I read this book through the course of a day. Queens of Geek is an addictive look at conventions and geeking out with your best friends. I found a lot of parallels to my own life reading this book and running the convention circuit. Reading Taylor and Charlie's experiences at SupaCon was just an absolute treat, and I found myself going "OMG I'VE DONE THAT!" or "YES YES YES I SHIP THIS." This book gave me all the feels, that is all I am saying.
I adored Taylor, and I loved how open she was on her blog about her experiences with anxiety, body shamming, and she makes no bones about being the ultimate Queen Firestone fangirl. She's the kind of fangirl I can relate to, and while she had her moments of awkwardness, I feel like she has this wonderful knack for connecting with people. I loved watching her grow throughout the story, and I thought she was such a great character. I also loved the way she wants to help people and puts others over her own needs. Her relationship with Jamie also just made me laugh, if only because it reminded me of interactions my husband and I have together.
Charlie's side of the story was more fame focused, and even then I was super glued to it. She's a bisexual Chinese-Aussie indie movie star who is getting her big break at SupaCon and throughout the story she is constantly trying to be both a great friend to Taylor, but also attempt to stay professional in front of her ex-boyfriend, Reece. She falls for movie star Alyssa Huntington and her world goes topsy-turvy and it was such a cute romance. Most people know I am not a huge romance reader, but both the romances in this novel were so wonderfully organic within the story and I just fell in love with both of them.
And seriously, Jen Wilde does a great of giving the reader an authentic convention experience, from the intensity of the crowds, to the insane competitions and panels. Reading this book swept me back to my convention going days. It just made me smile wide, laugh, and it was just so true to life in so many ways. Definitely put this book on your TBR if you love fangirling, romance, and conventions. Overall, it's just an awesome read.
This is a sweet and cute story of three friends attending a ComiCon type conference. The story deals with over arching themes of sexuality, mental health and tolerance. At times these messages are quite heavy handed (we're all different and that's ok!) and repititious, but as the books is likely aimed at a younger audience, I can overlook that. Quick, light read with some female characters to truly root for.
Told in alternating chapters, Queens of Geek follows Charlie and her best friends Taylor and Jamie as they arrive at SupaCon (think San Diego Comic Con) and dive straight into all things fandom. Charlie is a Youtube sensation and upcoming actress who must navigate panels, superfans and the guest experience of a fan convention. Taylor, avid reader, cosplayer and writer, just wants to spend some time with her friends, meet her author lord and build some memories before everything changes and they leave for university. In the four days of the convention, both girls will face challenges, make choices that will shape not just who they are but who they want to be.
This is a light romp that deals with some heavy topics (sexuality, social anxiety & social media) set on the backdrop of conventions, fandom and all things geek. Both narrators feel genuine and the reader can't help but empathize with their individual plights and cheer for their successes. The geek content is very current, with nods to fandoms like Star Wars, Walking Dead, Back to the Future and to famous geeks - like Felicia Day. If you are at all immersed in geek culture, this is a book for you.
I quite adored this book. I loved the examination of counter-culture and all of the nerdy references. It was exactly what a con should be and is (though I will admit I have never been in a themed maze at a con but maybe someday). I loved that there were Youtubers and writers and geeks of all fandoms. It explored the creative nature of these people and I liked it. More importantly, it describes the bonds you feel with other like-minded people.
Additionally, I enjoyed the diversity within this book: neurodiversity, racial diversity, fandom diversity. It was something that was in the book but it did not define the book. Yes, Charlie is bi but she's also an actress, Austrailian, Chinese, a Youtuber, has pink hair -- there is so much more to her. Same with Taylor who has social anxiety but she's also an Aspie girl, a cosplayer, a fangirl, a writer and I love all of that.
My one critique is that this story went too fast. There were a lot of lessons learned in a short time and a lot of relationships formed in that time as well. Also, I felt this story did a great job of breaking down stereotypes except with the character Reese, I would have liked to make him more dynamic as well. Jamie was similar for me -- he just seemed to be the perfect best-friend-turned-boyfriend and that bothered me. I would have liked to have him more well-rounded. Also this story doesn't pass the reverse Bechtel Test and I just like it when stories pass both for, you know, equality and such.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it.
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