Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston | A Sweet, Fluffy Yet Resonant Love Letter to Fandom

“Look to the stars. Aim. Ignite.”

I’ve finally unleashed my true fangirl side in Geekerella.

Honestly, I was pretty skeptical, and wasn’t expecting much upon going in. I have read my fair share of Cinderella retellings and it does get repetitive over time, thus I was wondering if Geekerella would spice things up. And it did and took me aback.

GEEKERELLA by Ashley Poston

Genre(s): Contemporary | Age: Young Adult
Series: Once Upon A Con #1

Publication: 4 April 2017 | Read: 5 November 2020
No. of Pages: 320 (hardcover)

Click here to view Trigger Warnings ↴ Physical and emotional abuse, bullying

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.

Goodreads | Amazon

Geekerella is a retelling of Cinderella, with Elle who grew up with her life devoted to the sci-fi TV show: Starfield and actor Daniel Freeman who is playing the prestigious Prince Carmindor in the reboot.

“Never give up on your dreams, and never let anyone tell you that what you love is inconsequential or useless or a waste of time. Because if you love it? If that OTP or children’s card game or abridged series or YA book or animated series makes you happy?
That is never a waste of time. Because in the end we’re all just a bunch of weirdos standing in front of other weirdos, asking for their username.”

The thing I loved most about this book would be the element of fandom. BECAUSE FANDOM IS MY LIFE and probably yours too, dear readers. I grew up loving my favourite books to extremities, reading and writing fan fiction, spending way too long on Pinterest memes, fangirling with fellow fans, and essentially recommending those books to everyone I encountered in my path and thus, I could highly relate to Elle who was nuts for Starfield.

But in Geekerella, the fandom was not just all fluff and obsession, there was also an exploration of the meaning of fandoms, which I felt was something I could deeply resonate with. How being in a fandom gave you a sense of belonging, the lengths people go because of their love and passion, the community of fans no matter which fandom they belonged to – we all entwine our lives with fictional characters whom impact us immensely.

“Maybe we should start looking up together, ah’blena”

Not only did I truly treasure the fandom element of Geekerella, the characters are not ones I hold dear to me. I could relate a lot to Elle and just respected how her love for Starfield endured despite everything that went wrong in her life. She is snarky but also insecure and I loved how that side of her was also brought out in the book. And how she overcame that loneliness and persevered with her love for her fandom as a driving force. That was empowering.

And Darien. Okay yeah he was a bit cheesy and geeky but I loved that aspect of him which juxtaposed his exterior as an actor. Through his story, we looked at themes of expectations, about how Darien was pressured to conform to the image his team envisioned, his fans envisioned, despite deep down wanting to do his best for the true fans because he was one.

That being said, this story wasn’t perfect. Admittedly, the story was a little unrealistic, cheesy, predictable. I wasn’t that surprised at anything, wasn’t really anticipating much, more of taking a slow ride. However, I felt that despite how predictable it was, I still treasured the story because if were it not for that plot, I doubt that the magic of fandom would have shown as bright.

“And may the force be with those chimichangas.”

Ahhh Geekerella was such a fun and positive read, I was smiling all the way at the cute interactions between Elle and Darien, at all the pop culture references and use of Starfield references in their daily lives, and also at the little nods to the original Cinderella tale! Highly recommend this if you want a light-hearted and hopeful read.

rating // ★★★★

Have you read Geekerella? Did you also resonate with it? Which fandoms do you belong to?

43 thoughts on “Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston | A Sweet, Fluffy Yet Resonant Love Letter to Fandom

  1. Well, didn’t read this book. Retellings make me so nervous- that is why I haven’t really read much

    However, did read a retelling this year- Spinning Silver (retelling of Rumplestilskin)

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I loved Spinning Silver. Original World, Original Characters, and Original Plot. It felt so different from Rumplestilskin. It was like it felt like a completely different story.

        I was recommended by Park Road Books for Spinning Silver. I already had read Uprooted- due to Naomi Novik writing both books, I knew I had to buy Spinning Silver

        Like

    1. 😍 Yes I’m definitely planning to read the rest of the series… especially interested in how the original tales will be tweaked. Thanks for reading Katie! 💗

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A book about fandoms? Yes, please!

    I confess I started reading certain books recently after seeing gorgeous fanart. The Folk of the Air series, The Throne of Glass series, and The Lunar Chronicles come to mind. 🤩

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I definitely can relate! I saw so much of my geeky self in this book… I hope you enjoy it, Lilly! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a fab review Cherelle!!!! I can relate to u there at the fandom thingy hehe. I have this book in my tbr since a really long time, should read it soon!! The review makes me intrigued.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah thank you for your kind words, Nehal! yess fellow fandomers (is this a word?) unite!! 😍 Haha please do! I’m sure it will resonate strongly with you as well… do let me know how it goes when you get to it okay? 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  4. i’m so glad to hear that you like geekerella as i do!! ella and darien are quite nice characters but i agree with darien being a bit cheesy and all. but still, the overall concept of the book felt fluffy and cute to me…

    lovely review, cherelle!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, the “fluffy and cute” describes it perfectly – I was smiling so much all the time. 😄 Thanks for commenting Becky! 💗

      Liked by 1 person

  5. ahh i love this book!! the fandom aspect was one of my favorites. i honestly was expecting another cinderella telling that would be just like the rest, but i liked the spin that geekerella put on the classic tale!! another great review 💙💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh okay PLEASE get to this- the retelling aspect is just amazing and indeed it’s such a happy and uplifting book.

      Thanks for dropping by, Allison! 💗

      Like

  6. I really need to read this! I love retellings! And have you read Stepsister by Jennifer Donnely? It actually follows one of Cinderella’s stepsisters and I highly recommend it!

    Also Cherelle, I just discovered your blog and I can’t believe how pretty it is! And you’ve only been blogging for two months!
    I just recently (today) started my blog and I’m still working out how to make it look nice with graphics.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh yay! Here’s a virtual high five! 🖐 Nope, I have not but it definitely sounds interesting, Cinderella’s stepsisters are certainly ones I detest so I’m curious to see how Stepsister goes… thank you for the recommendation! 🤩

      Haha, thank you so much Kirsten, it means a lot! 🥰 CONGRATS ON STARTING YOU BLOG, WELCOME TO THE COMMUNITY! 💖 🥳 Oh my goodness, I LOVE your blog name so much (mine is so uncreative haha)… Ahh yeah the first few steps of blogging were super confusing for me, but Google really helped a lot, as did other bloggers so please feel free to reach out if WordPress is messing with your brain!

      Haha, I’m so sorry aesthetics and I are far from best friends. My advice is just to pick a good theme and also that Canva is an easy-to-use free website for graphics with their countless templates!

      Once again, welcome welcome! Do drop a comment to let me know when you’re blog is ready, okay? (for now it just says “coming soon” right?) I’m really excited to see what you have in store… Thank you for commenting Kirsten! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Omg thanks for telling me it says coming soon. I actually registered a second website titled ‘The Novel Existence’ and I just added it as my primary. And it’s up! Excuse the lack of graphics. Currently exploring Canva! 😁

        And you should certainly read Stepsister. It’s a feminist retelling and it really humanizes Cinderella’s stepsisters.

        Liked by 1 person

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