Friday, October 29, 2021

Blog Tour: Fan Club by Erin Mayer

Fan Club : A Novel
Erin Mayer
On Sale Date: October 26, 2021
Trade Paperback
$16.99 USD
320 pages

In this raucous psychological thriller, a disillusioned millennial joins a cliquey fan club, only to discover that the group is bound together by something darker than devotion.

Day after day our narrator searches for meaning beyond her vacuous job at a women's lifestyle website - entering text into a computer system while she watches their beauty editor unwrap box after box of perfectly packaged bits of happiness. Then, one night at a dive bar, she hears a message in the newest single by international pop-star Adriana Argento, and she is struck. Soon she loses herself to the online fandom, a community whose members feverishly track Adriana's every move.

When a colleague notices her obsession, she’s invited to join an enigmatic group of adult Adriana superfans who call themselves the Ivies and worship her music in witchy, candlelit listening parties. As the narrator becomes more entrenched in the group, she gets closer to uncovering the sinister secrets that bind them together - while simultaneously losing her grip on reality.

With caustic wit and hypnotic writing, this unsparingly critical thrill ride through millennial life examines all that is wrong in our celebrity-obsessed internet age and how easy it is to lose yourself in it.

4 Stars

Oof, do I have thoughts about this book! 

A millennial editor with little hopes to ever meet her dreams, not that she has any, discovers the world of celebrity obsession when she hears the magical voice of one Adriana Argento. Our nameless, faceless narrator is anything, but the usual insta-filtered women you might think of. She's stuck in a nowhere job, she lives in a dream world of pretending it might be better while doing nothing, at least until Adriana. A love of music turns into something as important as air, what starts as just a scrolling of feeds and listening to interviews turns into The Ivies. The mean girls, the new Heathers, the women who accept her adult-age and love of the bubblegum pop princess. The Ivies aren't just a fan club though, they are something more, something much more.

With unexpected intensity and tabloid-esque fervor, Erin Mayer takes readers onto a journey into celebrity obsession. Fan Club reads like the cacophonous sounds of a night club at 1 AM; blurry with alcohol, messy with streaked eyeliner, and lusty like the kisses of strangers. It's an all-consuming read, it's accurate and creepy and the kind of thriller, with a tinge of cult-like love, that just cannot be predicted. I loved the deep dive into millennial fandoms, the desire to be loved and to love in return. I liked that our narrator wasn't this dream of success kind of girl, that she was struggling and trying to hang on, all while slipping into this dreamy world made up of Adriana music and pink clouds. I can relate to Mayer's critical view of flawed women making poor choices in an attempt to fit in anywhere.

With lengthy descriptions, thoughts that border on hallucinations, and inserted chapters from the perspective of Adriana herself, Fan Club borders on too much. I'd be lying if I said that didn't work for me, it takes you down a road just as twisted as the yellow bricks Dorothy walked, but I can see how it also won't work for everyone. It's a thriller that is a little bit adult fiction and a little bit literary fiction. Mayer uses words that your average reader won't know, see the use of cacophonous above. I loved that though, this was my cup of tea, however I did not love that Adriana is a spitting image of Ariana Grande. I am a fangirl of hers, she does no wrong, but it cheapened the experience of Fan Club. It's impossible not to picture her, despite the constant references to Adriana's bleached blonde hair, and in turn it makes all those around Adriana blend in with those in Ariana's past and present. I could have done with a unique singer, a mish mash of several personalities and styles, but alas, Ariana or rather, Adriana, is who we get and I ended up just listening to her music the entire time I read.

What starts as a slow, day-to-day subway ride to a boring job turns into a fever dream, a truly disturbing set of events that somehow are both believable and unbelievable all at once. On any given page you will ask yourself is this real or is our narrator losing it? It is somehow both and it is addictive like sugar. I recommend this one, I think it's the kind of book you'll love or you'll hate and I love a good polarizing read.


Erin Mayer is a freelance writer and editor based in Maine. Her work has appeared in Business Insider, Man Repeller, Literary Hub, and others. She was previously an associate fashion and beauty editor at

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