by Ashley Boston
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.
What does this have to do with Geekerella, you ask?
Well, only that this book is basically a love story to anyone who has every loved a thing.
Danielle is our token Cinderella - with the whole evil step mother, and at least one evil stepsister (the other one is not so bad). Elle is a lonely, but passionate young girl (17 y/o) who lost both of her parents, and who can't seem to get along with her present family. Thankfully, she has her blog which centers around Elle's (and her father's) favorite show, Starfield. She becomes determined to join the cosplay contest with the prize being a trip to see the premiere of the newly rebooted Starfield movie starring newest heartthrob, Darien Freeman (the other POV of our story). We learn that Darien is quite the fanboy himself, but lacks the freedom of showing that to the world since his father is now his manager.
What I loved about this book, besides it's utter cuteness, is that we see both sides of the coin. The reader is shown Elle, a girl who last knew freedom when her father was alive, and then Darien, a boy whose freedom has been taken away by his eagerness to be something, as well as his greedy father. Both seem to have lost some of their spark - some of that light that shines through. They hold onto it so harshly, but the people around them keep chipping away. And I think that's where the fandom comes in.
This book is a love story to the fandoms and the fangirls and fanboys that love them so. Elle and Darien are both fans of Starfield, and it is ultimately what connects them to others and to each other. Other fans become part of their support - a sense of community that is very important to these two very lonely people.
If you choose to read this book, I encourage you to read the author's acknowledgements/notes section. It will remind you of your inner fan and fandom, and the importance of keeping that love and appreciate strong. It is also important to never, and I do mean NEVER, let someone make you feel that the appreciation is wrong, silly, childish, or not worth your time.
If you like it, and it's not hurting anyone, enjoy it. Hold on to those things that make you smile, and feel, and love.
I loved this book.