Author: Ashley Poston
Published by: Quirk Books
Publication date: 4th April 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
“If I learned anything from twenty-three days in a too blue uniform playing a character I thought I could never be, it’s that when we become those characters, pieces of ourselves light up like glow sticks in the night. They shine. We shine. Together. And even when some of us fall to different universes, those lights never go out.”
Massive thank you to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Told in alternating perspectives is the story of two teenagers bonding over their love of Starfield, a television series that they both grew up on and that is soon to be getting a movie reboot which is now garnering more and more popularity every day.
Trapped in an overbearing household, Elle feels like she can only be herself on her blog, rebelgunner, where she gushes over Starfield and rants about the new (and inept) actor who has been cast in the upcoming film as the leading role. When she isn’t at home cleaning up after her stepmother and stepsisters, she’s sitting in a hot food truck trying to sell vegan food with a spunky girl with crazy green hair.
Darien Freeman’s recent rise to fame hasn’t been the easiest adjustment, what with being betrayed by his best friend and his father taking over management. And on top of that, he’s just been cast for the role of Carmindor, the main character in Starfield, a series that he is obsessed with. But the role of Carmindor isn’t easy to step into. Starfield is close to many hearts and Darien is under enormous pressure to do justice to his character. When he tries to get out of attending Excelsicon, he finds himself texting a girl who makes him feel normal, someone he doesn’t have to play pretend with.
Elle and Darien were cute from the start but the real star of this book for me was Sage. She’s the perfect model for what a best friend should be and I love her for sticking by Elle, even after their rocky start. Sage is just always so positive and mature about situations and I think it’s really important to have positive portrayals of female friendships in YA, especially in Geekerella, which I definitely see being popular among young readers.
Elle’s character development was really nice to see but it also happened pretty quickly and I couldn’t help but wonder where all her courage came from because she’s so timid and unable to stand up to her awful stepmother and stepsisters in the first half of the book and then all of a sudden she’s scolding the Darien Freeman and running around a massive convention center like she owns the place. The transition between timid Elle to confident Elle was just too improbable for me.
Geekerella is basically a nerdier [book] version of Another Cinderella Story and sadly there were just little moments here and there that didn’t get the attention they deserved. It’s a bit of a shame that I couldn’t get more into the story because it’s definitely for the geek in all of us and it’s very relatable in that sense but it is definitely geared more towards a younger reading group which is a shame because I know I would’ve loved this a few years ago (but I wanted to enjoy it now!).
There were a handful of diverse characters, which is always nice. However, none of the characters’ personalities were explored very much but that may just be my fantasy loving brain speaking. If someone isn’t questioning their moral compass (or lack of one) then I tend to find characters a little flat but as contemporaries go, this was definitely okay.
Overall, Geekerella is a fun take on the classic Disney tale of Cinderella, complete with evil stepmother, pumpkin and all. It’s not easy to make such a well known story your own but Poston did so very well. I think this will be an empowering book for younger readers and it was definitely filled with fandom pride. The ending had me grinning from ear to ear and I look forward to future novels from Poston.
“I’m half of my father. Half of my hero. And I am half of my mother. Half soft sighs and half sharp edges. And if they can be Carmindor and Amara–then somewhere in my blood and bones I can be too.”