Friday, November 22, 2013

For the love of the band

book review

Book: Dare to Dream: Life as One Direction
By: One Direction

Unless you’ve been away from planet Earth for the last few years, you must have heard of One Direction, the British pop group that has taken the world by storm. Sure they have their detractors – being a manufactured boy band that was created on a reality TV show and makes cookie cutter pop music isn’t the best recipe for critical acclaim – but they are still Simon Cowell’s most successful product. Their rabid fan base is made up of millions of youngsters around the world who adore the band, and repeatedly want the entire universe to know that they adore the band, thereby relentlessly making the Internet a more annoying place.

But the indisputable fact remains that Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, and Zayn Malik, put together make up one of the biggest teen pop sensations of recent years, amassing hit singles, selling millions of albums, topping the charts in dozens of countries, and breaking world records along the way. And they have relayed some of their stories in 2011’s Dare to Dream: Life as One Direction.

An official 1D book purportedly penned by the members of the band, Dare to Dream sees each member relay some of their earliest memories, first experiences, recollection from their time on The X Factor UK in 2010, and embracing their meteoric rise and consequent fame. Harry, Liam, Louis, Niall, and Zayn each have their own separate section in the book in which they share their journey as well as lots of pictures, ranging from some childhood snaps to post fame and tour photographs.

Saying that the book is essential for their fans would be like stating that the grass is green and the sky is blue. How could any obsessed Directioner not want to know random details, no matter how inconsequential, about the members of their favourite group? Do you know how many of them auditioned for The X Factor before and were rejected? How about which one of the boys was born with only one functional kidney? And who was such a good runner that he was on the reserve list for the 2012 Olympics? Want to find out what their individual favourite films, albums, bands, foods, drinks, shops, perfumes, games, and iPhone apps are? It’s all in there, waiting to be perused by the fanatical tween and teen masses.

To be clear though, the book isn’t extremely comprehensive and all encompassing. It is short and a very quick read, written in simple language easy enough for young readers to follow. And some of their personality does seem to have been airbrushed and sanitized to preserve their image. It was clearly written with their fan base in mind, and there is enough in there to make their diehard followers pleased and entertained.

If you don’t like One Direction then you have no reason to buy Dare to Dream; it is highly unlikely that reading it will provide you any astonishing insight or life altering revelations about the group that will convert you into a fan. But if you love the band and for some strange reason still don’t have the book, then now would be a good time to rectify that.

- S.A.

Us Magazine, The News - 22nd November, 2013 *

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