There are two perspectives on fairy tales. The first is that these are antiquated stories that are out of touch with our current culture. The second is that with a little tweaking (with a nod to the original narrative), the tale can still feel relevant and modern.
Geekerella (Once Upon a Con Series #1), was published in 2017. Elle Wittimer’s favorite television show is Starfield (basically a version of Galaxy Quest). It was also her late father’s favorite show, they used to watch it together. With both of her parents gone, this Cinderella girl is under the thumb of her less-than-maternal stepmother. When she comes upon an opportunity to enter a cosplay contest that promotes a big-screen reboot of the series at ExcelsiCon, she eagerly enters.
Darien Freeman is a fanboy of Starfield and used to fan conventions on a regular basis. But his present status as the heartthrob of primetime teen drama makes that impossible. When he is cast as Federation Prince Carmindor, the lead male role, he jumps at the chance. Darien wants to prove that his acting skills go beyond what is expected of him. As ExcelsiCon gets closer, he meets a young lady who pushes him in unexpected directions.
This book is adorable. I completely got Elle as a character. Normally, there are two arcs for the “geek” girl. The first is that she is kept in her lane. The second is that her reputation (and physical appearance) are changed when she is suddenly seen by the popular guy (a la She’s All That). Thankfully, Elle is given room to move which is both organic and refreshing.
I appreciated that underneath the Darien is much more than he appears to be. He is not just the 2D prince who is the end goal of our female protagonist. He is fully human. He wants more than the image that the press and fans have given him. His want to succeed and grow as both a person and actor drew me to him and made me root for him.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
Geekerella (Once Upon a Con Series #1) is available wherever books are sold.
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