“I hear the observation deck is nice this time of year, Carmindor.”
“Only on the south side of Metron.”
Author: Ashley Poston
Good things about this book: Diverse characters and a made up fandom I already want to be a part of.
Bad things about this book: Nothing comes to mind!
Do I recommend it? Yes, it is adorable.
Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here
[ARC received via Netgalley]
You’d think you’ve seen one Cinderella retelling and you’ve seen them all, right? Geekerella proved me wrong and, trust me, I have seen and read almost all of them. It takes the retelling to a level I wasn’t expecting; I wasn’t disappointed. I knew the anger for her stepmother and stepsisters was going to be off the charts, and it was, but in the end the rest of the story was much more interesting and the frustration for Elle’s situation was put a little bit on the side.
The beauty of this book is that there’s not only Elle’s side of the story. We see as much of Elle’s life and we see Darien’s. We see both stories, both struggles and how their worlds, so different, collides. I loved all the geeky references. I’m happy to say I knew every single one of them. It’s great to see someone else being as much of a geek as you are.
Elle is a super fan of a classic tv series called Starfield. He saw every single episode a trillion times with her father and now that he’s gone, she still feels the show like a big connection between them. She is a Stargunner, that’s the fandom name, and writes a blog about it. It’s funny seeing how the fandom explodes as soon as a reboot of the series is announced. I have seen this happening so many times. We have new fans of the series, old fans, and fans of the actors playing the roles. And it’s a complete chaos. Tumblr drama!
Our dear Darien, a character I loved from the very beginning, is an actor and, yes, he is going to play Carmindor in the new reboot movie. Are the fans happy? Of course not. They don’t know how big of a geek our boy is. Oh, if they knew they’ll be totally in love with him and much more supportive. Playing such a big role, a character people have loved for years, puts a lot of pressure on such a young boy. His life is not going to be the same. Darien is already famous; he acts in a tv series, maybe something like 90210 or Dawson’s Creek, and has lots of adoring fangirls. And with adoring, I mean obsessed.
Elle works in a vegan food truck called the Magic Pumpkin with the eccentric Sage. She has a curfew and has to do every single chore around the house. The poor girl is a mess and needs to find the courage to stand up for what’s right and build herself a better present and future. She doesn’t need to be saved; she needs to believe she can so that she will be free of the injustices life has thrown at her.
But no one should be that vicious, period. She’s like a Dalek with a blacklist. Absolutely relentless.
Darien, on the other hand, doesn’t have a perfect life like people might think. He is rich, famous and has landed a big movie role, but he isn’t himself, he sells the image his manager, his father, has built for him. He just wants to show the world the things he cares about, he wants to show his weak sides, his fun sides, a lot about him that people usually assumes without taking time to know him better. Darien is such a sweet boy, adorable and funny. There’s so much about him that people don’t see and it’s a pity because I think those sides of him are what makes him the wonderful boy he is.
Needless to say, I loved Elle and I definitely loved Darien. I wanted them to find happiness, to be their best selves and to be free of things that were taking them down. Let’s just say I was glad this was a retelling because if there was not going to be a happy ending I was going to get cranky. I love happy endings.
There’s so much to love about this book. It deals with the importance of representation in the media: Darien is dark skinned and so is Carmindor. A kid seeing someone like him in a tv show is important, can change the way they face the world, it can make a difference. It also has lgbtqia+ characters: they aren’t in the background, only mentioned and soon forgotten. I always struggle to understand how hard can it be to write diverse books. We live in a diverse world and our everyday lives aren’t all one shade. It should be easy, almost too easy in my opinion.
This is my second retelling of the year and, as I said before, I was not disappointed. I have smiled a lot and a book that makes me feel so much has to be a book worth reading. Right?
Look to the stars. Aim. Ignite.