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Fearless (2020)
Book Reviews

Fearless (2020)

A clunky, antiquated tale about ignoring one’s intuition and countless red flags while navigating the net’s seedy underbelly.

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In today’s world, being a YouTube star has considerable benefits – wealth, prestige, and accessibility. However, there’s a dark side to an online world filled with potential stalkers and people just waiting to take advantage of a kind heart. Fern Michaels, the prolific author of almost 150 best-selling books, is clearly no stranger to the romance and thriller genre. Her latest, Fearless, is all about a widowed YouTube star navigating the seedy world of stalkers and fans while finding romance. Unfortunately, the formulaic story falls flat.

Anna Campbell lost her husband in a motorcycle accident 13 years ago, and as a way to provide for her child and deal with her grief, she started a YouTube channel. This is the dream of so many people in the world today – to be “discovered” and thrust into the public where accolades and money rain upon you. Though Campbell has a fulfilling life with her channel and daughter, her romantic life isn’t exactly overflowing with possibilities. As a result, she agrees to go on a singles cruise her assistant set up for her.

For anyone who has gone on a singles cruise, it can be a disastrous or miraculous occurrence. Of course, the same could be said for any dating experience – though only one traps you on the water. Women need to tune into their intuition more whenever they’re around their potential mates instead of projecting what they believe the other person to be. Essentially, putting on those rose-colored glasses and never taking them off.

On the cruise, Campbell meets a ‘fan’ and despite prominent red flags waving in her face, she suppresses her intuition and proceeds to have a relationship with a university professor, Ryan Robertson. For many YouTube stars, stalkers or trolls can be an inconvenience trailing on their fame. But, with any sort of public exposure, there comes a downside. Campbell ignores all of the little warnings – Robertson being derisive to the wait staff, copying everything she eats and drinks, being elusive about his past – and introduces him and his two kids to her daughter.

Despite her best intentions to have their families mix together, Campbell still has misgivings about Robertson – ones her assistant can tell right away. So why did she ignore them? Any sane businesswoman who has worked hard to bring up her child in the world, and is uber successful, would know to trust her instincts. Especially when things don’t line up.

People, women especially, need to trust their intuition. It’s the one thing in this world that guides and guards us against harm – be it self-harm or from other external forces. When people choose to ignore their intuition – and it is a choice – there’s a lesson to be learned. In Anna’s case, it’s one that blows up in her face.

Michaels may be a well-known name in the writing world, but there isn’t much spark left in this cut and dried story. It depicts women as helpless creatures, ones more than willing to go against their initial impressions of people, leading them to disaster. Fearless is definitely not about having the courage to go against the grain in any way; it’s about giving into the fear of being alone despite so many, many warning signals. Love and romance is an important part of life, but when you exchange it for drama, what sort of relationship can grow from that?

About the Author: Evelyn Wong