I was provided with an advanced reader copy by NetGalley for an honest review. Thank you to Quirk Publishing for the opportunity.
Hey guys! How’ve you been doing? Good? Good!
So I’ve been dying to read this book ever since it became available on NetGalley but only got access to it recently. Thus, this review comes a bit late but since there’s still a few days left until the release I feel very much accomplished XD
Hope you enjoy ❤
This review is completely spoiler-free.
- Title: Geekerella
- Author: Ashley Poston
- Publisher: Quirk Books
- Publication Date: April 4th, 2017
- Page Count: 320
***Please don’t use any of the graphics in this post.***
Geekerella tells the story of Danielle Wittimer, better known as Elle, a self-confessed fangirl of the franchise Starfield who splits her days between writing about it on her blog, working at the Magical Pumpkin (a vegan food truck) and the infinite chores assigned to her by her evil stepmother. Starfield is being turned into a movie and, like any fangirl, Elle has mixed feelings about it. At the same time, ExcelsiCon – her late father’s project – is just around the corner and Elle has one desire: to win the cosplay contest and get the winner prize that will set her free and allow her to be independent. With so much going on, is it possible for Elle to also find time for love?
Ever since I’d spotted that gorgeous cover and read the synopsis, I couldn’t wait to read this book. It looked absolutely adorable and way too relatable for words! I felt in my soul that I would love it even before I had it in my hands. And I did. But I also know what I didn’t love.
It was very easy to get immersed in Geekerella and shut everything else out. The story flowed nicely and everything was easy to follow. We get two points of view, and while I’m not usually a fan of first-person narrative, I think it worked here. The book doesn’t just dump information on the reader all at once; instead, it gradually adds details in accordance to the current character’s POV and own knowledge, which I appreciated. Sometimes with first-person, it just feels like the narrator is explaining stuff to the reader and it bothers me. Allow the story to speak for itself, thank you.
We get to see what goes on behind the scenes of Hollywood, the media and everything in between, which was actually quite interesting and does allow the reader to empathize with a seemingly unattainable character: Darien. We get to find a more human side to him, the side no one else sees or that everyone tries their best to ignore because it’s not profitable: his worries and insecurities, and how he’s just an overall average guy. He’s also incredibly sweet and awesome.
Elle was also a surprise. At first, I couldn’t really form an opinion about her. But then I really started to get her and feel for her. I wanted her to succeed and get her happy ending so badly. She was an epic mix of cute, funny and strong. And although I did feel like shaking her (and Darien) in frustration at times, I think that just serves to show how human they both are.
The nice little nods at the Cinderella tale were, in my opinion, incredibly well executed and subtle enough to keep the story balanced. This is a contemporary, so certain things would obviously not work like they did in the original. Poston twirled them around and gave them her own twist almost flawlessly.
Another great thing this novel has is its diversity. The male protagonist is described as being dark-skinned, and at least one half Indian. There’s one other character who is also described as dark-skinned but there might be more that I can’t recall. Then, there are a lot of characters whose sexual orientation is not heterosexuality. So bonus points for all that.
Geekerella is not just about romance, though. It follows both leads’ arcs as they grow and find their true selves with the help of their friends and even enemies. Friendship is very important in this book, and I’m glad there were entire moments dedicated to those special bounds. There’s girl power and bromance for days.
Finally, this book is the most adorable thing ever and I could hardly contain my squealing at times. The romance is so sweet and nice and heart-warming. I just wish there had been more of it!
Plus, there’s a dachshund. Enough said.
The pop culture references. There are a lot of them in this book and I did like that. However, most of the time they just felt random additions the author had shoved into the narrative to make it sound geekier. It felt a bit unnatural but it definitely got better as the story progressed.
There were times when I felt the story was being a little bit too unrealistic for my taste. I mean, it’s a story about modern Cinderella. It was bond to be a little over the top. But maybe keep certain things a tad more grounded? Especially when some other aspects were incredibly realistic and believable and just perfect.
Some of the side characters and the story itself felt so clichéd. I was expecting some cliché but not that much that it distracts me. And it frequently did. Especially when it came to the stepmother and stepsisters who were very one-dimensional (although they did get a bit better by the end) and the lack of development that came associated with them. Sure, the stepmom is the villain. She’s mean and affected and treats Elle like trash. But do we get to figure out what ticks her? Very briefly. And it could have added such depth to the story! Just to cite an example.
I also guessed a lot of the twists and revelations that were made and it kind of spoiled the fun for me a little bit. Some things were just very predictable (even major plot points) and never really surprised me. And not all of them had to do with this being a retelling.
Geekerella is like a sweet little galaxy cupcake with colorful star-shaped sprinkles: a marvel to look at, but losing a tiny bit of its magic upon the first bite. The idea of it is fabulous. Its execution? I guess it really depends on your taste. Do you love a rich, deep chocolate that takes its time producing incomparable flavor? Or do you prefer a sweeter, nostalgia-inducing one that plays with your taste buds as well as your heart?
It’s a lovely tale, an adorable narrative, with really enjoyable moments and amazing care in paying homage to the original Cinderella without overdoing it. If properly analyzed, I don’t think there’s anything specifically wrong with it. The leads are nice and so cute I could die, the sidekicks insanely complementary and the plot quite imaginative and complex for a YA contemporary. Like, really, it took me completely by surprise just how much there was to it.
Yet it lacked… Something.
Maybe my expectations were a bit too high. Maybe I was hoping for way too much out of something that doesn’t actually need to be more than it already is. Maybe this is for way younger audiences than I had anticipated.
I guess I kind of love this book in a way a mother loves her child: I know it has a few faults here and there and sometimes it disappoints me, but its good points vastly outshine the rest. It made me feel super nice and fuzzy inside and that’s what matters. Plus, geek love is the best!
I wouldn’t say it speaks for every fangirl/fanboy in the world but it definitely comes close.
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Thank you so much for reading and until next time!
Do you plan to read Geekerella? Share your thoughts below! ٩(｡•́‿•̀｡)۶