Geekerella: A Fangirl Fairy Tale by Ashley Poston
Published by: Quirk Books
Pub Date: April 4, 2017
Format: e-arc | Source: NetGalley
Genres: young adult, contemporary, retelling
Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.
Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?
Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.
I read two YA contemporary books last year that also dealt with fandom (specifically of the sci-fi variety) and cons- while they were cute, something was missing for me so I was originally wary of Geekerella until reviews from friends started coming in. The moment I started reading, I could tell Geekerella was everything I wanted it to be and more.
Right off the bat, it reminded me irresistibly of A Cinderella Story, one of my favorite teen movies. I think it was the combination of the contemporary setting, the texting, and Elle’s image-obsessed stepmother. I loved all the touches that marked it as a Cinderella retelling- the “Magic Pumpkin” food truck, the “Prince”, the “costume ball”. It was so clever and fun! Ashley Poston hit every beat I was hoping for. I’m all for subversive and different retellings, but sometimes a feel-good, classic, recognizable retelling is what I want 🙂
Of course I loved all of the references to fandom and general nerdery! I’ve been part of various fandoms my whole life and it’s easy to put yourself in Elle’s (and Darien’s) shoes. I also loved that she was a blogger! I used to spend hours on Mugglenet back in the day. The other thing I really enjoyed was the dual POV story. That doesn’t always work but I loved that there was more to Darien than his surface image, and their accidental texting turned friendship was pretty wonderful!
All of the secondary characters add something to the story and Poston does her best to reflect the real world within those characters. Elle’s coworker was a total surprise to me, I didn’t expect to like her so much!Having gone to Wizard World Con last year, it was also easy and fun to picture the convention setting. This book might not be perfect the closer you look, but it made me really happy and sometimes that’s what counts. The acknowledgment almost made me cry! As a fan of so many things, they were really touching and you could tell how much of herself Poston poured into the story.
Long story short: this was everything my Cinderella-loving, geeky fandom heart wanted.
Have you read Geekerella yet? Are you a fan of retellings in general? Let me know!