Tea & Book Chat: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Personal Thoughts:  I’m going to be totally honest here- I was very skeptical of Geekerella before I started reading it.  In theory, I love the idea of books about fandom but they can be SO hit or miss for me.  And *usually* they’re misses.  Plus, it has the word geek in the title so that was also going against it. But after seeing a couple of friends read and enjoy the story, I decided to give it a shot.  Actually, the main point that sold me is that the main character, Elle, works at a vegan food truck called the Magic Pumpkin.  I’m so happy that I didn’t allow my initial hesitation to keep me from reading this book because I ended up giving it 5 stars!

Plot Summary:  Geekerella is a modern day Cinderella retelling following a girl named Elle who finds out that Starfield (aka her lifeblood) is being rebooted as a film franchise.  But they’ve cast a good looking actor known for his work in a soap opera and his constant presence in the tabloids as Carmindor, the lead role.  When he misses a simple Starfield trivia question on a morning show, Starfield fan everywhere are outraged and questioning whether Darien is a real fan fit for his role.  Everything culminates in a cosplay competition at ExcelsiCon where the winner gets a meet and greet at a masquerade ball with Darien himself.

Critique:  This tale is just as charming as the plot summary sounds.  Danielle, or Elle, has been living with her stepmonster and evil stepsisters since her father passed away.  All she has left of him are memories which are strongly tied to her love of Starfield so she has really high hopes that come crashing down when she finds out that Darien is cast as her beloved Carmindor.  All plot points aside, my love of Geekerella comes from the fact that Ashley Poston is able to perfectly capture the feelings of how much a fandom can mean to one person.  Elle’s love of Starfield = my love of Star Wars.  Despite Starfield being more closely akin to Star Trek, I felt completely connected to this fictional fandom.  From the believable catchphrases that fans quote from the series, the personal investment in the characters, the way Starfield fans pour over the old episodes and speculate hopefully about the prospect of something new and exciting, and most importantly, the amount of heart the characters display for their fandom, I felt like I was reading about my life with Star Wars.  I also love the portrayal of the different types of fans that you’ll meet at conventions.  From the accusatory “you’re not a real fan” fan to the welcoming “let me help you with your last minute cosplay” fans, Poston nailed it.  And the fact that Elle runs a Starfield blog that gains popularity as the movie gets cast is so relatable for those of us who’ve loved and blogged about geeky things before they were in the mainstream.  The one thing I wasn’t completely sold on was the romance, but I was completely here for all of the characters separately (Elle, Darien, Sage, etc) and for the fandom feels.

Do I Recommend?:  If you’ve ever been a diehard fan of anything, I think you’ll be able to relate to Geekerella.  I love this book so much more than I had anticipated and I’m pretty sure that if you’re reading my blog, you’re also the target audience!

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Kristin

Event Recap: BEA is Better than BookCon & How BookCon Improve

Last week I returned to Book Expo America (BEA) at the Javits Center for my second time attending the show since 2012.  For the most part, I knew what to expect from the event and I spent a ton of time beforehand making a list of all of the signings and giveaways that I knew I wanted to grab which was really helpful.  The most important thing about BEA is being organized and prioritizing what you cannot miss.  It’s the one convention where wandering around aimlessly will not work to your benefit.  On the first day of BEA, Kristina and I spent some time getting the lay of the land.  One the second day, we were much better about getting in specific lines and finding out what time ARCs were being dropped and by the third day we were PROS.  We were first or almost first in line for every single book we wanted that day (and we got them all!).  At BEA, all of the books you’re waiting in lines for are free so the waiting isn’t so bad.  From the last time I attended I had learned to be picky about the books I accept especially since I then become the one who’s responsible for carrying them for the rest of the day.  There were only about 3 books I ended up with this time that I hadn’t already planned on taking but I ended up leaving them because I couldn’t justify why I had accepted them.  Sometimes you just feel bad when someone is really trying to hand you their book and it’s easier to say okay and put it down somewhere else later.  All of the authors that I met, chatted with, and took photos with were at BEA (I’m much less interested in waiting in line for celebrity “authors” than I am in people like Patrick Ness and R.L. Stine).  We also had a beautiful sit down dinner with Quirk Books, and a really fun Epic Reads party to attend after BEA whereas I hadn’t heard of many events going on after BookCon.

