Geekerella by Ashley Poston
Release date: April 4, 2017
An e-galley was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for review consideration.
Summary: 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.
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."
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: There's been a ton of nerdy books cropping up in YA lately, and while Geekerella does little to set itself apart from the crowd, it's still a fun story.
There were strong elements to Geekerella - ExcelsiCon, the costumes, Calliope, and the Magic Pumpkin. But I felt like they were dragged down by a cliche stepmother, a cliche stepsister, and a lack of chemistry. I just didn't buy that Elle and Darien were into each other. And while Catherine and Chloe were stereotypical and nothing out of the ordinary for a Cinderella retelling, Calliope surprised me in many good ways. I could see how she tried to be a better person but was scared to break out of her shell and upset her mother. I also liked her romance sub-plot, although it was a bit unexpected. Honestly, a story with her as the protagonist might've been more fun. I enjoyed how Sage fit the fairy godmother role, and I loved how all the people at the Con came together to help Elle out.
The movie filming seemed to go awfully fast (but then, what do I know?), and I didn't like anyone in Darien's circle, especially Brian. Which, I'm sure we weren't supposed to like Brian, but he annoyed me too much. Elle wasn't an exciting protagonist. Of course I rooted for her because her life was ridiculously unfair, but at the end of the day, there are heroines I liked more.
There's a smattering of s-words, but nothing worse than that. Violence and romantic content are all super clean.
The Verdict: Nice if you want something fluffy. A bit blah otherwise.