Finding Harry Styles – G B Hope.
I’ll be honest, the title alone was enough to make me want this when it popped up on Netgalley, an apocalyptic story about tracking down One Direction? Can you think of anything more genius sounding than that? While I’ll admit that this isn’t the best thing I have ever read, it does have a lot of potential.
When a total power black-out hits the world – planes falling from the sky, cars crashing, cell phones and computers dying – two Englishmen are stranded, separately, on the East Coast of the US. They both try to make their way to their girlfriend and sister, respectively, who is trapped in New York. As society turns quickly to chaos, the two men encounter violence, tragedy, friendships and adventure, joined along the way by several different characters. Meanwhile, the girl they are working their way towards is surviving as best she can, all the while terribly worried for her idol; Harry Styles, of the band One Direction, who were performing in New York at the time of the unexplained apocalyptic event.
Ok, so after I got over the amazing title and the idea of trying to track down a boyband who happen to be scheduled to perform on the same day that all the electricity in the world randomly stops working, I began to get a little bit critical, there are a lot of characters in this. Like, we’re talking Game of Thrones proportions here, there is a handy guide at the beginning that tells you who everyone is and how they are connected, but when you’re reading an ebook, it’s kind of hard to keep going back to the start to keep track of everyone. Aside from the fact that there are a gazillion characters, most of them are also bloody awful and I was willing the majority of them to come to some sort of horrific end. So, if that was the author’s intention, then well done! That came across brilliantly.
I will be honest, as is the condition of receiving books for review, the writing and story telling isn’t the best, but at the same time, that doesn’t matter. This is a book that doesn’t take itself too seriously, so yes, there are a lot of moments that could have done with being more dramatic and others that seemed a little pointless in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t make the book itself bad. The writing style irritated me at times, but that is entirely a Leah issue, not a GB Hope issue, the actual premise had potential and this was certainly miles better than Finding Andrew McCarthy, which should have, quite frankly, been bloody genius.
Despite some clunky narrative, the scene setting with the confusion and the fear around the global blackout was actually really well done, I was genuinely very concerned about what was going on, how it would be fixed, I felt the frustration of not being able to use my phone, of not having access to cars or planes, of not being able to contact anyone and not getting anywhere. The atmosphere was pretty top notch. Another great thing about this was the fact that it features a diverse cast from around the world and details what is happening in various countries which is a nice change from most apocalypse novels which tend to focus on one city. Whenever I watch a film or whatever about some sort of apocalypse or dystopia, they always seem to be set in one place (usually America) and never mention what is happening on the rest of the planet. The characters are spread around and from different places around the world which made for very interesting reading and a much more well rounded experience. Hey, Leah, how many more times can you say the word ’round’ in a sentence…?
For me, the absolute stand out highlight of this book wasn’t the incredibly attractive singer with the hella good hair that is mentioned in the title, it wasn’t the scene setting or the diversity, it was the opening scene. God, I would love to see that scene on film, it was so gritty and dramatic, it’s kind of a shame that the rest of the novel doesn’t follow suit and become a really dark dystopia, but as an opening it is almost perfection and really grabs your attention. Seriously, even if you don’t bother reading this book, even if you don’t like Harry Styles or One Direction, you have to check out the opening scene because my God, it is what nightmares are made of.
All in all, Finding Harry Styles is a fun read that would be great for a long journey or a few hours on the beach, it isn’t overly heavy, it isn’t dramatic, it doesn’t take itself seriously and wither or not you like One Direction it is a very interesting concept that shows some talented writing. Though if you are really adverse to One Direction, perhaps the ebook will be for you, you won’t have to display the title to those around you then!
And, just to sign off, here is Harry Styles and co with one of my favourite One D songs (seriously, I wrote that sentence then had to spend about half an hour trying to decide what was my favourite One Direction song….)