Sheena Patel’s debut novel is out today, Tuesday, Aug. 22. Here’s my honest review of I’m a Fan by Sheena Patel, and why it’s just not for me.
Disclaimer: I got a free advanced copy of this book thanks to NetGalley in return for an honest review.
When I heard about Sheena Patel’s debut novel I’m a Fan, I was intrigued. It promised to be a social commentary on the modern world. It brought forward the topics of male entitlement, racism, social media obsessions, and more.
The book certainly brought all that. There were elements that I found intriguing, and it kept me reading to the end. Sadly, the book itself just didn’t draw me in the way I’d hoped it would. There were absolutely no characters I could connect to, and I started to feel myself hate reading some of it.
What is I’m a Fan by Sheena Patel about?
The novel follows an unnamed main character. She is obsessed with an Instagram influencer who happens to be sleeping with the guy that our main narrator is in love with. However, this influencer is not the man’s wife. He has a wife elsewhere.
We get a back and forth tale about this man and the narrator’s relationship with him. We see her attempt to infiltrate the influencers and become more and more obsessed with their lives.
It’s a social discussion of everything about a Millennial’s life. I do think this is focused on a particular audience, though, and that may be where it fell short for me. Well, that and the insufferable main character.
I’m a Fan book review
I just couldn’t get into the book. There is enough there for me to understand why others enjoy the book. This isn’t to say it’s not worth the read, but it’s for a particular style of reader. If you enjoy books where there is absolutely no character you can really relate to, this is for you. Or maybe you are this main character in real life, and that leads to this story being you.
The problem is I related to absolutely nothing. I couldn’t stand the narrator of the story. Usually, I love characters that are messy and don’t have their lives together. I want to see the realities of life and the flawed aspects of women. This one just had zero redeeming qualities. She was so needy for this man who had really no interest in her, and she was overly obsessed with the Instagram influencer. Yes, there are people like that, and some of them are dangerous, but I just could not connect and I just didn’t care about her.
In fact, I cared about nobody in the book. There were minimal names for the characters, which sometimes made it a little harder for me to track who the narrator was talking about. In a way, I guess it made the book everything like the narrator, and that is something I can appreciate. It just meant I was left wondering if there was going to be anything of substance to the actual story later on.
It is a short and quick read, though. Some of the chapters aren’t even a page long, and I think that disappointed me too. Just as I felt like I was getting into it, the chapter would stop and we’d be onto something else.
Stars: 2.5 out of 5.