Geekerella (Once Upon a Con, #1) blurb:
Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic science-fiction 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 has ever wanted, but 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. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?
I really loved this story – it is definitely up there, if it’s not the best Cinderella retelling I’ve read. (Yes, I think this is better than Cinder.) Maybe it’s because I’ve been on a massive contemporary kick lately, but a lot of other people seem to love it as well.
Firstly, we have Elle, our Cinderella. Elle lives with her stepmother and two stepsisters (Calliope and Chloe). Elle works at the Magic Pumpkin – a giant orange vegan food truck that is painted like a pumpkin. But the thing I love most about Elle is that she is an unashamed nerd for Starfield (an old sci-fi show that was cancelled, and that her parents also loved), and blogs about it too. She doesn’t have a huge following, but she is passionate!!
Next up we have Darien, our Prince Charming. Darien is an actor who has been on a soap (which by all accounts is horrible), and wants to desperately to be Carmindor, the Starfield Captain, in the rebooted movie franchise. Putting Darien in this role means that the movie will come with a LOT of Darien-obsessed teen fans. But, will it be the right choice for all the die-hard Starfield fans from the TV series?
When Elle hears that Darien has been cast in her most anticipated movie EVER as her favourite character, she is so horrified she posts on her blog about the casting being a disservice to the tv show. Her blog post goes viral, and Darien is crushed by the media storm surrounding it.
Meanwhile, Elle is also trying to get away from her evil step-family. And one way to do it, is to enter the ExcelsiCon cosplay contest, as the winning prize will get her to Los Angeles. In a twist of fate, Darien accidentally contacts Elle about the convention, and they start to chat, without knowing the other’s identity. Obviously, this is where things start to go very wrong! (Or very right?)
I really liked the characters and the story for this one. Poston has this really beautiful, easy writing style that is very smooth, where you find yourself having sat down to read a chapter or two, and then find yourself still there three hours later, three quarters through the book. This was a genuinely funny and sweet novel that I smashed through in 24 hours. It had a lot of laugh out loud moments, and also a lot of cheering for both characters as they face their individual challenges.
I also loved the friendship that developed between Elle and Sage. Sage is a lot of the reason that Elle develops confidence to do so many of things that she does. Sage pushes Elle to her limits, and then encourages her that little bit further, and EVERYONE should have a friend like Sage. She is a beautiful human being and one of my favourite characters ever (she is highly underrated).
Poston also does a fantastic job of recreating the Cinderella fairytale in a really unique setting. Between the prince, the dress, the carriage, the shoes, the ball, and the search for Cinderella, it was all done with this magical precision that was an ode to the original, while still having its own voice.
However, what I loved most about this book, is that it’s a totally unabashed love letter to every single fangirl and fanboy out there. This is the encouragement you need to go out there and be you. Let your geek flag fly! (Says the girl sitting at her laptop with many book and anime stickers, while wearing a New York Excelsior jersey and Hogwarts Quidditch Captain pants…) You be you, and don’t let anyone else make you feel small for doing any different!
Until next time, happy reading 😊📚