Geekerella by Ashley Poston
Publication: April 4, 2017
Summary from NetGalley:
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.
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is such a fun read! It really spoke to my inner fangirl, which I mostly keep tightly leashed. I was a Treky in my youth, but that was before Cons and the internet sparked fandom of shows and books to a whole different level. I often feel like I was born way before my time. I so would have been into cosplay as I sewed most of my clothes as a teen and worked in the costume department of my school’s theater. Ah well, some day maybe I’ll work up the nerve to go to Emerald City Comic Con and let my inner fangirl out.
But I digress. This book just worked on so many levels. On the surface, and from the promos and summary you think it is just a modern retelling of Cinderella, but it is really more than that. It is about believing and trusting in your self, as well as others. It is about taking those risks that you wouldn’t normally dream of taking, and about how family isn’t always the people you are related too. I also like how it poked fun at fandom and the crazy but beautiful people those fans can be.
Danielle, also known as Elle, was a great character. She often presented herself to the world as the downtrodden stepsister of twins, Chloe and Calliope (yes that is really her name) and her evil stepmother Catherine. But she has an inner strength that I admire even when she gives in to her stepmothers demands and ignores (or tries to) her sister’s horrible behavior towards her. She also writes a blog, just for her own amusement, although she does have a few followers. I felt that I could really relate to her.
I also liked Darien, he was a sweet geek that was thrust into stardom by his father. His fans cracked me up as well. I loved the fact that his dad, who is also his agent, had his abs insured. What a concept. Darien grew more than Elle in this story I think. It was nice to see part of the story from his perspective, he just wasn’t the object of a fangirls obsession, but had doubts and issues of his own. I really felt how lonely he was and how accidentally texting someone and then starting a friendship with them through texts, where he could hide his true identity, was so sad and depressing. Being a teen superstar must be so lonely.
The twins were solid characters and so was the stepmother Catherine. I liked that one of the sisters wasn’t quite as evil as Elle thought by the end of the book, and that she was able to shine a little at the end too. Catherine was an interesting character, although we didn’t see her that much. I liked that the author included some motivation as to why she was so mean to Elle.
The fairy godmother role is played by Sage, a really scary girl on the surface, but in the end sweet and caring and endearing to all. I loved her food truck the Magic pumpkin, and how much she came to care for Elle and helped her out.
Overall, a really great read that was not only a fun retelling of Cinderella but an homage to fangirls and boys everywhere.
Here is a video from Quirk books, the publisher.