SST Review: All The Feels by Danika Stone

Let me first say that I am so happy I was able to read this book for the Sunday Street Team (created by Nori).

SST Graphic


All_The_FeelsTitle: All The Feels

Author: Danike Stone

Published: June 7th, 2016 (Swoon Reads)

Pages: 336

Genres: Contemporary

Themes: Fandom, Internet

Format: eARC

Source: Provided by Swoon Reads VIA Netgalley due to being on the Sunday Street Team

Rating: Three Stars

Goodreads Summary:

College freshman Liv is more than just a fangirl: The Starveil movies are her life… So, 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 campaign to ignite the fandom. But as her online life succeeds beyond her wildest dreams, Liv is forced to balance that with the pressures of school, her mother’s disapproval, and her (mostly nonexistent and entirely traumatic) romantic life. A trip to DragonCon with Xander might be exactly what she needs to figure out what she really wants.

Barnes and Noble / Amazon / The Book Depository

~Review~

I had a hard time getting into All The Feels when I first started. I felt that Liv was being a bit over-dramatic over the loss of her favorite leading guy in a franchise. I’ll chalk up my feelings changing to watching a Degrassi reunion episode. As well as of course, my realization that I can totally connect with her. She comes across a bit dramatic but… I know I’ve definitely gotten that way (See any show that I’ve watched like, ever). Just yesterday I was really sad about an endgame couple in a series. I actually lose sleep over character’s deaths. I lose sleep BEFORE characters deaths. I will go into mourning, I will be angry, I will cry if I feel so compelled. Liv was a likable character even if at times I felt she was childish.

Drama_Queen

So sure, you can say Liv’s being over the top, but sometimes people just are over the top when they really love something.

I loved the idea for All The Feels. It deals with fandom which is something that I think a lot of people can relate to. It involves characters just going out and making things happen rather than just waiting for it.

I’m going to do this review in two sections:

What I Loved:

  • College, Yes!
    • I loved that Liv was a college freshman. I’ve talked about this quite a bit before, but I find college settings and classes to be so under-used. In All The Feels, Liv lives (ha) at home with her mom while taking classes at the local college.
  • Fandom – YES
    • Fandom is such a big part of so many people’s lives now. You can basically find a fandom for anything you like, it’s quite lovely. Liv is a big part of the Starveil fandom online, but she’s not huge. At least . . . not in the beginning. I really love seeing how she immersed herself into the online world. She used fandom as an outlet and I understand that in so, so many ways.
  • Bisexuality – Representation
    • There are a few conversations with one of the characters being bisexual. This was good to see as it was actually on page and discussed multiple times. As well as seen a bit.
  • Wish-Fulfillment
    • I love a good wish fulfillment story. I just do. Wish-fulfillment is basically where scenarios play out in fiction that you wish would happen in real life. I will say that All The Feels definitely has wish fulfillment moments, especially in the second half. Especially in the end.
  • Saving The Series
    • Liv dives into trying to save the franchise that she loves so much. Her first step? Putting together a video, attaching a hashtag #SpartanSurvived and posting it on a message board. Where it then goes viral! The impact of fans though, am I right? (See Veronica Mars Kickstarter / See Pretty Little Liars Petition). Fans are so passionate. I liked how she just went and did this thing after she was tired of just moping around. I felt it was really original how she did the videos. Plus, who DOESN’T want to go viral on the internet, at least sometimes? Now, having that known to the in real life masses may not be the greatest thing. . .
  • Xander’s Acting
    • I really liked seeing Xander being interested in acting. He definitely seemed like the type that would be good for that kind of thing. He ends up being in a few of Liv’s videos to save Starveil.
    • Acting
  • The Second Half
    • I loved the second half a lot more. It was definitely where things picked up and I liked the excitement. It takes place at Dragon Con which is an actual con, so it was really fun to read the fictional portrayal of that. Especially having come back from BEA (Book Expo America) just weeks ago, which while it isn’t a con, it gave me a sense of how Dragon Con was for Liv.
  • All of The Technology
    • I enjoyed reading the text conversations between Liv and Xander as well as the random Twitter conversations between Liv and other people in the fandom.

