Geekerella: A Fangirl Fairy Tale (Once Upon a Con, #1)

by Ashley Poston

4.14 of 5 stars 33 ratings • 16 reviews • 61 shelved
Book cover for Geekerella

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Geekerella: A Fangirl Fairy Tale (Once Upon a Con, #1)

by Ashley Poston

4.14 of 5 stars 33 ratings • 16 reviews • 61 shelved
Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale romance.
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.
  • ISBN10 1594749930
  • ISBN13 9781594749933
  • Publish Date 4 April 2017 (first published 3 April 2017)
  • Publish Status Active
  • Publish Country US
  • Imprint Quirk Books
  • Format Paperback (US Trade)
  • Pages 320
  • Language English


Avatar for theliteraryphoenix

Oh my gosh. I am absolutely delighted? I'm glad I waited this long to read GEEKERELLA because it is filling a con-shaped hole in my heart this year. Ashley Poston brought the best parts of a con to life in these pages. I'm so enamored with that part of the book that it overshadows everything out, but this is good. It's light, but it's good.

GEEKERELLA is a Cinderella retelling, and it's creative. Ashley Poston knows how to craft characters because they all stuck out to me, even some of the unnamed cosplayers. I loved having the dual POV and getting inside both Elle and Darien's heads. And Sage? Sage was a delight. The writing is quick and clever, and this book is loaded with nerdy references. I'm sure I missed like half of them, but my heart beat a little faster with every nod to geek culture I spotted. Poston's clearly a fan. She's been there and is in love with geek culture and I am living for it.

This is a book I would read again, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of their local comic con, or is active in fandoms, or honestly anyone who like a good YA contemporary romance. It's great as a retelling, it made me smile, and I loved it.

For a more detailed review, as well as other bookish content, please fly on over to The Literary Phoenix!

Avatar for pagingserenity

Immediate thoughts after reading:

Wow for most of the book I thought it was a solid 4 star read, but the last quarter really got me to rethink that idea. I might bump up my rating later.

I really liked Elle and Darien and their exchanges. And I could empathize with the struggles they went through. But there was just something that fell a bit flat until around the 65% mark where things started to progress.

Avatar for bgsbooks18

bgsbooks18 5 of 5 stars
I loved this book. Elle and Darien are to die for. This book was so good that I wish I could watch the show and the movie in the book. The banter between Elle and Darien was so funny. I just love how Elle finally felt welcome and wanted. Her bestie was amazing and I could only hope for a friend as great as her! The ball was my favorite scene in the book. The sisters were so mean and the step mom drove me crazy! I wish I could experience the Con. All of it really. Very cute book.

Avatar for ccbookwitch

ccbookwitch 3 of 5 stars
I’m not gonna lie: I was not expecting a whole lot from this book. My only experience with Ashley Poston’s writing was her first book, THE SOUND OF US, which was DREADFUL and not an experience I hoped to repeat, so let’s just say my expectations of this book were…low. HOWEVER I was very pleasantly surprised by this book and have a lot of positive thoughts about it. First, let’s get the negative comments out of the way though:

what i didn’t like
The pacing was really weird. At first I didn’t notice it, but about two thirds of the way in I realized A LOT was going to have to happen to tie up this romance, and a lot did happen in the last third of the book, though not the way I thought it would. It bothered me a bit that there was SO MUCH buildup to the romance, yet we only get to see our main couple together for approximately two seconds before the book ends. That irked me a little bit even though I liked the romance and the author was obviously going for a more strict Cinderella retelling where they only get together at the end of the story anyway.
I was so bothered by the texting. Specifically that Elle was texting someone she’d never met the whole time and falling for them!! This is probably just an “I’m an adult” thing, but I would be so concerned for her safety in real life. It stretched my believability a bit to believe that Elle and Darien just happened to text each other and think each other was pretty and also that they both happened to be teens. This would never happen IRL and as an adult who works with kids I was internally screaming to myself about how unsafe this was and how much I would not ship them IRL. But again, this is a slight me thing rather than an issue with the book or writing.

