Title in blue on white
Genre: Thriller
Age Range: YA
Star Rating: 5 stars
Series: web novel prequel


Cover for AN UNAUTHORISED FAN TREATISE: title in blue on grey, as if it's a screenshot of a blog page

An Unauthorised Fan Treatise (on the nature of the relationship between actors Rob Hennings and Nathan O’Donnell on TV show Loch & Ness, by @gottiewrites)

Gottie is a fangirl for Loch & Ness, a TV show about paranormal detectives. She’s convinced that two of the male actors are secretly dating, and she’ll stop at nothing to prove it. When her online investigations accidentally uncover far more than she expects, she becomes complicit in secrets beyond just a romantic conspiracy theory.

An internet thriller told in a ‘true crime’ style recollection of events, the novel includes social media extracts such as modern Tumblr posts and early-noughties LiveJournal blog entries.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here, or read the story on the website here.


This is one of the most unique story forms I’ve read. Told as a series of blog posts with comments linked to tweets (real ones Lauren James made), this is a twisty thriller that was released in weekly instalments. I’m so glad they were all released when I found out about this story, as I could binge it in one morning!

I really didn’t know what to expect, going in. It starts out just like a fan digging up information on two actors in a TV show, making a mountain out of a mole hill about their relationship and invading privacy. But the information at the top makes it look like it’s evidence in a court case, and dark secrets and a tangled web of lies quickly come to light – celebrating both the good side of fandom, and shining a torch on its darker, obsessive aspects.

There are so many twists to this story, taking it darker and deeper than I ever expected it to go. It’s so addictive – I read it in one morning because I couldn’t stop reading. Oops, to all my jobs! I couldn’t guess what was coming next, and the format was so versatile, making full use of different social media.

The back and forth between the commenters and Gottie really helps establish their thoughts and personalities. Though we never see any of the characters, the fact that it’s personal posts brings them to life, as does the digging into Gottie’s real life by the anonymous commenters.

What makes this story really work, though, is the unreliable narrator. The “comments” at the bottom of the blog post continue the story, both providing hints of new leads as well as throwing doubt on the story (you need to read everything posted until you reach the blurb – everything above that is story). As the inconsistencies stack up, and more is revealed, there is a lot of doubt over what stake Gottie has in all this.

I kept swinging between doubting and believing the narrative the more I read, and then the epilogue threw another spanning in the works – with a tantalising glimpse that there might be more to come…

I think this story is being adapted for publication? Or there’s something related to it is going to be published, based on the author acknowledgement at the end. I’m so excited for this to be a book – or something – to hold in my hands!

Read my reviews of other books by Lauren James:


The Watchmaker and the Duke:

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