*Received this book from Netgalley in exchange for review- though all the fangirling you’re about to see is all me*
Last year, I read Geekerella, a *super fun* retelling of Cinderella- except transposed onto the fandom arena. Now, I’m happy to be back with a review for the sequel- a modern take on the Prince and the Pauper! And I am so excited to say that Poston didn’t rest on her laurels with this one- from the stellar opening, it was an entertaining journey of intergalactic proportions!
One of the things that stood out for me was the range of styles exhibited here. The dual perspectives works perfectly, as they’re easily distinguishable. Imogen is laugh out loud funny, while Jess is prone to out of this world descriptions and cosmic imagery. Both collide in this deftly handled narrative, successfully shifting tones and delivering a cohesive narrative. Even better, it feels like two stories for the price of one!
The characters shone through strongly. And I especially like that they reflected the idea: “She wasn’t perfect, but she didn’t try to be”- yes!! That’s the heroine we want… and the heroines we get from this book! Surprisingly, despite being a superstar, I ended up empathising with Jess more. Sure, Imogen/Monster was relatable, but I loved how this humanised a celebrity, whilst also being sweet and inspiring. It genuinely moved me to see how insecure they were- showing how they had a lot more in common than superficial things like their appearance. Personally, I thought this was one of the best parts of the book.
I also preferred Jess’ romance. While I enjoyed the hate-to-love aspect of Imogen’s relationship, Jess and Harper made my sappy heart melt. Maybe it was the incredible descriptions, maybe it was overcoming the obstacles to being together and maybe it was the genuine angst keeping them apart (I completely understood why Jess held back and kept secrets!). I simply adored the romance so much- I might have exploded with joy!
I *loved* the geeky references as well- they gave me such pleasure and made so much sense in this context. There was even a solid reference to the Yellow Wallpaper– so kudos for that! Once again, the slang was top notch. Man, I just wish this was a real show so we could all argue about it in real life 😉 (JK- seriously, please don’t @me!)
On that note, this book did open up some interesting discussions about the toxic side of fandoms… which I’ll admit I’m a little scared to venture into and demonstrates the problem (and the point the book didn’t mean to make, but kinda did: fandoms are a little intense guys). However, even if it was good that this book at least attempted to explore the issues of “us vs them” mentalities in fandoms, I did feel it fell to heavily on the “you’re either with us or against us” side, largely demonising critical voices as sexist pigs. I ultimately thought that the way it dealt with self-esteem was quite a bit better than its view of how to handle trolls (go under the bridge and hit them with a big stick… only joking- don’t do that!) Annnd now I feel like some people are gonna want to wage war on me in the comments…
So moving onto the more frothy side of fangirling, I did really like that this felt like an interconnected universe, bringing Elle’s blog back from the last book! Best. Crossover. Ever. Every appearance and mention of old characters lit me up!
In the end, if you liked how dorky the first one was (like I did), if you enjoyed it as a fresh look at a fairy tale (like I did) then you are bound to like this (like I did!).
Happily, I gave it:
So have you read this or its predecessor? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!