what i liked
Both narrators. Usually when I read a dual-narrated romance, I favor one character over the other, and usually that’s the female protagonist in hetero romances. However, in GEEKERELLA, I found myself really looking forward to Darien’s chapters as well. I found both of them so relatable and wanted to hug them and tell them things would be okay. Both characters had distinct voices and were well-rounded and well-written just all around, which made them both very interesting to read about. Having two narrators also really added to the story and made it well-balanced and more suspenseful.
The Starfield talk. STARFIELD definitely put me in mind of Doctor Who, which of course made me like the book even more. It was obvious Ashley Poston really thought about the trajectory and world of the show, and the world building of Starfield was great even though we only hear about it second hand. It also obviously added a lot to the romance as well and to both Darien and Elle’s characters. They had different reasons for being connected to it, but that connection made their connection and the story in general even stronger.
Sage. Sage was one of my favorite parts of the book and I was so disappointed to realize that THE PRINCESS AND THE FANGIRL is not about her and Jessica Stone getting together, which would have been my ship. However, I did like Jess and want more of her queerness in that book. But also, Sage is such a good and understanding friend, plus her mom is adorable and supportive and great.
All the family issues the book discussed. Family is important in both Elle and Darien’s lives, though for different reasons. I thought the author did a great job portraying Elle’s relationship with her dad to the reader. All the scenes with Catherine and the twins totally killed me though and made me so mad. I was glad Elle started to have a somewhat okay relationship with Cal at one point, though I kind of predicted that would happen because in Cinderella retellings there is usually one stepsister who feels empathy for the Cinderella character. Anyway.
So much geekiness! I lived for all the geek references and was shocked by how many I understood. The LOTR references were all my faves and they made me want to watch the movies again since I haven’t in quite a while. I loved that geekiness and nerding out about things you’re passionate about was a big theme in this book because I think that’s something a lot of teens are shy about and it’s good to show them that showing your passion is okay and can lead to positive things in your life (though maybe not always a romance with a hot celebrity, but idk, it’s their lives).
Overall I was just really impressed with GEEKERELLA and totally charmed by the romance, the portrayal of nerd culture, and pretty much everything. Ashley Poston’s writing was really addictive and fun, and the whole story simply delighted me. I am very much looking forward to reading the companion novel to this book and hope it is just as good as GEEKERELLA.

Avatar for struckbystories

I have never ever in my entire life been as heavily mixed about a book as I am about Geekerella.

Okay, so the first thing you have to know about me is that I'm usually very forgiving with books. I always try to see the very best qualities in them, which is why you'll rarely ever (if at all) see any reviews below 3 stars.

But Geekerella, while being a fantastic novel, is making it very hard for me to keep to that same policy of forgiveness.

Why? Because I have reason to suspect that the author potentially copied the storyline for this from Cinder & Ella, my near all-time favorite novel. (side note - you can read my full review for that book by clicking here!)

And okay, I know that is a super-bold accusation. But I can asssure you that I'm not making it lightly.

Before I begin going into the similarities, I would just like to first note that due to the strong similarities between the two books, I almost suspected Cinder & Ella of being the one knocking-off Geekerella until I checked the publication dates of both and found that Cinder & Ella was published 2 full years before Geekerella.

Anyways, I would like to begin by briefly listing all of the similarities (which slowly progress from maybe, potentially coincidental to very, very weird). I promise you by the end that hopefully you'll see where I'm coming from!

1.) Both are YA contemporary romance retellings of Cinderella.

2.) The lead females for both are geeky girls addicted to a specific series/franchise.

3.) The male love interests for both are closet geeks who end up getting the lead role in the newest remake for said series.

4.) Through chance, both girls end up connecting with the male lead online without knowing his true identity.

5.) Both girls are popular bloggers online who aren't afraid to share their opinions on books/movies.

6.) Through their blog, both girls HEAVILY criticize the choice of said male for the lead role due to their "playboy" status.

7.) Both girls even go as far as to mention their passionate criticisms directly to the actor (but don't know that he's the boy they're communicating with.

8.) Both girls have really bitchy stepsisters, but one of them ends up becoming "good" by the end of the novel.

9.) Both girls end up at a con specifically for the series they are addicted to and dress up as the female lead.

10.) The con ends up being the location in which both girls realize the identity of the boy they were communicating with online (with the boy being the first to realize the connection).

So, at this point, after coming to the realization that there were just too many similarities for it to be considered coincidental, you would think that I would be full on HATING on Geekerella for copying off of my favorite book.

But the truth is, I just can't hate on Geekerella. Because as much as I wanted to full-on hate it, I really, really, enjoyed reading it. The characters felt real, the love was super swoony, and the geekiness was beyond adorable.

Overall, I have to say that Geekerella, while bearing extreme similarities with Cinder & Ella, was a fantastic and super-enjoyable book. I'm even going to go as far as actually considering it a new favorite and add it to my Shelf of Spectacular Stories!

