Geekerella Was Charming Enough, but Fell Flat for My Personal Taste | Review: Geekerella (Once Upon a Con, #1) by Ashley Poston

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Geekerella made me feel like maybe I'd have loved it, if I were a few years younger. It was still a fun read, though, make no mistake.


Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale.

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. 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.

Geekerella (Once Upon a Con, #1) by Ashley Poston 
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2.5) 

Okay, I think this one just wasn't my time. You know those books that you wait so long to read, you anticipate so much, but then end up not liking them like you wanted to? Geekerella is one of those books for me. I'd been hearing nothing but raving reviews for it since it was published and, yes, the comparisons to one of my all-time favourite YA novels, Fangirl.

It just... didn't live up to what I'd hoped it would? Ack. Which isn't a complaint, per se, but its still not a great note to be made. Geekerella just didn't work for me for many reasons and all of said reasons boil down to personal preference. I don't even know if I can pinpoint exactly what made me not love and live for Geekerella.

Such is life--not everything works for everyone, as I always say. I have to wonder if I'm just not keen on Cinderella retellings at this point? I've loved a few. More often than not, they just don't work for me in the end.

There was this cutesy, quirky quality to it that was solid and I really enjoyed the setting and premise, as well as the inclusion of some good old fashioned geeky things. Further, Geekerella had a really light weight to itself that made reading a blast and tugged a few smiles from me. It goes without saying that I loved the message behind Geekerella, too.

Geekerella is a true-to-tone retelling of Cinderella. It has your standard evil step-monsters in the form of step-mother and step-sisters. Poston crafted the setting and twists quite well, adding a modern spin on things and catering to a specific audience. It's easy to see why so many readers are, and always will be, enamored by it.

Overall, I loved seeing the ties into the many forms of Cinderella and thought that it was a relatively sweet novel, despite it not being something I would ever want to reread again. I definitely believe I am one of the small groups of people who just couldn't connect with Geekerella, but that if I were a teenager I'd have probably obsessed over it.

At the end of the day, I found Ashley Poston's writing to be cheerful and honest and I will likely be continuing on with the series--which features retellings of classic fairy-tales The Prince and the Pauper and Beauty and the Beast. And those seem to be more up my alley that this particular installment!

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