My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Genre: YA Contemparary/Retelling
Publisher: Quirk Books
Published: April 2nd, 2019
The Prince and the Pauper gets a modern makeover in this adorable, witty, and 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. – Synopsis by Goodreads
“I am a kaleidoscope of hope and dreams and wonder in the shape of a girl. I am not a porcelain doll. I am not empty. I am worthy. I am enough.”
I was really happy when we were approved for an e-arc of The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston on Netgalley. I don’t read a lot of contemporaries, especially cute fluff ones, so I do like it when I can get a good one to change up my reading a bit.
Let me start off by saying I liked Geekerella but I LOVED The Princess and the Fangirl. It’s a loose retelling of The Prince and the Pauper and just that is a refreshing change form the usually fairy tales that every author seems to pic (cough*Beauty and the Beast*cough). Ashley Poston was able to bring this story to a modern geeky time and she did it brilliantly in my opinion. I also feel her writing got much stronger in this one compared to Geekerella.
Yet again the geekiness in The Princess and the Fangirl, as was Geekerella, is at a maximum. As a geek I can’t tell you how much I loved all the references from pop culture there was in this book. Major props for making a Hamilton / Burr joke, almost spit my coffee out on that one. The story moves at a good pace and I didn’t feel like it lagged at some places. As expected from an Ashley Poston book, there is a ton of diversity which we always love to see.
I loved these characters. Jess and Imogen, our two main ladies, are just the perfect pair. Though they come from different places, I felt their story was very similar. Their whole quest was about doing something meaningful and being enough in this world. When they cross path in the most unusual circumstances, both of them will be put face-to-face with their fears and struggles while looking through the other’s eyes to see that they are not alone to live in doubt. For Imogen, living in the shadow of her overachiever sibling isn’t a new thing but with her initiative to #saveAmara, Imogen struggles to have her voice heard. Jess, the actress, who was cast into an idolized and almost « canonized» character, wishes she could leave it all behind. She is always in the spotlight, scrutinized and judged from every angle as her social media accounts keep reminding her. She’s used to being deemed unworthy of the character and the success that she has so much so that you can see that she has started to believe it. Why do we continue to do this to successful women in this society? Instead of elevating each other we have a tendency to find flaws and diminished one another. If you look at the life expectancy, career wise, of women in show business, by their 30s some have trouble finding work, nothing changed in their acting skills between their 20s and 30s except they got older. It’s ridiculous. Even in every day life, women are more judged than men. We have to be attractive and successful but not too much so we don’t appear intimidating. We need to want kids because if we don’t then there is something seriously wrong with us. I hope for future generations that we start to empower our girls and show them that they are enough and that they do not need to fit in all these boxes that prior generations have determined, that who they are is just what this world needs. I love how Ashley Poston put a light on these fears and struggles that we all have and showed how one can be strong and that the only person you have to please and make happy is yourself.
I was really happy to revisit some old friends and meet some new ones with this book. I am hoping that we might get a third book in this universe where we might see Sage story told??? I really enjoyed this book and hope you guys will too. I gave it a 5 out of 5 stars.
Thank you Quirk Books and Netgalley. ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.