Wednesday, May 24, 2017

"Grace and the Fever"

Zan Romanoff writes essays and fiction, mostly focused on food, feminism, television and books. She graduated from Yale in 2009 with a B.A. in Literature, and now lives and works in Los Angeles.

Romanoff applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Grace and the Fever, and reported the following:
On the 69th page of my book, a girl tries to decide whether she’s going to go to a party with a boy. They’ve only met once, but she knows almost everything there is to know about him, because he’s in a world-famous boy band, and she is a massive, massive fan.

Grace and the Fever is about the stories celebrities tell about themselves, and what it means to believe them; it’s about how you can know almost everything there is to know about someone, and not know them, actually, at all. Grace has met Jes once before, by accident; in this scene, he’s just asked to meet her again, on purpose. It’s the moment when the book’s plot really kicks into gear, as Grace moves from passively loving his band, Fever Dream, to feeling like she can actively be a part of their lives and their story.

She’s discussing the decision, and the media speculation that will inevitably follow Jes being seen with a girl who’s not his girlfriend, with Fever Dream’s assistant, Raj. Raj says:
“There might be some speculation. I guess really what we’re asking you is selfish: Risk some backlash. Help the band.”

Grace doesn’t know she’s already made her decision until she feels Raj’s words turn something in her, the last click of a key in a lock. She owes Fever Dream the last four years. Some days, she feels like she owes them everything. They’re the fantasy she’s been living on through the long, boring days of high school, the idea that her life could be taken, suddenly, and turned into something sparkling. That what’s burning inside of her matters. She isn’t ready to give up that up yet. When he puts it that way, there’s just no chance she’ll say no.

“Okay,” she tells him. “I’m in.”
She’s in, but she as she’s about to find out: she doesn’t know what she’s in for at all.
Visit Zan Romanoff's website.

--Marshal Zeringue