Author: Ashley Poston
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Retelling
Publisher: Quirk Books
Published: April 4, 2017
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. (source)
Note: This review is spoiler-free!
I was expecting nerdiness, and goofiness, and fluffiness from this book. And I got that.
I got more than that.
We follow Darien and Elle throughout the story, exchanging text messages and fangirling/fanboying about this amazing sci-fi show, Starfield. From what I could tell, this is made-up show is a lot like Star Wars and Star Trek, although both still exist in the book.
Darien’s point of view was my favorite – probably because he’s my new book boyfriend. I’ve read a couple of “behind-the-scenes Hollywood” type books about teen actors. None have compared to this one. Despite appearing cool and composed, Darien is nervous and self-conscious. I loved the internal conflict between wanting to appear a carefree actor just doing his job, yet wanting nothing more than to just totally geek out because he is playing a role that he loves more than anything.
“I want to lay down in excruciating detail the synopsis of all fifty-four episodes I watched religiously as a nobody teenager in the suburbs of L.A… I want to tell him what that ending monologue meant to me. What it meant to see someone who looked like me in command of the Prospero. I want to cut out my fanboy heart and show him that it bleeds like every other Stargunner’s. I want to tell him that the Federation Prince Carmindor saved my life.”
Oh, and didn’t I mention? Darien Freeman is a person of color! They even mention how the casting of the show wasn’t whitewashed, and thank goodness for that. Darien is an absolute fanboy through and through, Starfield references and all.
We also got to read from Elle’s point of view. While Darien was my favorite of the two, I loved Elle just the same. As I said in the beginning of this review, I was expecting fluffiness and cuteness from this book and got even more – Elle brought a depth I was not expecting.
Yes, this is a Cinderella story. And as the fairy tale, and this book, goes, Elle’s parents die when she’s fairly young. But this isn’t simply mentioned offhandedly a couple of times through the story. This is a major part of Elle’s life, largely because her dad founded the convention the last third of the book is centered around. This is what created the intensity of her story.
Elle worshipped her father who introduced her to Starfield and made her fall in love with it in the first place. As such, she is completely invested in the show and all of its many parts of it. Her knowledge of all things fandom was infectious and brought a smile to my face more than once.
I really loved how Poston handled the romance, as in, very minimally. Now, I’m normally a romance junkie, but I liked how the book was more like two independent storylines that happened to cross and mingle. The texting back and forth was cute and their first actual meeting was even cuter, but to tell you the truth, I’m glad that they led separate lives and spend most of the novel apart, as weird as that sounds.
One of the best parts of this book is the sense of community that a fandom creates. I don’t want to give away any happy occurrences but let me just say that the power of a group of people all passionate about one thing is undeniable.
“When we become those characters, pieces of ourselves light up like glow sticks in the night. They shine. We shine. Together.
And even when some of us fall to different universes, those lights never go out.”
Now it’s time to discuss how incredibly fun and relatable Geekerella truly was. I mean, look at me, I have a blog dedicated to books and the worshipping of fictional characters. I know a thing or two about fangirling, and this book really let the inner nerd in me flourish.
Geekerella is definitely “a love letter to nerd culture”, and I have certainly been struck with Cupid’s arrow. Not only did its geekiness make me smile, I laughed out loud many times as well.
Despite some minor annoyances with secondary characters, and occasionally thinking that the stepmother and stepsisters were a little too evil, this book is a fantastic one. If you’re looking for something light-hearted that will still make you think, something nerdy and enjoyable, and an adorable, charming, and completely dorky book boyfriend, Geekerella is not one to miss.
Plus, who doesn’t love a good Cinderella story?
“Because in the end we’re all just a bunch of weirdos standing in front of other weirdos, asking for their username.”
Have you guys read Geekerella yet? Have I convinced you? Tell me in the comments! 🙂