Author: Ashley Poston
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release Date: April 4th 2017
Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fuelled twist on the classic fairy tale.
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. 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 the 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.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
My Thoughts On…
It’s the day Elle has been waiting for; they are finally going to announce a reboot of her favourite sci-fi show, Starflight, and introduce the cast. Elle has heard rumours that Darien Freeman is playing Prince Carmindor but that can’t possibly be true, no soap star could bring justice to Elle’s Prince. Darien is playing the role of his dreams in Prince Carmindor, but he is unprepared for the negative backlash to his announcement on Good Morning America, and hearing he’ll have to make an appearance at ExcelsiCon just makes everything worse.
When Elle hears about the cosplay contest she has to take part. She doesn’t care much about the tickets to the masquerade ball or the meet-and-greet with Darien Freeman but the prize money could be Elle’s ticket away from her wicked stepmother and two stepsisters. When Darien finds a number for the organiser of ExcelsiCon he thinks his problems are solved. All he needs to do is call up, act as his own manager, and cancel his appearance, but the number doesn’t connect him to the organiser of ExcelsiCon it connects him to Elle. Darien doesn’t reveal who he is, instead he and Elle bond over their love of Starflight and the more they talk the more Darien feels like he belongs in the role of Prince Carmindor.
As filming of Starflight draws to a close and ExcelsiCon comes ever closer Elle struggles to keep her plans a secret from her stepmother, who would forbid her from attending the Con, and from her stepsisters, who have designs on winning the contest and the meet-and-greet with Darien themselves, but she finds an unlikely ally in her co-worker Sage who could make all of Elle’s dreams come true.
Before picking up Geekerella I saw plenty of reviews that all spoke about what an amazing book it is. I had high expectations going into this book based on all I’d read and heard and Ashley Poston didn’t let me down. Geekerella is a cute Cinderella retelling, and I loved every single page of it. I loved discovering more about the Starflight fandom, and reading Elle’s and Darien’s passion for it, I loved reading their budding romance, and I loved the representation of fandom and conventions.
Elle is a fan of Starflight because of her dad. All her memories of him are in some way associated with the show and even years after his deaths she feels closer to him because of it. Elle writes a blog where she analyses old episodes, and her dream is to attend university to study screenplay. She has a passion for writing that she discovered through Starflight and she is determined to chase it despite the scorn of her stepmother. This probably won’t come as a surprise to many people considering the way she was characterised and written, but Elle was a character I strongly identified with, not because of the wicked stepmother but because of her passion.
Darien, like Elle, is a massive fan of Starflight, and before he became a household name thanks to Seaside Cove he attended ExcelsiCon with his best friend. Now everyone sees him and all they think is that he is playing Prince Carmindor for the money, after all there’s no way Darien Freeman could actually be a fan of the show. Darien isn’t what people think; he’s geeky, funny and caring for those closest to him, not that many people are. He wants to do the best job possible and he wants people to love his version of Carmindor the way Darien loved the original version of Carmindor, but he is all too aware of the backlash surrounding the film and his casting.
The relationship between Elle and Darien was a really sweet one. I loved all their interactions as they speak solely through text, sharing small though important parts of their live but never revealing their true identities. They bond over their love of Starflight, and after losing the only friend he had to his fame Darien just needs someone who doesn’t know all about him and who won’t sell him out to the paparazzi. Darien and Elle were a couple I really was rooting for, the build up to them meeting face to face was written in such a way that it was never frustrating like it can be when two characters miss so many opportunities to meet again.
There were plenty of good side characters in this book, but at times they felt more like the original tales archetypes than properly developed characters in their own story. There’s Sage, the ‘Fairy Godmother’ who fixes Elle’s costume in order to get her to the ball, who was well developed, but I feel like more could have been done with Catherine, the ‘Wicked Stepmother’, and Chloe and Cal, the ‘Ugly Stepsisters’.
Geekerella was a cute and quick YA contemporary read, with plenty of fandom and Cinderella references that I had fun reading. I enjoyed seeing Elle’s and Darien’s version of Cinderella unfold, loved the two of them together, and loved the story. Every amazing thing you’ve heard about Geekerella is true, and I’d definitely recommend picking it up if you enjoy fandoms, fairytales and contemporary stories.
What did you think of Geekerella? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.