Written by: Ashley Poston
Published: April 4, 2017 by Quirk Books
(Amazon / Goodreads)
Synopsis: Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale.
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. 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.
*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***
I have heard nothing but great things about this book and so when I was looking through my Kindle library for what to read next I decided to change things up a bit and read this contemporary Cinderella retelling. I'm glad I did because it was a sweet and fun read.
I have read my fair share of retellings and my favorite are always the ones that pay homage to the classic story but totally change things up. That is exactly what Geekerella did. It wasn't a perfect shot for shot remake but it was obviously the Cinderella story. The author did a great job of making it her own story however and bringing it into a modern setting. There were great references to the classic with things like a magic pumpkin, an evil stepmother, a curfew, and a missing shoe but they were all so creative. As far as retellings go, this was a creative one.
Part of what I think made this book so unique and interesting was the setting the author decided to put the book in. It was a Cinderella story about fandom. The characters were nerdy (more on them later), the experiences were geeky, and the ball was a Con. Plus on top of that there was this great story in the story with Starfield. As a fellow geek myself I appreciated the setting and the choices she made with them. The book is full of geek culture and references that I love but it also made its own fandom which was just as interesting.
As far as the characters go, I really like them. The Cinderella story is a well-played trope and therefore you wouldn't think there is a lot of growth when it comes to the titular character and her Prince Charming, but Poston managed to do just that. She created charming and likable characters who you rooted for and wanted to get together but she also created unique and complex characters who had their own growth throughout the story. It was kind of a coming-of-age story disguised as a fairy tale retelling and the characterizations added a good amount of depth to the book.
And you can't talk about a Cinderella story without talking about the romance. What I appreciated most about this take on the story is that it wasn't the classic instalove. It was a relationship that grew over time. And even when you thought it was going to finally come together there was a snag or something happened to prolong things. I surprisingly enjoyed that. It made a story that could have been basic much more interesting. But this was also a story about family and friendship. There were a lot of layers to it.
My only frustration was with the pacing. Despite the fact that it was a short read and it moved at a pace that ended with an exciting climax, I did feel like it moved a bit slowly. The amount of drama and challenges were entertaining but it did feel like they were just preventing the eventual ending from arriving. Plus it's the kind of book that is a little bottom heavy. Most of the good stuff happens in the last third of the book and I would have just liked it a little more spread out.
But all in all a really good contemporary. It was entertaining and fun with a sweet romance and surprisingly complex characters. But it was an even better retelling with a fun and unique spin on a classic fairy tale.
I give Geekerella by Ashley Poston 9 out of 10 stars
Have you read Geekerella? WHat did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!