Also, Ashely Poston, if you happen to be reading this, I would just like to say that while I can't prove anything, even if you knowingly or unknowing copied off of Cinder & Ella, you couldn't have picked a better novel to do so with. I enjoyed my time reading Geekerella, and cannot wait to continue reading the series with [b:The Princess and the Fangirl|39725622|The Princess and the Fangirl (Once Upon a Con, #2)|Ashley Poston||61408547]!

Want more reviews? Check out my blog at Struck by Stories!

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Avatar for shelfleigh

Leigha 3 of 5 stars
A teenager lives a Cinderella life in this cute, if not all that clever, young adult romance.

I should love this book. I SHOULD LOVE IT. It’s a romance, it’s nerd culture, it’s movies, it’s cons. How can I not love it? But despite all it’s many (and I do mean many) awesome call-outs, I didn’t love it. I blame it on one thing and one thing alone – the fairy tale retelling.

I’m not the biggest fan of a fairy tale retelling, especially the more popular Disney-fied stories. While ever rendition of Cinderella is a bit different, they all have the same beats – girl lives with neglectful family, girl meets boy under false pretenses, boy loses girl to curfew, boy and girl live happily ever after. I just…I’ve read it a million different times. Very rarely do I find a book that makes it interesting or new.

It’s too bad I didn’t like the structure because I really love the idea of a love story set at a convention. I actually met my husband standing in line at Doctor Horrible’s Sing Along Blog at DragonCon in Atlanta (which is what I suspect ExcelsiCon is modeled after). Love stories can and do happen at conventions all the time. I’m looking forward to more fiction fawning over con life, but hope more of them will refrain from this structure.

If you’re not into nerd or fandom culture, this book will probably lose you. The setting isn’t explained at all. But, perhaps that’s the point? This book is not targeting the Chloe’s (or even the Cal’s) of the world, it’s targeting the Elle’s, the Sage’s, the people who voraciously (and sometimes viciously) live for their fandom.

tl;dr While a cool premise and setting, I disliked the fairy tale structure of the novel.

Avatar for emruth13

emruth13 5 of 5 stars
I love this book. It's such an enjoyable read (and the audiobook is AMAZING as well) and it makes my fangirl heart so happy! I love that it's Cinderella but she's a major fangirl who will not stand for them ruining her beloved show. Because I've listened to the audiobook twice, reading it, I can hear the characters in my head, especially when the step-monster says "Danielle!" This is such a good book and I think everyone should read it.

Avatar for pigpen_reads

pigpen_reads 5 of 5 stars
Fantastic Read!

I gave it 5 out of 5 stars. Once I started this book, there was no putting it down until the end. I geeked out a lot while reading. It's also a retelling of Cinderella, we all know how that ends. But still! This book kept me hooked and just transferred me into its' own world. I can't wait to reread this.

Avatar for purplemoonmyst

Hillary 5 of 5 stars
I was on the Audible Romance Package exploring when this caught my eye. It sounded like something that I would like. I mean a  geeky fairytale retelling of Cinderella? Count me in!



What I liked

I loved how it incorporated geeky stuff and fandoms into the story.  I have to admit that after the disappointment that was Internet Famous that I was relieved that Gekerella pulled the whole nerd culture thing flawlessly. I have to be honest I also really liked the cover.  It makes the story vibe too. It is just the right amount of issues every teen faces and especially nerdy teens and fluff. I have to admit that I was getting burned out on the self-help and serious non-fiction. And I also didn't want something that taxed my brain to read it like literary fiction. I wanted a fun somewhat fluffy read, and that is what I got.

The romance in this was fun to read about. I was waiting until they figured out that the "perfect" person they were texting was each other. I kept waiting for them to find out. And they did sorta. I really hope there is a book two coming soon cause I could not get enough of this world.

The whole time I thought that Starfield was a play on Star Trek, but I never found out if it was or not. And lest you think this is just some fanfiction sorta thing like Shades of Grey to be wrong. This book is very well written unlike some fanfiction out there. That was my one fear going into this book is that it would be all cheesy and over the top, but it wasn't. It was more like a love letter to all the geeks out there who don't fit in anywhere else.

 What I did not like

I loved everything about this book! This book is a contender for a top ten book in December.


If you even slightly bit of a geek you will want to read this book.  This is a fun, quick read. I LOVED the narrator on the audiobook. I thought it was well done a truly brought the characters to life. I would recommend you go with the audio on this one!




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 This review was originally posted on Adventures in Never Never Land