YA Books

Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston – ARC Review

Thank you to Quirk books for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review.

I love the first two books in the Once Upon a Con series so I was so excited to read this book and it certainly lived up to expectations!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

We first met Vance in The Princess and the Fangirl and I hated him! He was the exact type of guy I cannot stand but somehow Ashley got me to fall in love with him in this book. We learn there is a lot more to him than we think and that he isn’t quite like the persona he shows to the media.

Rosie was a wonderful character and a total booknerd! I loved her from the moment she spoke about her love for books and how much these fictional worlds mean to her. She was so relatable and I think all of us booknerds will immediately love her.

This story takes all the great parts of Beauty and the Beast and puts a fresh nerdy spin on it. Obviously an integral part of the story is the incredible library and we spend a lot of the story there which I loved! I liked how both Rosie and Vance slowly put their guards down and showed their vulnerable side and it all happened when they were both in the library. My nerdy heart could not take it when Rosie read the story to Vance I had a huge grin on my face! The build up of Rosie and Vance initially not liking each other at all and the tension and the angst was so good! I was literally screaming at them!

I really loved Rosie’s friends and that Vance had at least one true friend who basically told him to get it together. The Gaston of the story was the absolute worst and the way he manipulated things and doesn’t know how to take no for an answer. I was mad on Rosie’s behalf. I also loved seeing cameos of characters from the previous books and seeing what they were doing now.

Overall this was a cute nerdy story that I’m sure everyone will enjoy, especially you love beauty and the beast. It will fill your nerdy heart with joy and Rosie is all of us introverted booknerds who would rather spend the evening reading than go to party.

Friday Favourites

Friday Favourites – Books Outside Your Usual Genre

This is hosted by Something of the Book who created this tag out of a love for lists. There are different topics for us all to be able to take part and you can find the prompts here. There isn’t a specific number of favourites so it’s entirely up to you how many you share. You can share your most or least favourites too!

So this weeks topic is books outside your usual genre, I tend to read a lot of fantasy and sci-fi so I guess they would be my usual genre so I’m going to share some books that I loved that were outside my usual genre.

1 The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty – Okay so if you know me then you know that I will shove this book in your face any chance I get and yes while this may count as fantasy it also counts as historical fiction so I’m including it! So anyways…GO READ THIS BOOK!

2 One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus – this is a thriller and I don’t usually read them but this intrigued me as it got so much hype and I’m so glad I read it because I loved it!

3 Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali – I never usually read romance but a halal romance with a hijabi on the cover? How could I resist?! It’s safe to say I loved this book!

4 All the Things we Never Said by Yasmin Rahman – I have never related to a contemporary book dealing with mental health so much! There’s a Muslim character and her religious beliefs are a part of her life so it was amazing to see that in there!

5 Geekerella by Ashley Poston – contemporaries have always been a hit and miss for me but I adore this book! It’s super cute and nerdy and I adore the characters!

So these are some of my favourite books outside my usual genre!

What books have you loved outside your usual genre?

Top 5 Wednesdays

Top 5 Wednesday – Rainy Day Reads

Hey booknerds! It’s another Top 5 Wednesday post! This is hosted by Sam over on Thoughts on Tomes where you share you top 5 for the chosen topic for that week. You can check out each weeks topic over on Goodreads.

I’m a mood reader so I tend to decide what book to read depending on what I feel like picking up at the time but I think it would be nice to read a contemporary book while cosied up on the sofa or bed with a cup of tea and a blanket.

So these are some contemporaries that I loved and think would be great to read on a rainy day!

1 Geekerella by Ashley Poston – a geeky retelling of Cinderella which I adored!

2 Watch Us Rise by Renee Watson and Ellen Hagan – I absolutely loved this book which has themes of female empowerment and sisterhood!

3 Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – the contemporary book that convinced me to read more in this genre!

4 The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston – I read this recently and adored it even more than Geekerella!

