[Geekerella]: A Review

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Today we are experiencing one of our first snowfalls of the season. My big kids are already outside; they’ve been waiting for weeks for this day! I am cozy on the couch with my favorite fuzzy blanket (thanks, sis!) enjoying our Christmas decorations and watching my kids play. It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

I am thrilled to already be back with another review! Miracles happen my friends! So when my baby naps for several days in a row–I blog! 🙂 Today I am sharing my review of Geekerella by Ashley Poston. I first heard about this book here in the book blogging world and bought it at my favorite local used bookstore. This was a really clever and totally nerdy retelling of the classic fairy tale, Cinderella. I really enjoyed it!

Initial Thoughts:

  • This is a fresh, fun retelling of the classic Cinderella story. It carves a new spot for itself in the fairy tale retelling genre. The Con setting is geeky, unique and so much fun.
  • I’ve never been to a Con but after reading this book, I kind of what to experience one! Certainly I can connect with the fandom side of Elle and Darien’s stories. The books and movies and shows that shape us really do make a difference! I appreciate the passionate fandom in this novel. I am a lifelong Harry Potter fan and can totally appreciate the culture and passion Poston creates in this novel.

According to Goodreads, “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.

The Cinderella connections are subtle and super clever. This book reads like it’s own story and I only noticed the subtle details when I was looking for them. I think that’s the best kind of retelling–one that holds it’s own as a story while also celebrating the classic tale. This story does that so well! Elle works in a food truck called the magic pumpkin which her friend Sage literally drives hours to the Con in Atlanta. Elle wears her mother’s beautiful cosplay dress and wears glass shoes that she loses one of in her haste to be back before curfew. She and Darien dance at the cosplay ball and it’s a magical evening. But I liked the twists on the original as well. They talk and build a relationship before the ball. Elle doesn’t make it back before curfew. Her stepsister knows she left and tells her stepmom. These surprises make the story new and exciting even if you’ve read dozens of Cinderella inspired tales before. And everything is set within the fandom of Starfield which was really fun.

I enjoyed the fandom, the cosplay and the nerdiness of the story. I’ve never read anything that focused on this subculture and it was really fun. Everything was so connected and vibrant. People are intensely passionate about Starfield and everything that comes with it. I enjoyed how Elle’s fandom was part of who she was, that it defined her in good ways and taught her worthwhile attributes like determination, courage, and loyalty. I would love to see this TV series! Elle’s character especially was easy to connect with because of her passion. I also appreciated how Darien felt about Starfield. It was nostalgic and part of his childhood. I can appreciate how fandoms can be like that. How they become part of our childhoods and personalities. 

As usual, I really enjoyed the multiple perspectives in this novel. One of my favorite narrative styles is when we get inside the heads of several characters. And it’s a lot of fun getting inside Darien and Elle’s heads. They see the world very differently. Darien creates an outward persona as a famous actor that isn’t true to his instincts and dreams. Starfield is more important to him than people realize. But he can be himself with Elle. While Elle has had difficulties most of her life. Starfield is the one constant in her life. The one thing that brings her joy and the movie revival seems destined to destroy her hopes for the series. I love how she also has to change how she views others, especially Darien. I enjoyed the connections between them with Elle’s blog, their interactions at the Con and their texts. The way the text had blog posts, texts and traditional chapters was really fun. And their relationship was sweet and relatable.

This was a fun read and a totally nerdy adaptation of Cinderella. I enjoyed the multiple perspectives and the clever connections to the classic story. Be aware there are some mature issues like homosexuality and verbal abuse. Definitely not for young readers. I’d recommend YA and above. This is the first book in a series all in this Starfield fandom universe. I’m not jumping into the sequels yet but I think they would be fun to read one day. 

What are some of your favorite fairy tale retellings?
Any Once Upon a Con fans out there? Which is your favorite book in the series?

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