5-Star Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston
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.
Man, I loved this book so much. It was cute, and fun, and a super enjoyable retelling (which, I admit, I'm a total sucker for). In general, Cinderella is one of my least favorite fairy tales, so I didn't walk into Geekerella expecting to fall madly in love with it. But the way Ashley Poston handled the retelling was really smart and so engaging. She does this in part by making the fandom center to the story rather than just the retelling of the Cinderella story. It all revolves around an old sci-fi TV-show-turned-movie called Starfield. The way both the show (and movie) and ExcelsiCon were described made me sad that I couldn't actually watch this show and be a part of this fandom. Our Cinderella (Elle) is a great main character, and so is our hero. Elle's father was the one who started ExcelsiCon, and Darien is the possibly-miscast lead in the modern film adaptation of Starfield. Their romance is slow, and a bit hate-to-love, and very sweet. I totally ate it up, staying up late to finish the book. So, this is definitely a romance book (it's Cinderella, after all), but it's just as much about friendship and nerd culture as it is about the romance. Most of the supporting cast is great as well. I especially loved Sage, her coworker at the Magic Pumpkin vegan food truck. (It could all get so silly so fast, but it doesn't.) My only gripe about the story (which is pretty much my gripe about Cinderella and its retellings, in general) is that the Stepmother and Stepdaughters are a little too obviously evil (well, mostly). I wish there was a little more complexity to their characters rather than just straight-up greedy meanness. But I want to make it very clear just how much I loved this book. I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for a fair review, and then immediately went and pre-ordered a copy once I finished. And I'm so glad I got a physical copy! It's a gorgeous book, with fun cover art, nice pages and a great layout.
Published by Quirk Books on April 4, 2017