Thursday, December 7, 2017

ARC Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Title: Geekerella
Author: Ashley Poston
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Quirk Books
Pages: 320
Add to Goodreads

//I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review//
Anything can happen once upon a con…

When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her stepmother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all—not to mention a fangirl’s dream come true.

Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they’re nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

Elle is stuck living with her awful step-mother and step-sisters. They treat her like garbage and constantly make fun of her Starfield obsession, the only thing she has left to connect her to her late father. Now, on top of it all, Darien Freeman (teen sitcom heartthrob) has been chosen to play the lead in the new Starfield movie, and he could not be more wrong for the part. Meanwhile, Darien is struggling to balance his geeky interests with his fame. When their paths collide, Elle and Darien learn a lot about fandoms, fame, and themselves.

Ok, I had a love/hate relationship with this book. But it definitely ended up with love in the end. At first, I wasn't entirely convinced by the Cinderella retelling. I want my retellings to be more original and veer away from the traditional story. I don't mean that Geekerella wasn't original, by any means. But there are lots of aspects from Cinderella that appear throughout the book. A girl living with her step-mother and two horrible step-sisters, forced to clean and cook for them, and working in a food truck called the Magic Pumpkin. And that's just the start. There's even a glass slipper. It's not a bad thing to include these elements, but it's not my personal preference.

I got over this issue pretty quickly, however. I was able to look past the cheesy Cinderella elements as I kept reading and fell in love with the story and characters. The book actually ended up being a combination of Cinderella and You've Got Mail (which happens to be one of my favorite movies of all time). The story was so stinking cute. All of the supporting characters were brought to life beautifully and some of them were absolutely hilarious. And you couldn't help but root for Elle and Darien - personally and romantically.

While the story was obviously leading toward a happily ever after, the romance didn't feel overbearing. Of course it was there (this is a Cinderella story after all), but I found myself cheering Elle and Darien on throughout the book as they were finding their place in the world. It was nice to see a book with a romantic story, but characters that were independently strong on their own.

Overall, Geekerella turned out to be sticky-sweet and ooey-gooey and just wonderful. It is such a lovely feel-good story that I think just about everyone can enjoy. If you are a hardcore member of pretty much any fandom, you will understand and love Elle's and Darien's commitment to Starfield. Even if you aren't a fangirl or fanboy, you will still love the hilarious and adorable story presented in Geekerella.