Another entry into my fandom book collection, and one that I plan on growing as they keep getting released. This is one of my new favourite trends in YA, along with all of the wonderful #ownvoices we are getting this year!
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 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. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?
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.
This review is spoiler free of course!
I’ m not going to lie, 5 pages into this book and I almost put it down to never pick it up again. I was well aware going into it that it was a Cinderella re-telling, how more obvious could it be with a title like Geekerella?! I got seriously frustrated through these first few pages – but I persevered. And boy oh boy, was I rewarded.
After my initial dislike, I descended into pure adoration. This book is so so relatable to any person, in any fandom ever. Elle’s love is for Starfield, an old TV show that is getting a film reboot – and I’m sure a lot of us can relate to the combined excitement and fear and trepidation that Elle feels during the oncoming revelations about said reboot. This is the part of the book that gripped me, the easy relatability of Elle.
Elle as a character is passionate and outspoken on her Starfield dedicated blog, yet quiet and overshadowed when it comes to her step-family. She is two different people, adapting to her home life in order to get along amicably. I really enjoyed reading from Elle’s POV – I thought the contrast in similar feelings between her and Darien really was the driving force behind the book.
Darien was an incredibly intriguing character – an actor who suddenly finds himself in the limelight. He was very humanising, for the audience. Obviously, we all know that actors have their own lives and feelings and emotions, but it was rather eye-opening to read from it. I honestly could’ve read a whole book of Darien, he was honestly quite thought-provoking.
This wouldn’t be a true Geekerella review if I didn’t mention Sage, Elle’s unexpected friend and co-worker that stole every page she was on. She was witty and encouraging and the kind of friend I would adore to have. Although completely unaware of Starfield initially, she was so open-minded and willing to help. She had a green hair and made her own clothes and happily helped Elle create her cosplay just because! Honestly, every review I’ve read of Geekerella has raved about Sage, and rightly so, because she was an absolute gem.
Despite my original misgivings about the Cinderella re-telling, it really developed along with the characters. The author truly did an 180 on me, and I’m so glad she did. We get to the nitty-gritty behind the strained, toxic relationship between Elle and her step-family, and it completely changed my mind on the whole plot. I truly appreciate the pacing of the novel, as there were just enough twists and turns to keep us consistently entertained and intrigued.
Also, Elle and Sage work in a pumpkin truck, what an ingenious twist!
Overall, this book was a complete joyride, knowing the right time to be humorous and the right time to pull on those emotional heart-strings. I honestly had my entire viewpoint on this novel flipped on their head, and I’m so glad. It had the chance to be a cheesy, unoriginal piece, but the talented author ensured that didn’t happen, giving us instead a heartfelt ode to fandom. Most of us, as readers of this book, will have our own version of Starfield – mine being Harry Potter, others being Lord of the Rings or Star Trek, we will all have our own baby that we get incredibly (sometimes unnecessarily) protective over, and that is why this book is so well thought out. It’s just so relatable!
I would thoroughly recommend this book to contemporary readers, YA or adult alike, to fans of Sci-Fi or Fantasy, and mainly if you’re fan of something, you will enjoy this book.
Have you read Geekerella, is it on your radar, or are you eagerly awaiting its release? Let’s chat.