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Xander – A Bit
    • It was really hard to get my mind to wrap around Liv’s best friend Xander. At the beginning of All The Feels, we find out that they’ve been friends for a number of months since Liv started college. Xander had an interesting fashion choice in that it was quite Victorian and Steam-Punkish. He also talked in a flirty way to basically everyone. I felt like he was maybe a bit too larger than life.
      • Apparently part of his firtiness was calling Liv “Dearest” in every other sentence to her. I thought Xander and Liv spent a bit too much time together given that he has a girlfriend, but hey, that’s life for you. You can’t separate best friends just because one’s in a relationship. Still, if I’d been dating someone and this went on…I can’t say I’d be too happy.
  • Xander’s Girlfriend
    • All The Feels had one of the same minor issues that In Real Life by Jessica Love had. Xander has a girlfriend who is really nice to Liv and considers her a friend. Unfortunately, Liv says that “Sometimes she’s TOO likable.” I have a problem with this statement for a variety of reasons.
      • How are you going to say that someone is too likable? Why would you want to dislike someone?
  • Unresolved Subplots
    • Home Life
      • I felt like Liv’s home life could have been expanded on. A lot. We discover something about her dad and I wish I’d known more about that. It deals with why Liv is so into the fandom she’s into. Liv’s mom also has this awful boyfriend and I was hoping we’d get closure on that whole thing but nope.
    • Mental Illness
      • Liv has anxiety problems as well as depression, which is only touched on a little. As someone who’s definitely sought out the online world during these times, I really wished this had been expanded on a lot. I felt like I was still missing a piece of the love Liv had for the fandom by not knowing everything. I would have liked to know how she was managing (or not really managing) both of these things.
    • Fandom Personal Life
      • There was a minor plot of Liv’s mom being adamantly against fandom, yet somehow an event happens later in the book and I’m just asking myself “So how did THAT go down exactly? Did they discuss this? Was it not talked about? I don’t understand.” It was never discussed on page so I was left being a bit questioning. Part of the reason her mother is so against fandom is because of how Liv’s previously reacted with slacking off on school work and such. I really wished that had been touched on a lot more. I was just annoyed at her mom because I didn’t get the big deal.
  • Miscommunication
    • So, All The Feels had to throw in a bit of the dreaded miscommunication for good measure. This is done at the end of the book when everything is wrapping up. Why was this added in? I don’t even know. It seemed like one big “hurdle” before the big scene. I really didn’t like this at all and felt it was unnecessary. Especially given that the reason it happens doesn’t make sense because one person did the same thing the other person does previously.

~Overall~

I really liked All The Feels despite the things I didn’t like about it. It showed how much fictional death can affect people. I loved reading a book about a girl being in college while living at home. Xander was hard to swallow at times, but I really enjoyed his character too. I think it would have done better as a first person story as I could have gotten inside Liv’s head a lot more. I will read Stone’s future Young Adult books.


~Do I Recommend?~

Yes

~Who Do I Recommend It To?~

Fans of fantoms

Fans of the internet age

Anyone who’s ever felt sad over a fictional death

~Would I Buy It?~

Maybe.

~Would I Re-Read It?~

Yes.

~Other Random Notes~

Liv reminded me a lot of Cath from Fangirl.

Xander reminded me of a combination of Finch from All The Bright Places and Augustus from The Fault In Our Stars.

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About Amber (YA Indulgences)

Amber is a 20-something woman who enjoys reading, writing, listening to music and taking walks. She has a book blog called YA Indulgences . She is still trying to figure out what she's doing with her life, but she's confident that time will tell. In the meantime she's heading towards the goal of becoming a renowned blogger. View all posts by Amber (YA Indulgences)

One response to “SST Review: All The Feels by Danika Stone

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