Book Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Book Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Narrated by Eileen Stevens & Tristan Morris

Rating: 3 Stars

Published April 4th 2017 by Quirk Books
Summary: Anything can happen once upon a con…

When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her stepmother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all—not to mention a fangirl’s dream come true.

Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they’re nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.
(from Goodreads)

Review: read this book as part of the Audible Romance Package. There are some minor issues with the file itself – a couple spots where lines are randomly repeated. It’s not a big deal, but does sort of break the magic.

I didn’t love the Darien chapters narrated by Tristan Morris at first, but he grew on my after a while. He just sounds too old/mature to be Darien, who is supposed to be 18. Eileen Stevens reads Elle’s chapters, and she has this weird surfer twang (which is the only way I can think of saying it), where sometimes she sounds like she’s a Cali girl, and sometimes she sounds like she’s from Texas. I guess she’s supposed to be from Charleston? I don’t hear it. Though once the book mentions twice in quick succession that they’re in Charleston, it sounds a lot more like a Southern accent, though I don’t know if that’s the author adjusting or just my brain recognizing it. And I guess the annoying Cali-Texan twang of the step-monsters is Southern valley girl? Eh. Maybe it will help someone, apparently she’s in Charleston and he’s filming in Atlanta. Only took me until Chapter 26 to figure that out… Which is silly because Goodreads lists the setting right on the book info page…
Accents aside, both of them put inflections in strange places, and I wish I’d read this in type rather than listening to the audiobook – I feel like I might have rated it higher. I also didn’t love the way the narrator switched between chapters and would have preferred hearing both viewpoints from just a single narrator. I preferred Eileen Stevens’ Darien voice. OK, enough about the audiobook.

Elle’s relationship to StarWarsTrekFirefly (or whatever her fandom is called) reminds me of a game my nerd friends like to play called “Fake Nerd Boy,” where you intentionally ask really obscure trivia about some bit of nerdery or fandom flim-flam, and if the person doesn’t answer correctly you jeer “Fake nerd boy, fake nerd boy!” at them (or fake nerd girl, as the case may be). They play it all in fun, but Elle comes off as one of those people who if you don’t love her fandom or nerdery in the exact same way she does, and know as much trivia as she does, that means you don’t “really” love it. It is by far and away my least favorite nerd-type, ugh. Which, of course, made me kind of dislike our leading lady – even when someone turns around and does the fake nerdboy to her.

I had a bit of a love-hate relationship with this book. Being something of a misfit nerd-girl myself, I wanted to like it a lot, and there were some bits I really appreciated. There were also several parts where I literally said “UGH” out loud. Part of the ugh-ish-ness was due to the less-than-stellar narration, so maybe it would have been more heavily weighted in the “love” category if I’d read this in print. I hit about the 50% mark in the audiobook and wanted to switch to something else – I was just DONE with this book. Thankfully I stuck with it, and after a bit it got better again (swinging me further from “hate” and closer to “love” again).

The beginning was good, and the last several chapters were also pretty good, so I suppose I can forgive the middle. I like the modern spin on the Cinderella theme, especially The Magic Pumpkin food truck, and Sage is awesome (if horribly narrated by Eileen Stevens… OK, right, I said no more complaining about the narration). Instead of friendly mice and birds, Elle has a neglected neighbor’s dachshund. There’s the epic attempt to get a dress (costume) ready for the ball (masquerade) and last minute crushing of hopes by the evil stepsisters and obligatory intervention of the fairy godmother (or punk-rock friend). The lost slipper. I do like that Ashley Poston went with the trend to make one of the evil step-sisters less evil (ala Marguerite and Jacqueline in Ever After) and love the little hints at Sage’s relationship. I actually thought that was coming back when Sage was being sneaky the first time she was in Elle’s house… Haha. I also really like the description of the convention, and all the nerd people coming together. OH, it just hit me that she’s like Con Royalty. So she’s a princess. Dur.

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