Ship It is a book I have been hearing about for over a year. I know it hasn’t even been out that long, but seriously I know I had heard about it way before it ever released. Britta Lundin, who happens to be connected to one of my current television obsessions on The CW, announced that she would have a book coming out focusing on fandom and fanfiction titled Ship It. I had the chance to briefly chat with her at ClexaCon, but wasn’t luck enough to win a book and when I got back to small town Ohio I could not find a copy of it anywhere. I searched high and low and finally, after a bit of a wait, managed to snag one of the digital copies of it through my public library. Ship It is so much more than I ever imagined and the characters are so much more complex than I ever could have guessed just from the book description. I was completely glued to my screen the entire time I was reading.
Claire is a massive fan of the television show Demon Heart and is shocked when she learns the two stars as well as the show runner will actually be at a comic convention in her state. What Claire doesn’t know is that Demon Heart is struggling a bit to cement first season ratings and in an attempt to try and get a second season the PR team is sending their stars out to try and build social numbers and sway new viewers. Ship It moves between Claire, who is a pretty well known fanfic writer on Tumblr, and one of the stars of the show, Forest. Forest is new to the industry and is trying to figure out how to handle being part of a Demon Heart and when he learns that Claire and hunk of the fandom ship his character and his male co-star’s character he isn’t exactly sure how to cope. After making waves at their first con, Claire finds herself traveling with the cast and crew of Demon Heart and taking part on the press tour. Forest and Claire are both trying to figure just how to navigate everything happening around them and how to deal with each other as the convention tour progresses.
The characters in Ship It are tremendously multi-faceted. Claire feels like an outcast in her tiny Idaho town and when she meets someone who could be a new friend at the first convention she tries to open up. The issue is that Claire is struggling, not only with how to connect as friends, but also with whether she wants to be more than friends with this girl who also loves Demon Heart. She has never thought of herself as part of the LGBT+ spectrum, but this new person, Tess, seems so solid in her identity. Tess though is struggling with her own issues. Both female characters are on their own paths of understanding and acceptance and their paths to gain understanding find themselves connected. Claire’s journey throughout the book isn’t smooth, but each bump in the road brings her to a new moment of growth. Forest is also more than just a male actor trying to stay in the business. He is trying to figure out how to navigate Hollywood and also understand the fans around him. He and Claire have an unsteady dynamic that I was intrigued by throughout Ship It. If you are a fan of fandom, a dedicated shipper, or just someone looking for a new and interesting take on a coming out story you should check out Ship It today.
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