Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Geekerella by Ashley Poston - Review

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.

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Geekerella fulfilled all of my expectations plus more. It was a fantastic take on the classic story with the addition of fandoms, a crazy convention, unique characters, and one adorable Weiner dog (who I didn't even notice on the cover at first but look! He's SO CUTE!). 

Like I said, Geekerella is (obviously?) a modern retelling of Cinderella. However, Ashley makes this story interesting and unique with a fan convention instead of a royal ball, a vegan food truck instead of a magic pumpkin, and an adorable Frankenweiner instead of mice. The characters have more depth, being diverse and representing often overlooked minorities. I loved the small touches that give all the characters life and thought they worked together to make the book original and not too predictable in a story everybody already knows. Elle and Darien make for believable heroines, each with their own conflicts and struggles, particularly with their families, their aspirations, and their love of Starfield

The other star of this story is the focus on Starfield and the people that love it. I loved the way Ashley discusses the passion fans feel towards their favorite shows, the way both Elle and Darien overcome other's ideas of fandoms to show how much they relate to Starfield and how much it means to them. In a world where they both feel like outsiders and alone, this con and this show gives them a safe place with characters and people they love. The way they gain courage and inspiration from the characters of Starfield is relatable and adorable and really helps both the characters and the plot to be fresh and relevant. 

There were points where I wished there was slightly more original elements from Cinderella, though I totally understand why it followed very closely to the classic story. Darien and Elle both spend a good while taking crap from people around them, over and over again, when I felt like it wouldn't have been weird begin to break away a little sooner. I also wished we got even more information on Starfield (I know, I'm crazy, right?!). While I love retellings, sometimes knowing exactly what's going to happen wears on you as read, and I think that for the most part, Ashley did a great job in keeping the story new and different. 

Overall, I loved Geekerella. It's a fun, original romp through a classic story. The characters are great (I especially loved Sage and Franko) and the details surrounding the fictional Starfield are fantastic. I loved the modern touches and the representation of characters. The passion with which these characters love the things they do, and learn to love them without shame or embarrassment with those who love and support them, is a wonderful message and is at the heart of this story.
* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review *
Find out more about Ashley Poston and her works here: http://casuallybeingweird.com

Ashley Poston's fangirl heart has taken her everywhere from the houses of Hollywood screenwriters to the stages of music festivals to geeky conventions (in cosplay, of course). She lives in South Carolina, where she hangs around the internet tweeting as @AshPoston.

(I highly recommend following her on Twitter!)

Happy Reading!


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