Author : Ashley Poston Genre : YA / Retellings No. of Pages : 320 Publisher : Quirk Books My Rating : ★★★★ out of 5.
I picked up Geekerella purely because I was bored. I’m stuck in this weird – not quite in a book slump but not eating my way through books – limbo right now. I wanted an easy read for instant gratification and this book provided me exactly that. I do not regret picking this one up, in fact I’m glad.
As it’s apparent from the title itself, Geekerella is a geeky re-telling of the oft retold fairy tale Cinderella. Seriously, the amount of times fairy tales like Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast have been retold, I feel like they will be permanently singed into our DNA, leading to future babies being born with these stories pre-loaded in their brains. Because it’s yet another Cinderella story, I jumped in headfirst into the book – didn’t even read the blurb – I expected nothing at all. I’m happy to say that the book surprised me in a very good way.
I would begin by saying Danielle Wittimer or Elle is a 17-year old who lives with her stepmother and her step-stepsisters (?) in a miserable household. but what defines Elle the most is that she is a Stargunner or a fan of the widely popular Sci-fi series Starfield. Her late father – her hero – was a huge fan of the series and got her into it early on so Elle practically grew up a huge fan. She runs a successful Starfield blog where she interacts with fellow Stargunners. Her father had founded a convention called the Excelsicon which grows to be really popular and successful but Elle could not be a part of it because Evil Stepmother.
I loved Elle’s bordering-on-obsession love for Starfield. To her, the series has taught everything about love and friendship but also it makes her feel close to her late parents who were great fans and cosplayers complete with their own costume and everything.
On the other hand, we have Darien Freeman who is an 18-year-old rising movie star, also a huge nerd who adores Starfield like Elle. Darien’s dorkiness, his struggle with identity crisis, loneliness, all this was well done. I liked his characterization. I felt for the boy just as I did for Elle. They both feel they are alone in a crowded world where people don’t see them for what they really are. Elle is just a friendless weirdo and Darien is just an up-and-coming movie star whose every move is supposed to be a publicity stunt. But they both take refuge in the universe of Starfield and that right there is the essence of fandoms.
Geekerella is not just a retelling, it’s also a love letter to fans and fandoms and pretty much anyone who’s ever loved any fictional world with all their heart and may be got made fun of because “it’s not real” – It is. I know that the TARDIS will never land in my backyard ever, but I will always continue to derive happiness and hope from Doctor Who, that is very much real even if it is just a TV show.
The book had SO many sci-fi / fantasy / popculture references that blended in seamlessly with the story, it just warmed my heart. I ADORED the parts that involved the Excelsicon convention, because I feel like I lived vicariously through the characters for a few pages – being present at a big convention, nailing the cosplay of a favourite character, meet and greet etc.
(…It is my dream to attend the San Diego Comic-Con at least once in my life. I would need a miracle to pull it off, but I’m hoping for one anyway. *double thumbs up*)
I really liked this quote by Darien — sums up the definition of fandoms pretty well. We’re all in this together.
We might all be different – we may ship different things or be in different fandoms – when we become those characters, pieces of ourselves light up like glow sticks in the night. They shine. We Shine. Together.
I did not like the way Elle acts all superior and bratty because she’s such a serious fan, especially in the beginning. I actually considered abandoning the book because her narrative was very annoying (it did get better though) Also, she was extremely prejudiced towards Darien just because he did not fit her idea of the Federation Prince Carmindor. I get it, it’s pretty common for an artist to get cast just for their star power even if they are not a fan of old series / comics. There are fans who get pissed when that happens so I think this could be a good example of how we needn’t and shouldn’t jump into conclusions without giving an artist their chance to prove themselves playing the character.
Another thing I didn’t enjoy was : Insta-love, but via text. This was basically straight out of Hilary Duff’s Cinderella movie. I have never liked insta-love which
unfortunately is commonplace in YA books, so I didn’t love it in this book either. It was utterly impossible too. You don’t just fall in love with a stranger via text just because they love the same sci-fi series as you!!? I just…
BUT. but. Geekerella talks a lot about “impossible” – impossible things happening in an impossible universe…just a whole lot of impossible-ness – because this is a retelling of an unrealistic fairy tale. So I’m going to cut this impossible insta-love some serious slack. This along with some other eye-roll worthy romance portions.
All things considered, I’m impressed with the speed at which I went from *I’m going to abandon this book* to *I’m giving it 4 freaking stars*
The more I kept reading, the more it felt like a tribute, a love letter to fandoms – I would feel guilty if I give a lower rating. I would recommend this book definitely for that reason, even if you’re not into fairy tale retellings.
Look to the stars. Aim. Ignite.
My Rating : ★★★★ out of 5.