Imagine your favorite band. Then picture kidnapping them. No? None of you have dreamed of that? Me, neither. I would never think of kidnapping any of my favorite bands (Muse, Coldplay) or celebs (Eddie Redmayne, Natalie Portman, Prince George). Accidentally or not. When these girls accidentally kidnap one band member, it's that sign of "the characters are undoubtedly crazy and need good therapists."
The beginning of KILL THE BOY BAND is hilarious and amusing. It's really a pleasure to read about the narrator and her friends. Their friendship is bonded together thanks to this boy band, and their relationship dynamic makes the book far more interesting to read. These girls are fangirls, and their love of the boy band is infectious to see. As a fangirl of many things, I really love their enthusiasm and love and appreciation for what they're so excited (and obsessed) about.
But the story takes a very unexpected dark turn. It's as if a murder mystery movie has briefly dropped into the book to say a quick hello. The middle of the book is perhaps the moment things are not so funny after all. It is so frighteningly clear that there will be no good ending for any of the characters until they figure out the murder. There's still some comedy, but it has died down. It's kind of hard to laugh when the moments are so nail-biting.
Speaking as a fangirl myself, I have to say that the narrator and her friends are totally nuts. The narrator, less so, but she is guilty of being too passive in the accidental kidnapping and too "small" to be the conscience of the group. Anyway, these girls are the most extreme fangirls I have ever read before. (Every fan is crazy in her/his own way, but they take it up to eleven.) Despite that, they are dynamic characters with distinctive personalities.
The ending is the best part of the book. The final chapter throws so much ambiguousness that I have to applaud the author for making me think. My gosh, this is a book that deserves to be reread so readers can gain a much better understanding. Unreliable narrators put a shadow over the book that is determined to be questionable, and it's fun to guess what is really going on. The narrator has only a number of the pieces, and as readers, we have to put the puzzles together.
Overall, KILL THE BOY BAND is a dramatic mix of AMERICAN PSYCHO and THE LYING GAME. It's a truly scary and thrilling novel that runs on unreliable narrators and foggy details. Terribly exciting book that makes me laugh at the wrong times thanks to good use of black comedy.
Rating: Three out of Five