Geekerella // A Fangirl’s Love Letter To All Things Geeky And A Book Which Made Me Like Cinderella

03 April 2017

Geekerella – Ashley Poston
Published: 4th April 2017
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Retelling, Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Rating:
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 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.

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 was nervous about this book. I mean, it was obviously a Cinderella retelling from the title (I’m not a total idiot) but it hadn’t fully registered what that would mean until I thought about reading. Cinderella was not my favourite fairytale growing up because she is pretty damn passive. The girl does not save herself she just waits for a man to claim her to get her happily ever after and that always bothered me. So, the prospect of a modern retelling of that scared me a little. Even if our Cinderella is a total fangirl which I can totally get behind.

Luckily, my doubts were unfounded. The book wasn’t a modern retelling where a girl waits for a boy to fall in love with her and solve all her problems because that would be even less palatable in the modern world than it would in fairytale land for me. Instead, Elle is a fangirl of the fictional sci-fi show Starfield. She has seen all the episodes, blogged and dissected them to her hearts content especially the new casting of Darien Freeman as the new lead who doesn’t meet her expectations. Starfield is her escape and her connection to her dad. She has been suffering under her stepmother’s wild demands and the bullying of her stepsisters for years so that TV show is her only true escape from things for her. I could totally relate to this girl’s major fangirling and the utter dedication to a long since ended show. Elle is totally the reason I enjoyed this book because she is a fangirl and a person I can relate to. I may not go to cons and such but I have watched and rewatched many a show and I can relate, even if I don’t quite get how she can suffer under her stepmother the way she does.

And then there is our Prince Charming, Darien Freeman. He is a teen heartthrob with insured abs (I totally don’t think you can insure a body part by the way, that makes no sense) who basically has no friends. He is thrilled to be the lead in the Starfield reboot, it’s everything he wants but he puts so much pressure on himself to live up to the role of Carmindor and get it right. He doesn’t have friends, not anymore after he was betrayed, but he has his handler. It was interesting seeing this guy who girls scream about have all these doubts as he’s so young and question his ability to do something when he knows the original program so well.

It was so cool not just following Elle and her struggles to enter the big cosplay competition and do her parents proud whilst hiding it from her stepmom. And it was interesting to see her finally make friends with someone in the form of teal haired Sage who works at the food truck with her. She is such an awesome replacement for the fairy godmother it’s unbelievable. Their friendship was definitely a highlight in the book for me. If I hadn’t enjoyed the romance so much then this would have been the best part, they were so fun together.

I don’t want to reveal too much, I am keeping this so spoiler free it’s insane but as I said at the start, Cinderella bored me as it was everyone else doing the work and she was pretty much along for the ride until she got herself a man to rescue. This isn’t the case with Elle. The girl is filled with major self-doubt (and who wouldn’t be after constantly having their stepmom plan on you self-doubt and telling you you’re not good enough) and she struggled to believe she can do things but she is the one who gets the idea to enter the cosplay competition and is full on determined to do it alone and it’s Sage who volunteers to help. It was a major step for Elle to accept help from others as she has very much created a bubble around herself to prevent future pain. It was like that throughout the book, Elle has to learn to accept a helping hand and it’s only when she does that things go right for her. She also doesn’t rely on Darien to fix everything, she is totally willing to stand up for herself on most things, it’s only her family where she falls down and we all do and it’s there she needs the support.

I know none of what I said makes sense unless you’ve read it as well but it’s awesome. Elle is this totally relatable girl who will have you cheering her on and you wanting her to win so she can pursue her dreams. Sure, Darien is in it too and I love his inner geek like nobodies business, especially when he starts standing up for himself in his career, but this book is about Elle all the way for me and she was pretty damn awesome.

Have you read Geekerella, what were your thoughts? And what’s your favourite fandom book, you know, the ones which are a love letter to fandoms everywhere?
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