Once Upon a Con: A Triple Book Review

Choosing to download this book on Audible was a shot in the dark. My new reading trend is to find literally any romance book that is free on Audible and listen. This led me to this series.

The Book:

Title: Geekerella

Author: Ashley Poston

Series: Once Upon a Con #1

Published April 4th 2017 by Quirk Books

Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary

Pages: 320

Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale.

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.” -Goodreads

The Review:

I checked out Geekerella first and I fell in love!

Now, the book starts off slow. I was utterly bored at first. But, eventually, the story progresses and I became invested in the characters.

This is supposed to be a fairytale retelling of Cinderella. I think it does a pretty accurate job of copying the Disney story. It was almost too exact in my opinion. The other two had subtle similarities, and this one was too on the nose.

The characters are super lovable. It is nice to see how the romance of the two main characters and the side romance play out. The side character romance was really unexpected. It was also LGBTQIA+ and I really appreciated that.

The book is boring, but it does get better. The next two books are better, so do not let this book get you down.

Star Rating: 3.8

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Book:

Title: The Princess and the Fangirl

Series: Once Upon a Con #2

Published April 2nd, 2019 by Quirk Books

Pages: 320

“The Prince and the Pauper gets a modern makeover in this adorable, witty, and a heartwarming young adult novel set in the Geekerella universe by national bestselling author Ashley Poston.

Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off from her favorite franchise, Starfield. The problem is, Jessica Stone—the actress who plays Princess Amara—wants nothing more than to leave the intense scrutiny of the fandom behind. If this year’s ExcelsiCon isn’t her last, she’ll consider her career derailed.

When a case of mistaken identity throws look-a-likes Imogen and Jess together, they quickly become enemies. But when the script for the Starfield sequel leaks, and all signs point to Jess, she and Imogen must trade places to find the person responsible. That’s easier said than done when the girls step into each other’s shoes and discover new romantic possibilities, as well as the other side of intense fandom. As these “princesses” race to find the script-leaker, they must rescue themselves from their own expectations, and redefine what it means to live happily ever after.” –Goodreads

The Review:

The Princess and the Fangirl was the best book out of this trilogy. It was so funny. Romance was not at the forefront of this book. There was a bigger message of accepting yourself and falling in love with fantasy. It focused more on character development than romance.

The retelling was based on Princess and the Pauper. I do not know much of the story surrounding this, so to me, this was a lot more subtle than the last retelling.

The two main characters were both super interesting and unique. I will say that they had very similar voices, in terms of writing, so when listening, and probably the same for reading, it was sometimes hard to tell who was speaking without looking at the title of the chapter.

The romance in this book was cute although it was not the most present. One was a slow burn which made me swoon so hard. One of the main romances of this book was LGBTQIA+ so that was a huge benefit.

Star Rating: 4.1

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Book:

Title: Bookish and the Beast

Series: Once Upon a Con #3

Published August 4th, 2020 by Quirk Book

Pages: 288

In the third book in Ashley Poston’s Once Upon a Con series, Beauty and the Beast is retold in the beloved Starfield universe.

Rosie Thorne is feeling stuck—on her college application essays, in her small town, and on that mysterious General Sond cosplayer she met at ExcelsiCon. Most of all, she’s stuck in her grief over her mother’s death. Her only solace was her late mother’s library of rare Starfield novels, but even that disappeared when they sold it to pay off hospital bills.

On the other hand, Vance Reigns has been Hollywood royalty for as long as he can remember—with all the privilege and scrutiny that entails. When a tabloid scandal catches up to him, he’s forced to hide out somewhere the paparazzi would never expect to find him: Small Town USA. At least there’s a library in the house. Too bad he doesn’t read.

When Rosie and Vance’s paths collide and a rare book is accidentally destroyed, Rosie finds herself working to repay the debt. And while most Starfield superfans would jump at the chance to work in close proximity to the Vance Reigns, Rosie has discovered something about Vance: he’s a jerk, and she can’t stand him. The feeling is mutual.

But as Vance and Rosie begrudgingly get to know each other, their careful masks come off—and they may just find that there’s more risk in shutting each other out than in opening their hearts.” -Goodreads

My Review:

This was a super cute read. It played off of Beauty and the Beast. I love Beauty and the Beast retellings. I think this one was the most subtle. If you did not know this was a fairytale retelling you may not even notice if you weren’t aware.

It is a hetero romance but there is a side of LGBTQIA+ relationships, but it is not super focused on.

This one had the least amount of development and it went super fast. It was not the best out of the series, but it was still fun. I was still invested in the story.

My favorite part of this whole series is that the characters of each story are all interconnected. They all are referenced in the other books. Each new character meets an old one, and there are little snippets of the past relationships that we get to follow.

The series is so uplifting and cute. I read it all in three days because I binge-read it. These are perfect smaller romance reads to enjoy.

Star Rating: 3.0

Rating: 3 out of 5.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie