Sunday, May 20, 2018

Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

(Starfield #1)
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Hardcover, 320 pages, Quirk Books
Genres: YA, Contemporary

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic science-fiction 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 has 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.

My Review

If you’re looking for a cute, no-true-substance contemporary read about geeky people being oddly persecuted (despite us living in a geek-accepted day and age), then this book is the one for you. I don’t want to come off as too harsh while reviewing this book, because it had its fun moments, but it was just all around too cliché.

So the story is based off of Cinderella. Danielle is playing the leading lady. Darien Freeman, the actor playing Carmindor in Danielle’s favorite franchise, is the prince. And, of course, there are the evil stepmother and stepsister(s). Why can’t any book make a realistic, three-dimensional stepmom? Without one, Danielle’s entire storyline just felt like a pity party. Danielle also made some strange decisions that had me doubting her realistic-ness as well. (I mean, who takes a dog to a premiere?! Paris Hilton? Really?) There were other more important strange decisions, but the dog one forced me to knock the book down a half star. It was just odd….

Before I get too much into the less impressive qualities of the book, I’ll share the good stuff. Darien, while also whiny, had a very interesting storyline. I found myself enjoying his chapters much more often than Danielle’s. He was an actor on a popular movie set versus Danielle’s cliché situation. So yes, his chapters were better.

The geeky setting of the story was also very cute, but there were too many corny “We’re all in this together” moments. Conventions are not High School Musical. Oh, but the Starfield universe does sound super cool! The author should write books about those characters! (I know she wrote a new sci-fi YA book. I’ll be reading it at some point.)

All in all, maybe this book just wasn’t for me or I read it at the wrong time in my life to truly enjoy it. I was hoping for a Cinderella Fangirl, but I just got a more contemporary Cinderella a la Hillary Duff’s A Cinderella Story. If that’s your thing, check this one out. If not, just reread Fangirl.

*Note: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way affected my opinion/review.

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