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Since I was unable to attend last year due to various weddings and such, I missed the initial madness that is BookCon.  I have been hearing horror stories about it ever since and while they certainly made me cautious about what I was getting myself into, I was not going to miss the opportunity to see it with my own eyes.  For those who don’t know, BEA is an industry only event which is full of publishers, authors, press and literary agents while BookCon is open to the public.  While you can still win some free ARCs at BookCon, those in attendance are purchasing the majority of the books they take home.  Before BookCon started, half of the convention floor was dismantled and a temporary wall in the Javits Center sectioned off a small portion of what we had been walking around for the past three days.  It seemed strange to me to have a bigger event in a smaller amount of space.  I think BookCon could have utilized the other portion of the floor if they had added in vendors that the public would be likely to benefit from.  For instance, I think there is a HUGE missed opportunity for an Artist Alley (similar to comic conventions) to highlight artists who create bookish artwork, fan art and prints.  It would also be AWESOME to see Etsy vendors selling bookmarks and book inspired jewelry.  Plus, COSPLAY.  I think an event where readers cosplay as their favorite characters would be the coolest.  I could definitely see myself dressing as Celaena Sardothien, Luna Lovegood, or several other characters if that were to become a thing at BookCon. The one thing I did love was the platform at the Epic Reads booth where we were able to stand behind a cutout and take photos as if we were on the cover of Kiera Cass’s new spinoff book in the Selection series, The Heir.  I didn’t spend much of my time at BookCon because I felt as though I had gotten my fill during BEA.  I’m almost tempted to try to start my own book convention using my suggestions!

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Kristin

Fangirl Fashions {The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy Blog Tour & Guest Post by Sam Maggs}

I’m so excited to have Sam Maggs here on the blog today with a guest post about Fangirl fashions in honor of her new book which debuted earlier this week, The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy.  I’ll be posting a full review later in the month, but I can tell you right now that Sam’s book is an absolute MUST READ for all Fangirls.  She covers topics like cosplay, feminism, fanfic and most importantly, how to beat internet trolls.  Also, IT’S SO PRETTY.  I showed off the inside cover of the book during my April Book Haul and May TBR videos and I still cannot get over how gorgeous this book is.  (Sam actually interviewed me and my best friend Melissa for the book and she posted our advice on the QuirkBooks blog last week!)

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Favorite Fangirl Fashions

We might still be asking #WheresNatasha, but there’s no doubt that life for a fashionable fangirl has gotten a lot easier lately. Gone are the days of being relegated to wearing oversized men’s shirts with boring prints; thanks to some innovative and brilliant women, we’ve got clothing for every shape and size lady fan. Here are some of my very favorite fangirl fashions!

Her Universe

Started by Ashley Eckstein (who you might know better as Ahsoka Tano), Her Universe carries clothes from Star Trek to Star Wars, Doctor Who, Marvel, and more. They offer a wide range of sizes, so you never have to worry about fit, and their items are incredibly well-made. Plus, Ashley is an absolute delight and truly cares about female fans more than anyone else I know.

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Favorite Item: The TARDIS Cardigan.

WeLoveFine

WLF is a huge online retailer that has really stepped up for lady fans. When everyone else was flaking out after Ultron, WLF came out with their very own line of items for girls who love the Avengers (and who doesn’t?). They also sell items for fans of Adventure Time, Bee & Puppycat, Bravest Warriors, Marvel, Jem, Lumberjanes, and even The Mary Sue!

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Favorite Item: The Captain Marvel Sweater.

Hot Topic

Whoa, yes, I know you haven’t shopped here since your goth phase in high school (it’s cool, we all had one). But seriously, you need to go back, because they are all about fandoms these days. They have some great Sailor Moon merch, but my two favorite lines from them right now are Penny Dreadful and Orphan Black. I need it all.

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Favorite Item: The Penny Dreadful Scorpion Print Dress

GoldBubble

A super-small company run by two fans, GoldBubble is the best competitor to BlackMilk out there – and they really care about their fans, too. I have a great pair of Han Solo leggings from these guys, and so does my mom – they fit all different fangirls! They sometimes put out super limited edition items (like a BB8 dress for Star Wars Day) so keep an eye on their site.

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Favorite Item: The Sherlock-inspired Bored A-Line Dress

Espionage Cosmetics

Your nails have to look good too, right ladies? This adorable company based in Seattle makes nail wraps for basically every fandom, and they’re super easy to use – just peel, stick, file, and you’re good to go (though I like to seal mine with a top coat). To make them last longer, pick up a humidor and stick your extra wraps in there they’ll last ages! They also have eyeshadows and lipsticks on offer too, so check it all out.

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Favorite Item: Borderlands The Pre-Sequel Glitter Nail Wraps

Did I miss your favorite fangirl fashion? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @SamMaggs!

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Don’t forget to pick up a copy of The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy!

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And if you see Sam at a convention, be sure to say hi! If you’re nice, she might even sign your book for you :-D

Kristin