Lundin, Britta. Ship It. Freeform, 2018. 384p. ISBN 9781368003131. $17.99. HS OT **
When Claire gets her mother to take her to a local Comic Con to see the cast of her favorite TV show Demon Heart it’s like a dream come true. Claire writes fan fiction about the show, the central theme of which is that the two main characters, one a demon and one a demon hunter, are actually in love. This fan fic is a classic ship (short for relationship – when a fan wants two characters in a tv show or comic to fall in love) so while at the Demon Heart panel made up of the main actors and writer of the show Claire asks about her ship. But she is told in no uncertain terms by Jamie, the actor who plays the demon hunter, that they are not gay leading to drama. In an attempt to do some damage control the show’s publicity team asks Claire to join them on the remainder of their tour. Maybe, just maybe, this is the chance Claire needs to convince the writer of the show to make her ship come true.
This could have been a great story about cons, fan fiction, first relationships, exploring your sexuality and more. Unfortunately many of the characters are straight up jerks, Claire included. The last straw comes when Claire writes porn about the actors in Demon Heart using their real names and real information that she learned while getting to know them on the tour bus. This would be bad enough but she went even further writing about Jamie being beaten by his father, something that never actually happened. It is one thing to write fan fic about fictional characters but another to use people’s real names. And worst, Claire faces no real consequences for these actions. She also acts like a jerk to her potential girlfriend Tess by outing Tess’s love of Demon Heart to Tess’s friends even though Tess has expressed that her friends know nothing about her interests and that she wanted to keep it that way. A lot of hissy fits from Claire made this less than enjoyable. On the plus side the diversity of the title is refreshing, and none of the characters feel like tokens. Tess is black and pan sexual, Rico the actor who plays the demon on the show is Latino and one of the publicists is bi sexual. Some of the fan fic is a bit on the steamy side, so while OK for teen collections, it is definitely not for middle school shelves.
Carla Avitabile, San Mateo Public Library