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.
Elle has inherited her love of cult classic TV show Starfield from her dad - her parents met at a con, they cosplayed the main couple from the show, and then Elle used to watch it with her dad after her mum died. But when her dad then died, her step-mother bans it from the house, makes all of their memorabilia disappear and insults Elle and her dad for enjoying that stupid show.
I thought with a nerdy Cinderella re-telling, the fairy tale elements would be stretched or unlikely. But right from the off, you could see the recognisable traits in a modern and believable setting. Elle just wants to enjoy her favourite show and hope that the reboot movie doesn't crush her soul, or that Darien would ruin her beloved Starfield. Darien, meanwhile, desperately wants to do Carmindor justice, having been a huge fan all his life too.
I could tell this was going to be good because there were references to Doctor Who, Star Trek and Firefly in first few pages! It really was a love letter to nerd life - there was no fan-bashing (although some great comments about excessive fans, ambushing or stalking their - for want of a better word - prize), it was all about the community of cons and how you meet and recognise familiar faces and make a family in those who love something you do.
I adored this whole story, from Elle and her desperate need to escape but also do her dad proud, to Darien and his catapult to fame and fortune. It was funny and quirky and so damn sweet, especially seeing not just Elle but one of her step-sisters stand up to the "evil step-mother". It really was a story about being true to you and not letting fear or someone else's expectations get in your way.
Published 4th April 2017 by Quirk Books.