By: Cait Marie
This is technically a standalone, however, it takes place after Geekerella and the characters overlap. Certain things will make more sense if you read Geekerella first. Plus, it’s just fantastic, so you should read it anyway.
You can read my full review of Geekerella here.
Alright, on to The Princess and the Fangirl! This is another fairy tale retelling set in the modern world–this time it’s The Prince and the Pauper. This might be one of the longest reviews I’ve done, so bear with me!
It’s time for another ExcelsiCon. The Starfield movie has come out, and Jessica Stone is glad it’s all almost over. She hates playing Amara and the fandom, and she’s glad her character died at the end of the movie. And with good reason. The internet trolls are incessantly bringing her down. Streams of negative comments flood her social media pages daily. What she doesn’t see is the part of the fandom that adores her–she doesn’t see how much Amara means to people.
Imogen Lovelace is one of those people. She loves Amara for being a strong, independent woman in a world that’s not often fair to women in sci-fi. In fact, the original show, movie, and character mean so much to her that she’s started the #SaveAmara initiative, which includes a petition with 50,000 signatures. Yet despite this big accomplishment, she feels unimportant in the world.
When the sequel’s script starts leaking on Twitter, Jess fears it may be her fault. She was angry when receiving the package and, not knowing it was the script, threw it away. So, when a chance encounter brings the two girls together and they realize they look almost identical, Jess proposes they swap places for the weekend. She needs to find the person who’s leaking the script and Imogen loves Starfield–it feels like a win-win. That is until they realize each other’s lives aren’t as easy or glamorous as they assumed. They have to work together and their friends to stop the culprit before the final panel or Jess’s career and the fandom will be in bad shape.
“Welcome to the fandom life, where you never know anyone but you always know everyone.”– The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston
I feel like I start all my positive reviews with “I loved this book,” but oh wow do I love this book! I absolutely loved Geekerella, so it was fun jumping back into this world. These books really bring the love of fandoms to justice and it makes me so happy. Because the whole book takes place at a weekend-long convention, it is full of geeky references that made me smile each time. The Doctor Who ones especially made me happy. Well, those and every time someone was referred to as a Hufflepuff.
The characters in this story felt very real. Jess was someone we were made to dislike in Geekerella, but with this partially in her perspective, we get to see the real her. I think that is one of the biggest reasons why reading the other book first is so important. Throughout this book, she struggles a lot with wanting to just be herself and wanting to be loved for that person as opposed to the image she creates. This difference is a huge part of the book, so being able to see how “awful” she is from the outside in book one is important.
That being said, I loved getting to see the inner workings of Jess. She deals with a lot of self-image issues, depression, and not feeling loved. As someone who has had a lot of the same struggles–minus the whole being a celebrity thing–it felt super real. Her emotions and thoughts came across very well and were spot on. I also loved seeing her slowly open up to Imogen’s friend Harper, even though she’s pretending to be Imogen. Getting to see the nerdy side of her was fun, too.
Then we have Imogen (Mo) and Jess’s assistant, Ethan. Mo is the ultimate fangirl who feels as if she lives in everyone’s shadow. Ethan has been Jess’s best friend since they were children. He’s in on the plan, but he hates it. He and Imogen fight and bicker the entire time, and me being me… I loved it. When I say the enemies-to-lovers trope is my favorite, I’m not kidding. Their sarcasm and mockery made me all sorts of happy inside.
There are also more minor characters like Mo’s younger brother, Milo, and his boyfriend, Bran. I really loved them and honestly, my only complaint about the book is that I wanted more of them. There were also appearances from Geekerella characters Elle, Darien, Sage, and Calliope.
The book is well-written. I really enjoy Poston’s style. It’s easy and quick to read. It moves at a good pace, although there were a few slow moments. There were so many incredible quotes in this book, too. I think I highlighted more parts in my Kindle edition than any other book. It showed both sides of feeling insecure and like a nobody, and it was inspirational to see the characters grow and learn to accept themselves.
“I’m not a movie star, and I don’t attract swaths of adoring fans, and my voice is tiny—but my dreams are big and I don’t mind being me.”– The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston
It was a fun mystery full of geeky references, tons of sarcasm, and, of course, romance. I highly recommend these books, especially to those who are in a fandom. It’s very relatable in many ways and fun to read a story in such an atmosphere.
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