Published by Quirk Books on April 4th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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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.
Geekerella is an extremely fun, light-hearted and geeky retelling of Cinderella and I highly, highly enjoyed it. It’s the perfect book if you’re looking for a contemporary romance that can be read in one sitting. The characters are quirky and lots of fun and I really enjoyed the relationship dynamics between the characters.
The story follows Danielle, or Elle, who now lives with her stepmother and twin stepsisters after the passing of her father a few years ago. She’s obsessed with the Starfield series that she used to watch with her father and the novel begins with the announcement of a new adaptation of Starfield. However, as a long-time and true fan of the series, she is not happy at all with the casting of Darien Freeman as the lead character of Federation Prince Carmindor. Unbeknownst to her, she begins a texting relationship with Darien Freeman himself, and begins to fall for her mystery Carmindor. Throw in a cosplay contest at ExcelsiCon, and you’ve got a super fun and exciting read.
I found the story to be really enjoyable to read. It was fast-paced and fun and I found myself breezing through it in just one short sitting. It was quite a close retelling to the original Cinderella story but I didn’t really mind that it was slightly predictable because the contemporary and geeky setting made it a lot of fun to read. I also liked that I didn’t really have to work too hard on finding links to the original fairytale because it was so closely based on it. It was just a really quick and uplifting read. I really liked the geekiness of the book and I loved the Starfield world. Being a bit of a geek myself, it was a really relatable story and I could completely understand the frenzy that surrounded the news of the adaptation. I liked every aspect of it, especially the convention and the cosplay competition.
What I liked most about the novel was the romance and the relationships between the characters. I thought Elle and Darien were perfect together and the fact that they were both massive fans of Starfield, and that that was what drew them together in the first place, was fantastic. I thought they complemented each other really well and the scenes they had together were some of my favourites. I also really enjoyed Elle’s relationship with her coworker, Sage. I loved the friendship that developed between them and how much enjoyment Elle got out of introducing Sage to Starfield. It’s such a relatable moment for any fangirl or fanboy.
Elle was a fantastic protagonist in my opinion. I really loved reading from her perspective and how much she wanted a new life for herself, away from the pressures that her stepmother and stepsister put on her. I found her really easy to connect with and loved how much pride she took in her history. I also really loved Darien’s character and that we also got to read from his perspective. It made him a lot more relatable and I appreciated how much of a geek he actually was. I was also a big fan of the diversity that was in the book. Darien was Indian (or at least part-Indian) and I appreciated that the character of Carmindor himself was also intended to be a person of colour in the Starfield series. There was also an f/f relationship in the book that came out of nowhere but was really exciting to see.
All in all, I thought Geekerella was a lot of fun to read and was exactly what I needed. It was fast-paced and the romance made me swoon, and there’s not much more that I could have asked for.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Thanks to Quirk Books for providing a review copy of the book. Geekerella is now available at retailers for $US 18.99.