5 Moxie by Jennifer Matthieu – another female empowerment book that I loved!

As you can tell I tend to read contemporaries if they are about something that I am passionate about. So female empowerment themes or it being totally geeky!

Do you enjoy reading contemporaries? What type of books do you enjoy reading on a rainy day?

Diverse Books, YA Books

The Princess And The Fangirl by Ashley Poston – eARC Review

Thank you to Quirk Books and Netgalley for this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

I adored Geekerella so when I heard there would be a companion book I was so excited! And this book did not disappoint. In fact I probably loved this even more than Geekerella.

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Rating: 4.5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

This book is filled with so much adorable geekiness, I just cannot deal! It’s a feel good book that left me feeling giddy and wanting to go to a con myself. There is so many pop culture references and I loved it! From Harry Potter to Star Wars and so much more. It made the characters, being at the con so real and so relatable! Honestly, I don’t read many contemporaries especially cute fluffy ones but wow did I love this.

This story is essentially a modern prince and the pauper retelling and it was so nice to see a retelling of a different story, as all I seem to see a beauty and the beast retellings. With the added bonus of it being set in a con over four days, it was fun and fast paced and intense. A lot happens in these four days from each of the girls learning more about themselves and each other to how it is on the other side of the fandom.

I really loved the diversity in the book too. Ethan is Asian and there is a f/f romance. I thought it was really well written and not like it was forced in there.

Jessica is the actress who plays Princess Amara on the film Starfield and she receives a lot of hate. People are always commenting all over her social media, sending her hateful messages, which is difficult for her to handle. She feels as though no one wants her there because she wasn’t a Starfield fan and she didn’t want to be in future films. As a result of all of this she is distant and generally looks like she doesn’t want to be there. Although I didn’t particularly Jess at the beginning of the book as her story developed and we get to see all that she has had to go through and how unhappy and lonely she is and I ended up really loving her and totally rooting for her!

“We need those stories, too. Stories that tell us that we can be bold and brash and make mistakes and still come out better on the other side”

Imogen is probably the opposite of Jess. She is reckless and passionate and adores Starfield. So much so that she has spearheaded a campaign and started a petition to save Amara. She has a younger brother Milo who she feels she is constantly in the shadow of. Her mums can be a little over protective and she had her heartbroken at the last excelsicon. So she puts everything into the saving Amara campaign, regardless of whether Jessica Stone wants to continue being Amara or not. Throughout the story we learn why saving Amara is so important to Imogen but she also learns why it isn’t okay to force Jess to play a role that makes her so unhappy.

They both have some great character development even though it is only set over four days and the beginning of a romance. While they switched places they both meet someone who they start to develop feelings for. Imogen’s hate to love was great, I loved how they both misunderstood each other and their own prejudices got in the way of them realising their feelings. And I oved that Jess was able to meet a girl who she could talk openly to without fear of her words being twisted and shared all over the internet. I loved seeing their friendship develop into something more. I liked that neither couple “fell in love” but that it was the beginning of something as they have only known each for a few days.

I loved that the darker side of cons and being part of a fandom was also discussed from how obsessive fans can make the actors feel uncomfortable and unsafe. To how females are portrayed in films, especially sci-fi/fantasy. They tend to be a love interested and there to push the story and character development of the male hero. How actresses are held to higher and stricter standards than their male colleagues, even mentioning real actresses that this has happened to.

“I’m sick and tired of princesses being either damsels in distress or the foil for a male character’s emotional growth.”

I think the only thing I was unsure of was the motives of the person who leaked the script. Why was it leaked? What did this person hope to achieve? I also figured out pretty early on who it was but none of this lessened my enjoyment of this book. It’s honestly so fun and anyone who loves cons and is part of a fandom will love this!

P.S Can we have Starfield made into a real show?

This book releases on April 2nd so you still have time to preorder!

*Any quotes used are from the arc and subject to change in the final copy.