This review is spoiler free.
‘I have long believed that loving a boyband brings with it a wealth of transferable skills, but I’d never imagined solving a murder would be one of them…’
Published: 2021, by Penguin.
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary, Fiction
Contains: Anger, Strong Language, Death, Murder, Violence
‘The Boyband Murder Mystery’ tells the story of Harri and her best friends, who worship an internationally famous boyband called Half Light. When frontman Frankie is arrested on suspicion of murdering his oldest friend Evan, Harri feels like her world’s about to fall apart. But quickly she realises that she – and all the other Half Light superfans out there – know and understand much more about these boys than any detective ever could. Now she’s rallying a fangirl army to prove Frankie’s innocence, and to show the world that you should never underestimate a teenage girl with a passion.
Much like many other teens, I was a huge music fan and spent so much time surrounding myself with their music and lives. So, of course I had to read a book that combined mystery and music. Surprisingly, it worked really well.
Harri was an interesting character. She was a little immature at times for a university student and seemed to accuse anyone she laid her eyes on, but she grew as a character the further the story progressed. It was wonderful to see her relationship with fellow fan Jas develop, but I wish I had the chance to discover more about Stef and his part to play in all of this as someone who lived in her university dorm.
The fictional band, Half Light, were very well developed and likeable, coming to learn about them through the eyes of the fans and it was a very good technique to see them eventually be removed from their pedestal by the climax. They’re human beings, and it’s great that the characters in the book learned the importance of this. Personally, I’d have loved to learn more about Kyle, a member who wasn’t discussed as much as Frankie or Jack, but the little inclusion of a character profile at the back of the book was interesting.
The novel itself is well written, regardless of how simplistic the mystery element of the story was. The characters were likeable, but there was an element of disbelief from the plot. Halfway through the novel, the fans and band combine to gather evidence, and I found that quite unbelievable which brought me out of the story. Nevertheless, the ending tied all loose ends up into a nice bow.
Overall, I enjoyed this novel. It wasn’t what I initially expected and felt a little unbelievable at times, however, it was a very entertaining read.