Release date: May 1st 2018
Claire is a sixteen-year-old fangirl obsessed with the show Demon Heart. Forest is an actor on Demon Heart who dreams of bigger roles. When the two meet at a local Comic-Con panel, it’s a dream come true for Claire. Until the Q&A, that is, when Forest laughs off Claire’s assertion that his character is gay. Claire is devastated. After all, every last word of her super-popular fanfic revolves around the romance between Forest’s character and his male frenemy. She can’t believe her hero turned out to be a closed-minded jerk. Forest is mostly confused that anyone would think his character is gay. Because he’s not. Definitely not.
Unfortunately for Demon Heart, when the video of the disastrous Q&A goes viral, the producers have a PR nightmare on their hands. In order to help bolster their image within the LGBTQ+ community-as well as with their fans-they hire Claire to join the cast for the rest of their publicity tour. What ensues is a series of colourful Comic-Con clashes between the fans and the show that lead Forest to question his assumptions about sexuality and help Claire come out of her shell. But how far will Claire go to make her ship canon? To what lengths will Forest go to stop her and protect his career? And will Claire ever get the guts to make a move on Tess, the very cute, extremely cool fanartist she keeps running into?
I was really hoping to like this book a lot of more than I actually did. It sounded like it could be one I would really enjoy because I can admit I can get a little(very) into a series but I had a hard time connecting to Claire and her journey through this book. I did like the dynamic between Forest and his co-star Rico, a bit of a mentor/rookie vibe, and the show Demon Heart sounded like something I would definitely watch.
Claire was very into Demon Heart and the cast coming to a comic-con near her was a dream come true. She wrote slash fanfiction based on the two main characters and it was a huge part of her world so she wanted it to be canon. I can understand being disappointed when something you’d been hoping would happen doesn’t, but Claire took it too far and she came off as entitled and it felt like her actions were too easily forgiven. I did find myself a little more invested in Forest’s journey, the young actor in his first major job and still in a bit of disbelief that he’d landed the Demon Heart role. He was hoping to eventually turn that role into something more serious but worried that rumours could kill any hope he had.
Demon Heart definitely sounded like a show I would watch if it was on TV. It would fit right in with other shows on the CW. The relationships in the book were interesting, with my favourite being the mentioned bond between Forest and Rico. There was a cute dynamic forming between Claire and a fanartist that she kept running into, Tess, and it was nice to see Claire questioning what her feelings for Tess meant. Even the relationship between Claire and Forest could be interesting when it wasn’t all about Claire pushing her vision of the show and its characters on Forest.
I found it really hard to suspend my belief that a TV show would hire a random fan, that they would allow her to have access to harass the show’s creator like Claire did. I do think it could create some good debates about how much queer-baiting happens in shows, what fans are ‘owed’ by the creator(if anything), and fanon vs canon. Maybe with more information on Demon Heart and its fans I could have found it easier to get behind Claire’s desire to see her fanon become canon, not the methods she used, but she never really took into consideration what other fans of the show wanted. Her view of the show was the only one she accepted and she had a hard time conceiving that people didn’t see the show the same way. I think fandom can be great but not being open to other people’s views is when it can turn toxic and that’s what Claire really reminded me of.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.