It's not every day you get to be alone with a member of the most popular boy band ever.
Wait. Let me rephrase that.
It's not every day you get to be alone with the biggest flop in the most popular boy band ever while he is blindfolded and bound to a hotel armchair.
The Ruperts were formed by the producers of the TV show, So You Think the British Don't Have Talent? because they were about the same age and had the same first name. I should add, I can absolutely see this happening. They go on to become the biggest music stars on the planet. Again, I can absolutely see this happening. A group of four friends get a suite in the same hotel the band is staying at while filming a Thanksgiving special, and inadvertently kidnaps one of them. You know what? I can see it happening, too -- at least the way Moldavsky writes it.
I hate books like this when it comes to writing about them -- it is next to impossible to talk about them without ruining everything. Half the fun in this is seeing how Moldavsky reveals tidbit after tidbit during the story. How they accidentally kidnapped the Rupert, what ulterior motives might be at work here, why do we need to know the size of Apple's bag? Seriously, I don't want to say anything about the book beyond the hook.
What I can say is that it's funny, it's smart, it's strangely heartfelt, satirical without being mean, celebratory without turning off the brain and its critical faculties. In the midst of telling a clever dark comedic story, Moldavsky blends in a commentary on fangirl culture, a critique of them, as well as a celebration of them. It's very thoughtful when the book isn't wickedly fun.
The characters were well-drawn, you can see them all very clearly in your mind. The dialogue rings true (even if I think some of the 80's references will go over the heads of the target audience -- I don't care, I caught them -- and enjoyed them). Moldavsky has a great ear, and I hope to see it displayed again.
Somehow I knew we were going to meet The Ruperts. I didn't know yet if I would cry or scream or faint. And I know that sounds like the reaction you'd have while getting mugged or something, but getting mugged and meeting your idols was basically the same thing: a moment of pure hysteria where you lose our mind and all control. The Ruperts could do that to a person. They could do it to me. And I couldn't care less.
For fathers of teenaged girls this will help you understand your daughters' obsession(s) with bands, both the whys and the hows. It may also scare you (and even provide a little relief knowing that your Not-So-Little Princess is a lot like other Not-So-Little Princesses out there). I know it did all of the above for me.
Give this one a read, you'll probably enjoy it.