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Book Review:: Geekerella – Ashley Poston

Date started: January 3, 2018

Date ended: January 6, 2018 

Stars: ★★★★

A fangirl fairy tale retelling complete with geek chic cover art? Put them together and what have you got bibbidi-bobbidi-boo a way to my heart. (I couldn’t resist the pun!!)

What I’m not sorry for is reading this book! Geekerella tells the story of Elle, a blog writing, Starfield obsessed teenager who’s been dealt a “crappy subplot, but is managing to live through it.” Tormented by her unrealistically evil stepsister & apathetic stepmonster, Elle can’t wait to turn 18 and get out of dodge (read: Charleston) and start a new life in LA. She spends her days frying vegan fritters in the Magic Pumpkin food truck with her version of a fairy godmother (a green-haired lesbian named Sage), and her nights working on the perfect cosplay costume and texting her mysterious Federation Prince Carmindor Charming.

The rest of the story continues much like the classic Cinderella narrative – with adapted twists of course – but differs due to the bits of nerd culture sprinkled throughout. That was the real reason this story resonated with me. The idea that no matter who you are, where you’re living, what you’re going through that fandoms can connect us all. The idea that us weird kids aren’t alone.

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“And yeah, there might not be real magic in this world, but there is the power of fandom — the power of passionate people who, when working together, can birth movies out of canceled one-season sci-fi shows, resurrect fictional towns like Stars Hollow, and created endearing fan-musicals that will last far longer than its Muggle counterpart — and that kind of magic will never disappear.” 

It’s comforting to know that I read this book during the 20-year publication anniversary of Harry Potter – the fandom that started it all for me. I remember being 8-years-old and  reading the line “You’re a wizard, Harry” and knowing my life would never be the same. I remember waiting for my letter on my eleventh birthday and sobbing when the clock struck midnight and there was no letter. I remember waiting at Barnes & Noble for midnight book releases and shunning the world till I devoured every last word. I remember crying in my bed after the forest scene in the final novel and thinking it was all over. I remember feeling such a passion for these stories and these characters I’d spent a majority of my life growing up with and also feeling like that wasn’t “normal.” I remember being teased and judged for getting “so invested” in “children’s stories.” I remember wanting to downplay my interest out of fear of judgement. But part of growing up is realizing that “sometimes the universe delivers” and sometimes you’re connected with the best people, best experiences, and best memories due to committing to yourself and your fandoms. And that’s what this book does. It states loud and proud that being yourself is enough and loving what you love is okay. And while this probably wouldn’t have resonated with me in latter years, I can’t imagine the impact a book like this could have had on teenage me.

I agree with Poston that fandoms can create magic. And if you’re in need of some magic, a new fandom, or a cute read this summer, I promise-swear this ones for you!