*Warning: this review may contain spoilers.
Author: Ashley Poston
Published: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Quirk Books
Genre: YA Contemporary
Anything can happen once upon a con…
When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her stepmother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all—not to mention a fangirl’s dream come true.
Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they’re nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.
My rating: 4 stars
I adore fairytale retellings. I adore books that connect deeply with a specific audience. And, I adore books that have happy endings. This book is all three of these.
Geekerella grabbed my attention because it checks off a lot of things I look for in a fun read:
- romantic comedy
- my favourite romance trope: enemies to lovers
- adorkable fun for fangirls/fanboys
- a fairytale retelling (Cinderella) unlike any I’d seen before
As someone who went to my first con four years ago and started learning about fandoms only as recently as that, I love how positively this book represents that. Yes, it addresses the judgement and prejudice and inability/lack of desire to understand why someone would join a fandom or what fandom actually is. But is does so in a way that felt real and natural.
And Elle and Darien are adorable. And authentic. Their relationship develops over time, through conversation. It develops naturally from strangers to friends to lovers. Complete with realistic anxiety that shows up in new relationships. I liked them so much. felt for them and celebrated with them. Poston did a wonderful job writing authentic teen characters.
The side characters in this novel are also fabulous. They are wonderful and horrible and oh so great. Elle’s stepmother and stepsisters are horrid. I despised them. Which, I believe, was the point. Darien’s dad was also despicable. As soon as these characters were introduced, I was emotionally invested in Elle and Darien and their lives.
A heartfelt reimagining of Cinderella
There are many things to love about Geekerella, including quirky characters and situations, a romantic masquerade ball, a cosplay contest, food trucks, but most importantly — a diverse cast (including diverse point-of-view characters!), and lots of fandom recognition.
If you want a sweet story, full of comedic moments and wonderful character transformations – read Geekerella. It’s a completely new take on the classic fairytale and is already on my shopping list for friend’s Christmas gifts.