Thursday, March 02, 2017
Geekerella by Ashley Poston
I'm pretty sure I didn't know what the cover of Geekerella by Ashley Poston looked like when I accepted a copy for review. And, I'm almost positive I would have just skipped right over the offer, if I had. Thank goodness I didn't see the cover - which, obviously, I did not fall in love with (although it is very fitting) - and read the description with care because Geekerella is by far one of my favorite reads of the year, so far.
Elle lives in Charleston with a snippy stepmother Catherine and two stepsisters, Chloe and Calliope, all of whom would happily take her house and kick her out, if not for the fact that Elle will own their home as soon as she turns 18. Elle is a big fan of a cult classic TV show Starfield and a relatively unknown blogger and fan fiction writer. But, when she finds out her beloved Prince Carmindor is going to be played by teen actor Darien Freeman in a movie reboot, she writes a sharply-worded blog post about the terrible casting decision and the post is widely read. When she finds out about the cosplay contest at ExcelsiCon, the convention her father created, Elle decides she must try to win. Maybe it will be her ticket out of Charleston and away from her evil stepmother.
Darien is a teen star who has been pushed to succeed by his father. But, he really is a geek, at heart. Starfield is his long-time favorite show. He used to attend the annual sci-fi convention till the terrible betrayal of a friend along with stardom combined to keep him away. Now, as the star of the new Starfield movie, Darien is supposed to attend ExcelsiCon and judge a cosplay contest. As soon as he gets the news, he tries to locate the head of ExcelsiCon so he can talk his way out of it. Unable to get through, he texts the number at the ExcelsiCon website and ends up chatting with a fan of the show . . . one who does not like him as an actor at all.
While Darien and Elle develop a sweet texting relationship, Elle works in a vegan food truck called The Magic Pumpkin, writes her blog, and tries to figure out how she can get one of her parents' old cosplay costumes to work for her. Meanwhile, the evil stepmother has decided that she wants to sell the house - a house that really belongs to Elle - and one of her stepsisters has decided she must win the ExcelsiCon cosplay contest so she can attend the dance with Darien, even though she has no interest in Starfield at all.
Highly recommended - I cannot say enough good things about Geekerella. It is an absolute delight. The geeky aspect is incredibly authentic, from the description of the ExcelsiCon convention to the incredibly detailed storyline of Starfield. In fact, I was so impressed with the description of Starfield that I found myself wishing it really existed. I would happily watch the show if it did. But, what truly made Geekerella wonderful was the relationships. Sage, the daughter of the woman who owns The Magic Pumpkin, seems odd and distant at first, but she and Elle become fast friends. The texting friendship between Elle and Darien builds nice and slowly and eventually becomes incredibly romantic. And, because the book doesn't strictly follow the Cinderella storyline, there is a lovely surprise involving one of the stepsisters.
I particularly recommend Geekerella to anyone who likes an upbeat, romantic story about lonely misfits, anyone who enjoys sci-fi and/or fan fiction, and anyone looking for a totally charming upper. I read Geekerella just after finishing 2 of the March graphic novels and The Handmaid's Tale. It was the perfect antidote to both the horrors of reading about people being beaten while they fought for civil rights and a dark, dystopian read.
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