best friend, Xander, a steampunk cosplayer, to help her launch an online campaign and bring her beloved franchise back to life.  
 
It feels completely appropriate, given the subject matter, that ALL THE FEELS is published by SwoonReads, a Macmillian imprint that is crowdsourced. Mixing text-messaged conversations, Twitter conversations and descriptions of Liv’s fan videos, Danika clearly knows her audience and delivers exactly what they want.

“An ode to fandom, ALL THE FEELS is a book any fangirl who has loved and lost a character, like Wash from “Firefly” or Fred Weasley, will love.”

It’s obvious from the first page that Danika herself is a huge fangirl. The attention to detail in other fandoms, including “Firefly,” “Dr. Who” and several other Joss Whedon projects is impeccable, and will delight anyone who is a fan of those movies and shows. Each chapter opens with a quote from other fandoms --- Lord of the Rings, “Buffy” and ALICE, to name a few --- which will leave the reader with a smile and excited for what will happen next.
 
While the romance between Liv and Xander is, at times, predictable and a little rushed towards the end, it is forgivable because their interactions are just so darn cute and enjoyable. It also doesn’t hurt that Xander is the steampunk dream guy that most fangirls dream about.  
 
Liv is a fantastic character who a lot of people will relate to. She’s an average fangirl who feels like she doesn’t quite fit in in the real world and is more comfortable communicating with people online than she is in real life. Readers won’t be able to help but root for her in her fight to bring back the character Matt Spartan.
 
Through Liv, every fangirl can live out their wildest dreams --- of being behind the movement that brings their favorite defunct franchise, or even favorite character, back from the dead. It’s Liv’s most endearing quality that she dreams big and pursues it, which feels like an important theme in the novel. No matter who you are or how grassroots your start is, sometimes you can make big things happen --- if you want it bad enough and work hard for it. The lesson applied here relates to fandoms but can be also applied to many aspects of life.
 
An ode to fandom, ALL THE FEELS is a book any fangirl who has loved and lost a character, like Wash from “Firefly” or Fred Weasley, will love.

Reviewed by Alyssa Cami on June 20, 2016

All the Feels: All is Fair in Love and Fandom
by Danika Stone