Ship It is the Fandom Book I Wish Had Existed When I Was a Teenager

The highest compliment I can pay Britta Lundin’s Ship It is how many times while reading that I caught myself thinking about how I would write a certain moment differently. Protagonist Claire, awkward 16-year-old fanfiction writer and diehard shipper granted the opportunity to make the case for her OTP to the creatives behind her favorite TV show, brings back almost visceral memories of my own coming-of-age within the early days of Internet fandom. However, she exists not in the ’00s but in the ’10s—an age of Tumblr influencers and unprecedented fan/creator access. Her straddling of the divide between fandom and canon is both intensely familiar and discomfitingly alien, as she represents an entire fandom but also one fan’s particular crusade, making her both relatable and not. More than once, I was tempted to rework the plot, to say “well, that doesn’t feel like the right move, I bet Claire would ...