Friday, June 9, 2017

REVIEW: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Author: Ashley Poston
Publisher: Quirk Books
Genre: Contemporary YA

I received this eBook via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My Ratings:
3/5 stars
PG-13 for some swearing
Recommend to geeks, nerds, and GEEKS, although more conservative readers should know there are several homosexual characters and references throughout.

Summary via Goodreads
When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her stepmother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all—not to mention a fangirl’s dream come true.

Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they’re nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

The Review:

Geekerella is a believable and lovely Cinderella-style story for those of us who love to attend (or mourn our inability to attend) those cons every year, who write detailed analyses of television shows and fictional characters, or pan poorly-done reboots.

When I decided to request this book, I wasn't expecting a whole lot. I figured this would be a fairly cheesy, modern Cinderella adaptation, like so many of those made-for-TV movies, only instead of having a singing competition or a dance-off, it would be set against a super geeky backdrop. I got way more than that.

A lot about Geekerella was pleasantly surprising. It boasts two great, fleshed out stories with a fully developed hero and heroine who both live and breathe the 'geek life' through a pretty fantastic (and sadly, fictional) cult classic show 'Starfield' -and, being a geek myself, I loved that. Geekerella also handles the love story well; I loved the relationship that Elle and Darien unwittingly stumble into and I love that it's born of relating to one another's life problems, hopes and dreams, and how their shared love of the Starfield fandom has seen them through the best and the worst.

My favorite character had to be Darien Freeman. I maybe fell a little hard for the closet geek, pretty boy actor who just landed the role of a lifetime. I loved everything about him. He has a good 'tragic' story in his past that makes his flaw of distrust reasonable. His favorite expletive is also "Holy [insert appropriate remark here], Batman!" which I absolutely adored, and I liked watching him shuffle between his public and personal personas and trying (and kind of failing) to find a balance between who manager Mark thinks 'Darien Freeman!' should be and who Darien Freeman actually is.

As for Elle, her best quality, I think, is her die-hard devotion to the Starfield fandom and everything it represents to her. What it doesn't tell you in the summary is that she runs a Starfield blog that hits it big overnight when she tears into Darien Freeman as being just a heart throb actor unworthy of donning the crown of her beloved Federation Prince. When she's in her element -anything to do with Starfield- she's a strong, capable character and definitely a heroine geeks can relate to. Outside of the Starfield fandom, I did get a little frustrated with just how helpless Elle seems under the thumb of her stepmother. Granted, this is a Cinderella trait, but I would have liked to see a bigger moment when she stands up for herself in her real life and manages to make a difference, rather than someone else stepping in to help her.

More than the good characters, the story has depth and insight for real life drama, tragedy, and love, all with a heavy geek culture influence that makes it a pleasure to read. This is a 5-star story set with a great hero and heroine.

So why did I only give it 3 stars? I've got to be honest. I was all set to run out and buy a copy of Geekerella, but about halfway through the book it revealed that two of the characters are homosexuals and that killed a lot of the enjoyment for me, so this one proved to be a tough rating. Geekerella definitely has a 5-star plot, maybe 4-star hero/heroine, but here on the blog I mostly rate books on personal enjoyment, so that lands it closer to a 3.

What TV show would you most like to see rebooted in film?


  1. I was curious about this one because I love anything geek. :) I was wondering why the fact that two of the character are homosexual killed the joy so I went to check your about page again. It's not there but I think I remember you mentioning you are very religious. Am I correct?

    1. And very conservative, yes. The geekiness of the book is Geek-with-a-captial-G, though.