Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond Tours, as well as the author and publisher for giving me a copy of ‘Down With This Ship’ in exchange for an unbiased, and honest review!! This is my stop for the tour, and you can click the banner below to view the full schedule, and explore other posts!!
Title: Down With This Ship
Author: Katie Kingman
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publication Date: June 8, 2021
Final Rating: 3 stars
Synopsis (via Goodreads):
Kole Miller does one thing really well: write fanfiction for the show The Space Game. Everything else is a struggle: like managing her anxiety, frequent crushes, and plans after high school. But when her blog, Spacer, wins a major fanfiction contest, her traffic soars.
With massive readership comes criticism Kole isn’t prepared for, including getting stuck in the heated ship wars surrounding the show. And then an invitation to speak at The Space Game’s official convention arrives in her inbox.
When the most competitive kids in her Creative Writing class discover Kole’s writing Spacer, her blog is taken hostage and she risks them hitting ctrl+A+del on Spacer. To win it back, Kole must face both her inner demons and the ones at Crystal Lake High before they make the drama not just about The Space Game, but about Kole herself.
Including snippets from Kole’s fanfic, emails, and text messages, Down With This Ship is sure to bring out the inner fangirl in anyone.
One of my favourite parts of the book was how unique the storyline and plot were! I loved the entire focus on fan fiction as well as how unapologetically geeky the story was. I’ve read, and loved tons of contemporaries recently, and honestly none of them were as distinctive as this. Although I wish some parts were executed differently, I found the whole thought process behind it very original, and fresh.
Along with that, I loved the focus on mental health, and the toll it can take on you. The anxiety wasn’t sugar coated, and just being able to see the effects of the main characters anxiety onto her character made the story all the more impactful. The anxiety representation was portrayed so honestly, and unflinchingly, that was something I appreciated as well, because you don’t see it very often in YA!
Realistic interactions between teens in a book also affects my enjoyment, and I’m so happy to say I found that in Down With This Ship! The conversations between the main character and her best friend were also definitely super relatable (we stan supportive friendships hehe), and they never felt fake, or pretentious at any point of time!
Although I liked so much of the book, a lot also fell flat for me. One of the things that bothered me most, though, was the pacing. This novel dragged on for wayyy too long. It was under 400 pages – but it felt so long, and practically nothing happened for SO long somewhere in the first half. Sure, it sped up later, but I just couldn’t get through the slow bits!
The love triangle in the beginning also annoyed me so much! At this point, it’s no secret how much I dislike love triangles, and I’m sorry to say this book didn’t change my opinion of that.
Overall, Down With This Ship, was a fun, geeky novel, that was ultimately about finding yourself, and tuning out the hate alongside people you love. Although the idea for the novel was fresh and unique, it adequately covered mental health issues, and featured genuine interactions a lot of aspects fell short for me. The pacing was way too slow in some parts, and trudging through was a problem for me. Along with that, there was also a love triangle, which I don’t normally vibe with – and this was no exception.
About the Author
Katie Kingman has wanted to be a writer since freshman year when her English teacher read her story out loud. The experience was mortifying, but it led to a lifelong love of classic literature and writing fiction. She now lives, teaches, and geeks in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband, two kids, and five cats. When not writing, she can be found gardening and scrolling Netflix for a new OTP.