To Read or Not to Read: Geekerella
If you were to take a look at my GoodReads shelf, you would see that it is dominated by YA fantasy, dystopian, science fiction, and retellings. What you won’t see are very many contemporary novels. It’s not a genre I find myself gravitating towards very often. However, there was something about Geekerella that beckoned to me. Whether it was the cutesy cover or the premise of “a fangirl fairytale,” I decided to give this YA contemporary a chance. I am happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised and satisfied by this modern retelling of Cinderella with a fangirl twist.
Geekerella follows Elle Wittimer as she makes plans to enter a cosplay contest for her favorite TV show, Starfield. She is determined to win the competition and use the prize money to escape from her stepfamily. Darien Freeman is the teen actor chosen to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the new Starfield movie. He is equal parts nervous and excited to be taking on his dream role. When fandom collides with stardom, it leads to an unexpected friendship that helps Elle and Darien realize the value of good friends, true love, and the power of believing in yourself to achieve your dreams.
Read on for five reasons why Geekerella makes a great summer read!
- It gives you all the happy feels.
I’m not exaggerating when I say I smiled throughout this book. The story has so much heart and humor. From the character antics to the witty dialogue to all the adorable, romantic moments there is no doubt that Geekerella will put you in a positive and happy mood.
- Quirky and diverse characters.
Elle is a charming and relatable character. Her fangirl tendencies are endearing, and many times I found myself connecting to her experiences. Darien is a sweet, sincere guy with a secret fanboy side. The supporting cast includes Elle’s stepmother Catherine, twin stepsisters Chloe and Calliope, her co-worker/friend Sage, and Darien’s handler Gail. Given that this is a Cinderella retelling, the character archetypes are simple and easy to understand. One thing that surprised me was the depiction of diversity. Darien is Indian, Sage is Korean, and there is also LGBT representation. I also really loved how Poston incorporated well-known symbols (i.e. the pumpkin carriage, fairy godmother, and the ball) from Cinderella into her story. They were standout characters in their own right.
- Cute love story.
Going into this book, you know that Elle and Darien will somehow end up together. That journey is wholly unique, hilarious, and delightful. I love the build-up of their romance with their adorable, geeky banter, their sizzling chemistry, and the genuine friendship they develop.
- Homage to fandom culture.
Poston does a fabulous job of melding the fairytale with fandom to create a unique twist to a classic tale. She incorporates the world of blogging, vlogging, cosplaying, and conventions. Geekerella presents both the good and the ugly side of fandom culture. Through Elle we get to experience the better parts of it: the passion and dedication of fans. But it is through Darien that we see how fan judgments and criticisms can affect a person. Ultimately, it’s all about the power of fandom bringing people together to celebrate what they love.
- Perfect cure for a book hangover.
If you are a Cassandra Clare fan and have read Lord of Shadows, then you understand the emotionally compromising state that it leaves you in. Geekerella was like a breath of fresh air and helped me out of my book hangover. It was actually a nice change of pace to read a different genre and not have all the intense, angsty feelings. If you are suffering from a book slump or book hangover, then Geekerella is the perfect cure.
Geekerella is a light-hearted, funny, and an extremely entertaining read. I highly recommend adding this to your summer TBR.
About the Pop-Culturalist Contributor, Amna
Amna is an elementary school teacher living in Texas who enjoys reading and writing about YA books in her free time. Her favorite authors include: Cassandra Clare, Sarah J. Mass, Sabaa Tahir, and Renee Ahdieh.