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.
Geekerella by Ashley Poston went on my wish list the moment I first heard about it, back in November. So when Penguin Random House asked me if I wanted an ARC I was pretty excited. Not only is this book a Cinderella retelling (and you guys all know how much I love retellings) but it is also a book that focuses on fandom! Being a pretty geeky girl, that has been involved in multiple fandoms since I was a kid, I always love reading books that have a focus on fandom. Geekerella was such an adorable, cute, and fun read. It was everything I expected it to be and more.
The two main characters, Elle and Darien, were both very well written and relatable. Elle, short for Danielle, is our Cinderella. She lives with her stepmother and two stepsisters, and feels incredibly isolated and alone. However instead of letting that make her weak or keep her down it motivates her to work hard and find a way out. Elle’s escape is Starfield, a Sci-Fi TV show, and she is heavily involved in the fandom. When Elle is lonely she turns to Starfield and the fandom, it helps her feel less alone and helps her to feel like she’s part of something. I really related to that aspect of Elle, as I suspect most fandom loving people will. I loved Elle as a character, she was funny and sarcastic and very well rounded.
Darien, our other main character and “prince charming”, is an actor starring in the new Starfield Movie. He’s also a huge Starfield fan, but his manager has him pretending that he doesn’t know much about Starfield which in turn makes him pretty disliked by the die-hard fans. Darien’s character was sweet and fun, he was definitely my favorite. There were also a few really great side characters as well, which in my opinion is one of the things that make a good book into a great book. Sage was my favorite side character, her “no bullshit” attitude and humor was really entertaining.
The romance between Elle and Darien was sweet and pretty cute. At first they get to know each other via texting. I wasn’t into the texting at first, but it definitely grew on me as I got further into the novel. It wasn’t a Rose and Jack level (Titanic) romance, but it was cute and perfect for spring. As for the plot, Poston managed to include all of the major Cinderella plot points in her own unique way. It was well paced and interesting. It was pretty predictable, but that didn’t bother me. After all, there are only so many things you can do with a contemporary YA Cinderella retelling.
My absolute favorite aspect of the book though was the fandom. Poston did such a great job creating Starfield and integrating the fandom into the story. Her portrayal of the online fandom was really accurate and well done. I also loved how real Starfield felt, and how both Elle and Darien’s love for Starfield really shined throughout the entire novel –anyone that is passionate about a particular book/movie/series will relate to just how much both of these characters loved Starfield.
Overall I don’t think that there is a single thing that I would change about this novel. I absolutely loved it. If you’ve ever watched the movie A Cinderella Story and enjoyed it than chances are you will enjoy this book. If you’re a geek/nerd like me and are involved in fandoms than chances are you will enjoy this book. If you’re just looking for a fun, light, and cute spring/summer read than chances are you will enjoy this book. If you’re a fan of fairytale retellings than chances are you will enjoy this book. This one was a solid 5/5 stars for me, and I definitely recommend it.