Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

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Anything can happen once upon a con…

When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her stepmother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all—not to mention a fangirl’s dream come true.

Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they’re nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

Let me first start out by saying, Disney’s Cinderella isn’t my favourite. I enjoyed it, but it was no Beauty and the Beast, or Aladdin.

That said, for some reason Cinderella retellings are my weak spot. A Cinderella Story with Hilary Duff—yes please! Ever After with Drew Barrymore—LOVE! Cinder by Marissa Meyer—absolute favourite! Cinderella Live Action with Lily James—be still my beating heart!

So, yeah. I was kind of excited for Geekerella.

And I got through it in around 24 hours. With two little ones to look after that’s no easy thing.

Ashley Poston writing really draws you in. Told from alternating the POVs of Elle and Darien, the story unfolds to a deliciously addictive romance. Both characters are so full and imagined it was easy to work out who was who even without the chapter headings, and I fell for them both instantly.

This story uses the ‘anonymous text’ storyline where the downtrodden girl doesn’t realise she’s actually texting a heartthrob movie star. It may be an overused plot device but I still seriously love it. And when it’s as well-executed as in Geekerella, it helps to propel the story forward.

The chemistry was all there. The giddy kind that pulls a smile onto your face and makes you feel what the characters are feeling. And while Elle and Darien totally stole my heart, this book wouldn’t be what it is without the subplots and side characters.

Firstly, Sage. I heart her so much. Literally every scene with her in it was a joy to read—she was one hell of a fairy godmother. Jess, Darien’s co-star was fantastic, and the Frank the dog was described so perfectly I could have reached through the pages and scratched that chubby puppy’s head.

Then there was Starfield. I love books about fandoms because they throw me back to my teen years, scouring the Harry Potter forums and writing (bad) fanfiction. I felt all that and more through Elle’s passionate love for the cult series, and how it united her with her father, and later, with her fellow cosplayers at ExcelsiCon.

And, while a separate note to the writing, the quality of this paperback was off the charts. Thick paper, and a gorgeous cover. When you pick up a thin book with a bit of heft to it, you know the book is worth the money.

I would rec this book to anyone in an instant. You like a bit of cute romance? Geekerella. You like Cinderella? Geekerella. You like quirky characters? Geekerella. Books with fandoms? GEEKERELLA.

Do yourself a favour.

AOaR_5star (3)

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Heather is rep’d by Carrie Howland of Empire Literary 

How do you review?

When I first started writing, it was all about getting the book finished. Then it was about finding someone to publish it. Then it was having my friends and family read it and not hate it.

Never, ever in a million years did I worry about reviews. *insert evil laughter here* Oh, how naive and foolish I was!

After my first book was published, I started reading the odd review, and I discovered that not everyone loved this book I had put my blood, sweat and tears into. That, despite people being less critical of an often cheaper cup of coffee, my book was apparently not up to scratch.

Of course, reviews are a part of author life, and soon I learnt that and came to accept it. And that even though you can get a glowing review and only 2.5 stars out of five, it’s all part of a good learning experience. And sometimes, reviews can provide great feedback on  your product.

All in all, it made me really think though about how I judge a book. What I look for when I review.

Here is what I keep in mind:

-The plot. Is it engaging, captivating? Does it make me want to turn the page? Are there any loose ends? Anything not wrapped up?

-The protagonist. Does he/she make stupid mistakes, time and time again? Do they experience growth? Development? Can I relate to and/or fall in love?

-The scenes. Are there any scenes that just don’t need to be there? Is there sex for the sake of sex? Are there times when my mind wonders and I think about bringing the washing in instead of whether Juliet will drink the poison?

-The resolution. Does it end on a cliffhanger, and if so, is it a good one? If not, are all loose ends tied up? Do I get that sense of growth and satisfaction deep within my soul that a good book will really do to you?

Does it end in a cliffhanger? Photo: sxc.hu

Does it end in a cliffhanger? Photo: sxc.hu

So, what about you? Tell me, what do you look for when reviewing a book?

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Lauren K. McKellar is the author of Finding Home, the Crazy in Love series, and How To Save A Life. If you take the time to review her work, she’ll love you forever. Or not, if you’d prefer.