by Ashley Poston
Published on April 4, 2017 by Quirk Books
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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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Prepare for the gush, y’all, because I absolutely LOVED this book! I can count on one hand the number of YA contemporaries I’ve truly enjoyed, including: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, The Upside of Unrequited, and The Female of the Species.
And now Geekerella!
This book is adorable. I don’t have any other word for it. You’ll find all the familiar elements of Cinderella in this new spin involving a blogger/sci-fi geek, another geek/actor, and a convention that’s sure to be out of this world! It reminded me a bit of that movie, A Cinderella Story, the one with Hillary Duff (y’all know the one I’m talking about?). That kind of modern day with the girl who doesn’t quite fit in and how she rises above it and gets her happily ever after anyway.
First off: Elle.
This girl is ON FIRE. Her twin step-sisters are absolutely dreadful and so much fun to hate, though I think I hated her stepmother even more. All she wants is to hold on to the one thing that was hers and her father’s: Starfield. The show that meant it all and I loved that this was the connection to him, that she was the fan that knew it all and then some, the blogger writing those scathing articles attacking anything that might damage the nostalgia of the show.
Her stepmother makes an excellent villain because not only is she awful and easy for the reader to dislike but she has a backstory for the way she acts. In her own twisted way she wants the best for Elle (what she thinks it the best, at least) and while it doesn’t redeem her actions in my eyes, it makes her human. The same with the twins. They’re written as being basically the same person but you soon realize that perhaps that’s not quite true.
I think what got me most about this book is that it centers around this show, Starfield, and the fact that it’s being remade into a movie with a whole new cast and everything. Now, how many of you are already cringing at the thought of your favorites being made into a movie or remade, whatever the case? I know I would.
Elle is all of us. And her prince is the actor taking over the lead role. Darien was an interesting perspective to read because I can’t say I know much about celebrity life but I liked the way Poston showed that he wasn’t about all the glitz and glam. He’s constantly challenged by the show and his career, his texting with Elle, what he wants out of life.
Both of these characters are just so real. The thing about contemporaries, for me, is that I never believe them. Which is crazy because I primarily read fantasy so don’t ask me to make sense of that. I’m not sure I can. But with contemporary, it’s in our world with nothing else to explain away the unbelievable plot. Geekerella wasn’t out-of-this-world in terms of a crazy plot. The story was grounded. This is a girl who has a not-so-great home life, a boy who has been betrayed and hurt, a family in shambles after a death and handling it in their own way, a show that is more than a show.
I saw myself in Elle, in her struggles through life and trying to overcome a bad situation to make a better one. I saw myself in Darien, figuring out what I really want while letting others make the decisions for me until I get to that point. I saw myself with their romance, the late night texts and waiting for the other to respond, spilling secrets before you even realize you’re doing it.
This book is pure magic.
For the misfits and the dreamers, the geeks and the cool kids, I say to you: read Geekerella. Because everyone can get something out of this book.