by Danika Stone
Age Range: 12 - 18 years
Grade Level: 7 and up
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Swoon Reads (June 7, 2016)
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College freshman Liv is more than just a fangirl: The Starveil movies are her life...and her last tangible connection to her deceased father. Thus, when her favorite character, Captain Matt Spartan, is killed off at the end of the last movie, Liv Just. Can't. Deal.
Tired of sitting in her room sobbing, Liv decides to launch an online campaign to bring her beloved hero back to life. With the help of her best friend, Xander, actor and steampunk cosplayer extraordinaire, she creates #SpartanSurvived, a call that ignites the fandom. But as her online life succeeds beyond her wildest dreams, Liv is forced to balance that with the pressures of school, her (mostly nonexistent and entirely traumatic) romantic life, and her disapproving mother's new boyfriend. A trip to DragonCon with Xander might be exactly what she needs to get away from it all... and figure out what (and who!) she really wants, in this geeky romance by Danika Stone.
I’ll start off this review by stating that I love the emerging trend in YA featuring fangirl (or fanboy) culture! It pretty much all started with FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell, and I’ve seen more and more since (for example BOOKISHLY EVER AFTER by Isabel Bandeira). So when I saw ALL THE FEELS, I was immediately intrigued to know how Danika Stone would tackle this trend.
ALL THE FEELS is a story about the fandom-obsessed Liv, and her campaign to bring her favorite fiction character back from the dead. But she’s also dealing with being a freshman in college and trying to figure out her friendship (maybe more) with her best friend Xander. This immediately appealed to me because I mean, who doesn’t want to campaign with an author or director to bring their favorite character back to life?! I know I could think of a few fictional deaths I would petition against… And a friends to more romance? Yes please!
While I liked ALL THE FEELS, there were just some parts that I couldn’t get past. There is tons of overreacting and over dramatization of situations. For example, when Liv’s beloved Captain Spartan died, she flipped out. Not just throw the remote at the TV screen kind of flipping out, but the not eating and staying in bed for days kind of flipping out. I’ve never reacted quite like that to a fictional death before, but maybe some other people have…? Her drama made her seem a lot younger than she really was. The other thing that kept me from loving the book was her best friend, Xander. He was quirky, which I would normally like, but he was just a little too strange for my liking. Why, you ask? Well, he was in steampunk cosplay 24/7. And he spoke like he was living in a steampunk world all the time. It got annoying that he would say the word “dearest” to Liv every other word.
But there was a bunch I did like too! There’s obviously tons of reference to fandom culture, which was awesome. Liv and Xander actually go to a convention! The story also incorporates DM’s, text messages, and even some pictures in addition to regular narration. There’s a little bit dealing with internet friends, and meeting them in real life. And there’s also a main storyline of Liv juggling fandom and everything else in her life. I could totally relate to that!
And I’m still not sure exactly how I feel about the romance between Liv and Xander. It seemed a bit forced in the beginning. Liv just all of a sudden started feeling things for Xander. But by the end I was rooting for them as a couple, because they were just too darn cute!
So in the end, I found ALL THE FEELS to be an enjoyable and cute read! It made me smile and laugh, but unfortunately just didn’t give me "all the feels”. When you’re in the need of a light pick-me-up read, this is your book!