Title: Queens of Geek
Author: Jen Wilde
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: March 14th 2017
Three friends, two love stories, one convention: this fun, feminist love letter to geek culture is all about fandom, friendship, and finding the courage to be yourself.
Charlie likes to stand out. She’s a vlogger and actress promoting her first movie at SupaCon, and this is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star Reese Ryan. When internet-famous cool-girl actress Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought. Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with her best guy friend Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about a fan contest for her favourite fandom, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
My Thoughts On…
For Charlie, Taylor and Jamie it’s the opportunity of a lifetime; they’ve made it to SupaCon and for Charlie and Taylor it’s a chance to prove themselves. Charlie is promoting her first movie, hoping to prove she’s all right after her breakup, but her plans are seriously derailed when her ex makes a surprise appearance at SupaCon. Taylor has anxiety, but she wants to meet her hero and she refuses to let her fears stand in her way, until her hero has to leave SupaCon early and it seems like Taylor’s missed her chance.
Queens of Geek has been on my to-read list for a while, everyone seemed to love it and everyone has mentioned how incredible the diversity in this book is. Of the two main characters one is openly bi and Chinese, and the other suffers from anxiety and is on the autism spectrum. Then there are the side characters; Charlie’s vlogging hero and crush is a lesbian person of colour, and Taylor meets some incredible people throughout the con who also suffer from anxiety and autism.
As Charlie promotes her new movie she becomes closer to Alyssa Huntington who’s promoting her own movie, but Charlie is still scarred from her last romance which was in the public eye from the start only to end in heartbreak. Taylor discovers there’s still a chance to meet her hero, the con is hosting a Queen Firestorm fan contest and the winner will get to meet the author. Taylor will need to conquer her anxiety though if she hopes to take part, let alone win.
While the story focuses a lot on Charlie’s and Taylor’s individual stories, each of them having their own POV chapters in this book so we get insights into their thoughts and personalities, there’s also a focus on the friendship Charlie, Taylor and Jamie share. Queens of Geek follows the SupaCon event and it’s interesting seeing how Charlie and Taylor grow over that one weekend.
Charlie is trying to prove she’s fine after her breakup with Reese. Seeing him again and promoting the movie where they fell in love brings back so many memories for her, and while she’s over Reese she’s not over what he put her through. Charlie’s confident in who she is, she’s never hidden her bisexuality, but as her crush on Alyssa turns into something more real she fears being open about their relationship because of what happened between her and Reese.
Taylor is the character I identified with the most. She suffers from anxiety and it’s shaped her life but she’s determined not to let it ruin her weekend at SupaCon no matter what. A lot of the time Taylor disappears into her own head when she panics, picturing the worst scenario and all the ways things can go wrong, but she has Charlie and Jamie to pull her out of her spirals. As the story continues I love seeing how Taylor makes decisions her anxiety never could have let her make before.
It’s obvious Taylor and Jamie have a crush on one another but they each seem to keep their distance and for Taylor it’s due to the fear of changing their incredible friendship for something she’s less sure of. As Charlie gets pulled away to promote her new movie Taylor and Jamie are left to explore SupaCon on their own, and even though their feelings for each other developed before the start of this book their relationship felt so real to me, watching them support each other through the highs and lows the weekend brings.
The friendship in Queens of Geek was one of my favourite parts. There’s no feelings of jealously from Taylor for Charlie’s success or from Charlie over Taylor’s crush on Jamie, they support one another no matter what and I loved seeing that in this book. Each of them values what’s important to the other, Charlie cheers Taylor on during the Queen Firestorm fan contest and Taylor supports Charlie when Reese comes back into her life bringing those heartbreaking feelings back again.
Queens of Geek is full of important messages for girls, and it’s so open about what both Charlie and Taylor go through. I actually wish there had been a book like this when I was growing up. I thought Queens of Geek was incredible, and I’d recommend it to anyone because there’s sure to be something in here everyone can identify and connect with.
What did you think of Queens of Geek? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.