Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Summary from Goodreads:
Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic science-fiction 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 has 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.
I’m not going to lie; I’m kind of over the Cinderella story. That being said, I wasn’t super excited for this book’s release last year. What sold me on the book? The author. I heard her speak at the Boston Teen Author Festival last fall, and I knew it would only be a matter of time before I bought this book. She made it sound like the book was going to be this super collage of fandoms, and she sounded so geeky cool, that I had to read it.
It sounded like a fun, easygoing vacation book, so I took it with me on vacation. And I pretty much read the whole thing on my airplane coming back home. The plane was stuck for 1 and half hours on the tarmac (something to do with a rain storm), and it was the perfect reading opportunity.
The book felt more like Cinderella and less like the super collage of fandoms than I was anticipating. However, it was a really good version of Cinderella. It was so good that I had a few tears in my eyes for the scene I knew was coming with the cosplay outfit. And again I was moved to heart-felt happiness tears at a scene with other cosplayers in the bathroom. I also am a sucker for You’ve Got Mail style romances that start with writing back and forth (this case, texting). And I’m also a sucker for YA romances that involve celebrities. So, in a way, this book was just meant to be.
Also I have to note a few other cool things about the Cinderella story. Modern day Prince Charming was a tv star. The food truck Elle (like Cinder”ella”) worked for was called the Magic Pumpkin. She left a sparkly slipper instead of a glass one for her prince to find. Her rags at the end were her dreaded country club uniform. Her fairy godmother was her newly made, awesome lesbian friend/coworker who could sew like no one’s business. And modern day Prince Charming actually had no idea what Elle looked like before falling in love with her. A+ on these changes, Ashely Poston.
I was hoping for more fandoms. Every now and then a super big fandom would be mentioned, something like Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. And for a while I thought Starfield was a fictional Star Trek, but I was wrong because Star Trek was mentioned too at some point. Most of the fandom stuff seemed to be about Starfield, a fictional sci-fi show. And I guess I was hoping for more. I got a little more at the actual con, especially during the cosplay ball. But, it didn’t live up to the hype of my expectations.
However, I did love the feel of her fandom. The author did get the whole support system, tolerance, and love thing down. Again, I have to bring up a scene in the bathroom when other cosplayers come to the rescue. And that was just everything. It’s how I felt when I went to Leaky Con, and I knew everyone there got me for who I was. It’s how I feel at Comic Con and BEA and ALA. There’s just this overall feeling of acceptance and like-mindedness that’s hard to explain, but super powerful and inspiring. And I got that from reading this book. And it felt good to see someone recognize this feeling.
I read this super fast. I felt all kinds emotions I wasn’t expecting. I loved the modern day twists to the classic fairytale. It made me question my need for giving up on Cinderella. I loved the feeling the author was able to evoke about fandom culture. I was hoping for a few more fandoms to be represented. But, all in all, this was a super cute, geeky fun read. I give it an 8/10.

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