Title & Author: Geekerella by Ashley Poston
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Quirk Books
Series Details: Standalone
Page Count: 320 Pages
Description: “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.”
A fangirl fairy tale retelling complete with geek chic cover art? Put them together and what have you got
bibbidi-bobbidi-boo a way to Taylor’s heart. Sorry for the faux lyrics, I couldn’t resist!
What I’m not sorry for is reading this book! Geekerella tells the story of Elle, a blog writing, Starfield obsessing teenager who’s been dealt a “crappy subplot, but is managing to live through it.” Tormented by her unrealistically evil stepsister & apathetic stepmonster, Elle can’t wait to turn 18 and get out of dodge (read: Charleston) and start a new life in L.A. She spends her days frying vegan fritters in the Magic Pumpkin food truck with her version of a fairy godmother (a green-haired lesbian named Sage), and her nights working on the perfect cosplay costume and texting her mysterious
Federation Prince Carmindor Charming.
The rest of the story continues much like the classic Cinderella narrative – with adapted twists of course – but differs due to the bits of nerd culture sprinkled throughout. That was the real reason this story resonated with me. The idea that no matter who you are, where you’re living, what you’re going through that fandoms can connect us all. The idea that us weird kids aren’t alone.
“And yeah, there might not be real magic in this world, but there is the power of fandom — the power of passionate people who, when working together, can birth movies out of canceled one-season sci-fi shows, resurrect fictional towns like Stars Hollow, and created endearing fan-musicals that will last far longer than its Muggle counterpart — and that kind of magic will never disappear.”
It’s comforting to know that I read this book during the 20-year publication anniversary of Harry Potter – the fandom that started it all for me. I remember being 8-years-old sitting in my grandparents condo in Florida reading “You’re a wizard, Harry” and knowing life would never be the same. I remember waiting at Barnes & Noble for midnight book releases and shunning the world till I devoured every last word. I remember crying in my bed – in front of my boyfriend *facepalm* – after the forest scene in the final novel and thinking it was all over. I remember feeling such a passion for these stories and these characters I’d spent a majority of my life growing up with and also feeling like that wasn’t “normal.” I remember being teased and judged for getting “so invested” in “children’s stories.” I remember wanting to downplay my interest out of fear of judgement. But part of growing up is realizing that “sometimes the universe delivers” and sometimes you’re connected with the best people, best experiences, and best memories due to committing to yourself and your fandoms. And that’s what this book does. It states loud and proud that being yourself is enough and loving what you love is okay. And while this probably wouldn’t have resonated with me in latter years, I can’t imagine the impact a book like this could have had on teenage me.
I agree with Poston that fandoms can create magic. And if you’re in need of some magic, a new fandom, or a cute read this summer, I promise-swear this one is for you!