By Ashley Poston
My thoughts on this book:
This is such a cute and clever story!
Ever since Elle was little, she’s loved a Sci-Fi TV series called Starfield. Her parents also loved the show and her dad actually started a convention called ExcelsiCon for Starfield fans. Now, there’s a Starfield reboot with new actors and a chance to enter a cosplay contest. Winners of the contest will get a chance to attend the ExcelsiCon Ball and meet the new actor playing the part of Prince Carmindor. Elle knows she must enter the contest because she’s an ultimate fangirl and lives for Starfield. The big problem is that Elle’s stepmother is bitter about anything that doesn’t benefit her and she hates Starfield. Elle will have to find a way to make this happen on her own and without her stepmom finding out.
Darien Freeman is a young actor who’s also a Starfield fan and he’s playing the star role as Prince Carmindor in the Starfield reboot. He’s become uncomfortable in this position because Starfield fans don’t seem to take him seriously. They think he’s a joke because of the previous show he starred in and don’t believe he’s a true Starfield fan. So now he wants to find a way to avoid the signing event at ExcelsiCon altogether, until he meets someone who helps him think otherwise. Will Darien be able to pull off the part and prove to everyone that he has what it takes to represent the original Carmindor?
The story does follow similar tropes and themes from Cinderella including a horrible stepmother, stepsisters, and other not-so-great circumstances. Elle still mourns the loss of her father and due to how she’s treated by her evil family, she has fairly low self-esteem. Her sisters are the popular kids at school and Elle doesn’t have many friends. She works on a food truck called ‘The Magic Pumpkin’ along with a girl named Sage who she eventually becomes quite close to. Elle learns a lot about being herself throughout the book and also about the true definition of family and friendship. I could totally relate to Elle and she’s definitely a likeable character.
I loved Sage! I think she turned out to be my favorite character. She’s exactly the kind of friend Elle needs. She’s strong, supportive, and teaches Elle to be herself and to be proud of who she is. Sage is different and isn’t afraid to express herself to anyone. This helps Elle tremendously, especially with her stepsisters, Chloe and Cal. I loved the way the author made these two sisters different with Chloe being the true evil one.
As for Darien, I liked his character. There were parts in the book where I thought he was a little annoying and even cocky at times, but he’s dealing with his own set of struggles, including a dad who he’s not close to and a nonexistent mother. When Darien became an actor, his friends became distant and everything sort of fell apart, so he doesn’t have many friends at this point. As for the parents, I couldn’t stand them. Elle’s stepmom is horrible and treats her like garbage. Darien’s dad is pretty bad too and cares more about what’s best for himself than what’s best for Darien.
Overall, I really enjoyed this retelling. I think the author was very creative with how she switched up the plot, setting, and characters. The writing is good and the pacing was spot on for me. I found some parts comical and even shed a few tears at other emotional parts regarding Elle and her dad. The ending was a little too cheesy for my taste and I didn’t like the way the characters came together, but I absolutely cannot deny that I was invested in these characters all the way to the end. Everytime I had to put the book down, I looked forward to picking it back up again.
I think anyone who loves Cinderella retellings will enjoy this book. I’m looking forward to the next book.
- Series: Once Upon A Con (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Quirk Books (April 4, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1594749477
- ISBN-13: 978-1594749476
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?
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.
This is my second read for my 2019 Retellings Reading Challenge. If you’d like to see my progress you can click the image below.
Thanks for reading my review! Have you read this book? Feel free to leave your thoughts below.