Mini-Post by The Bookworm
Author: Ashley Poston
Summary: 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.
Bookworm Rating: B
Target Audience: Young Adult
*Minor Spoilers Below* – may include plot details such as: important names or events.
Story Notes: I am a sucker for fairytale retellings so of course I had to give this book a try. Geekerella is a pretty traditional retelling of Cinderella. A lot of the interactions with her stepfamily, love interest, and obligatory best friend standing in for the fairy godmother were things I’ve mostly seen before.
The thing I appreciated most about the story were the subtle nods to fan culture. As the cover of the book indicates it is a bit of a love-letter to fans and the fandoms that they love. The book does pretty accurately represent fandoms and how they are generally perceived by those people not in a fandom.
Both of the main characters were pretty adorable and I enjoyed slipping in and out of their lives. They were both a little dorky so I enjoyed seeing how they reacted with different people and how these people reacted to their personalities.
Writing Style: Ashley Poston is very good with her characters. When she introduces a character into the story she fleshes them out very well so you can easily recognize them when they come back into the story. Both of the main characters, Elle and Darien, are relatable and the different people that they interact with are for the most part realistic.
Her writing is also very sweet and fun. It really does read like a love letter. It’s pretty rare to find a book that reads like that so it was fun for me to explore.
Weaknesses: Outside of Geekerella I’ve read plenty of contemporary novels including: Paper Towns, The Fault in Our Stars, Everything, Everything, and Fangirl (just to name a few). I just haven’t found one that I really love. Why? I find them pretty predictable. Don’t get me wrong. The stories are usually full of creative elements but I find that I know exactly where the plot is going most of the time. They are fun little reads but they rarely surprise me.
Geekerella was the same. It was fun and I loved the references to various fandoms but I knew what was going to happen. When I dive into a fairytale retelling I want to see something different. Something that surprises me. I feel like Geekerella had a lot of potential for this but didn’t take advantage.
My only other complaint is the fact that the two main characters fall in love through text messages. I’m not saying it can’t happen (I watch “You’ve Got Mail” too much to say that). I’m mostly just upset that we don’t get to see it. We get occasional little snippets of their conversations back and forth but we don’t get to see a lot of them. It’s mostly implied that they’re texting and then…BOOM! They’re in love. If I’m going to read a love story I want to see the characters fall in love. I want to see the silly and cutesy little things that they text back and forth. I want to fall in love with their love.
Strengths: The characters are what really drive this book. I feel like that is pretty common with contemporary stories and it really is where their influence comes from. We read contemporary because we are looking for a character that we can see ourselves in. Geekerella has a lot of fun and interesting characters that a lot of people could probably relate too. That’s what makes it a fun read.
Final Thoughts: If you’re a member of a fandom you might want to give Geekerella a try. It’s a cute little read with something for everybody.