Geekerella: A Fangirl Fairy Tale
by Ashley Poston
Published: April 4th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Fairy Tale, Retelling, Romance
Format: Hardcover (320 pages)
Source: For Review
Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale.
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 the Starfieldfandom 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.
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."
Fandom meets Cinderella with a Gilmore Girls-level of nerd culture references, Geekerella was witty, charming and funny. There were references to Lord of the Rings, The Little Mermaid, Firefly, Star Trek, Star Wars and yes, even Gilmore Girls. Every reference was a fun little surprise. The author gets all the nerd points I can bestow for putting a Lion King and Star Wars reference in one sentence.
“Oh young Padawan…everything the light touches is our kingdom. Let’s go explore it.”
-Ashley Poston, Geekerella pg 229
Geekerella is a modern retelling and there is no magic. It takes place in the real world with clever nods to the fairy tale. Instead of a prince, there’s a famous celebrity. Elle works at a food truck that serves pumpkin. There’s a con (similar to ComiCon) instead of a ball. But there was a different kind of magic in the story. The author describes it like this in the acknowledgements:
And yeah, there might not be real magic in this world, but there is the power of fandom–the power of passionate people who, when working together, can birth movies out of canceled one-season sci-fi shows, resurrect fictional towns like Stars Hollow, and create endearing fan-musicals that will last far longer than its Muggle counterpart–and that kind of magic will never disappear.
-Ashley Poston, Geekerella Acknowledgements
My nerd heart needs a moment to recover from that surprisingly touching tribute to nerds like me.
Darien, the “prince” in this story, was honest and relateable about the pros and cons of what it’s like to be a celebrity. His life is privileged yet very controlled (similar to a real prince actually, now that I think about it). When Darien is blindsided by the massive success of his new movie, his reaction reminded me of Robert Pattinson’s reaction to his sudden Twilight fame– baffled and surprised by the sheer passion of fans (“Is that girl wearing my face on her shirt?” Darien says on pg 22 and I swear Robert Pattinson said the same thing). I found Darien completely fascinating.
I was addicted to the story towards the end. There’s an Ever After flavor going on with connections to Elle’s mother through a dress. Where the story was going was pretty predictable (it is a retelling, after all), but I still was on the edge of my seat anticipating the fall-out that I saw coming. And even then Geekerella still managed to surprise me a little bit. It’s pure nerd heaven (Nerdvana??) Read it. You won’t be sorry.
Book Review of Geekerella on a Post-it
I received this book for review from the publisher, Quirk Books, in exchange for an honest review. I was not told what to say, I was not paid to write this review and all the opinions expressed are my own.