The Insides of This Book are Just as Cute as the Cover:Geekerella by Ashley Poston

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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 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. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?

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.

Source: GoodReads

General Disclaimer: I received an ARC from Netggalley it did not effect my opinion of this book.

Guilty Confession: I love Cinderella.

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I know I shouldn’t.  It goes everything against my feminist’s principles, but there’s something always so endearingly hopeful about Cinderella type stories and add the fandom aspect that gives Geekerella it’s unique type of edge well this book was on my “Must” list for 2017.

And somehow I got an ARC of it which is a miracle in itself because I hardly ever get ARC’s.  What was even better was I read this book while recovering from a hideous migraine that made it pretty much impossible for me to get out of bed without puking for 24 hours.

And it was the perfect sort of book to read when recovering from a headache.  It wasn’t that heavy and it was the sort of light hearted romp I like to read in YA.  Not depressing at all and the ship as very cute for the most part.  There were also some decent side characters which is nice since usually side characters in romance heavy YA books can be abysmal at best.

But the character Sage was probably one of my favorite characters in the book and so was The Magic Pumpkin which wasn’t a character, but the food truck had its own form which was interesting enough to read with.

Was Geekerella a perfect book?

No.  It had it’s fair share of problems, but at the end of the day it did it’s job.  It let me slip away for those few hours in a feel good bubble, though being the grumpy cantankerous blogger that I am, I am going to point out the faults that it did have.

Most importantly, the there were some tropes in the book that made me grown.  A lot of it had to deal with the stepmother and one of the stepdaughters.  And okay, I know it’s a Cinderella retelling.  I know when there’s a Cinderella retelling that there’s going to be an evil stepmother and at least one evil stepsister.  But my issue with this was that they were so ridiculously evil and had very little consequences that it made me sort of angry at the end.

I was like when is the stepmonster going to get her just desserts.  And don’t tell me it wouldn’t be realistic for her not to have them.  It would be very easy, considering I’m pretty sure she abused her role as guardian to her stepmother/possible executrix to her deceased husband’s estate.  And there are consequences for someone who abuses this role.

Yep, my brain went into lawyer mode when I read about this women, but she needed a good kick in the butt.  And so did one of her daughter’s who was just insufferable on so many letters.

And mild digression, BUT why are there so many books now that have character’s featured that are like minor Youtube celebrities.  I know that makeup tutorials are a thing on Youtube, but not every teen who has a Vine or Youtube Channel is going to be famous.  Or a big deal, I wish this was addressed.

Anyways, that aside I really liked this one.  It was cute and the fandom stuff was actually tastefully done-a lot of the times, I feel like the author ham’s it up, but this wasn’t the case.

If you want a cute light read and can overlook some things give Geekerella a try.  I liked it so much that I’m keeping my preorder in place which rarely happens with me being a penny pincher.

Overall Rating: A B+

Another Cinderella Story: An Offer From a Gentlemen by Julia Quinn

Will she accept his offer before the clock strikes midnight?

Sophie Beckett never dreamed she’d be able to sneak into Lady Bridgerton’s famed masquerade ball—or that “Prince Charming” would be waiting there for her! Though the daughter of an earl, Sophie has been relegated to the role of servant by her disdainful stepmother. But now, spinning in the strong arms of the debonair and devastatingly handsome Benedict Bridgerton, she feels like royalty. Alas, she knows all enchantments must end when the clock strikes midnight.

Who was that extraordinary woman? Ever since that magical night, a radiant vision in silver has blinded Benedict to the attractions of any other—except, perhaps this alluring and oddly familiar beauty dressed in housemaid’s garb whom he feels compelled to rescue from a most disagreeable situation. He has sworn to find and wed his mystery miss, but this breathtaking maid makes him weak with wanting her. Yet, if he offers his heart, will Benedict sacrifice his only chance for a fairy tale love?

Source: GoodReads

Everyone always talks about how great Julia Quinn books are.  Up to this point, I’ve only read one The Duke and I and I was unimpressed.  I read it before I reviewed books though, hence why I’m not doing a thorough analysis over it and I don’t plan to either-since again wasn’t that impressed.

At that point in my life, most of the HRs I read were my mom’s.  It wasn’t something I was really interested in that much, except they were the only thing I could read at my house and I was a college kid on a budget.  Now that I’ve been in a HR mood lately, I thought I’d give Quinn another shot and bought a few of her titles that stuck out An Offer From a Gentlemen was one of them.

And yes, it’s a Cinderella retelling, and I love the shit out of Cinderella, but in at the end of the day it just didn’t work for me.

I think a lot the reasons why it didn’t work was that even though I know the social norms wouldn’t have allowed Benedict and Sophie to be together, it still annoyed me how Benedict was like I want you to be my mistress rather than my wife, and we’re suppose to somehow find him endearing?  I mean, yeah, eventually he came around but it sort of pissed me off.

Sophie for her part, was a bit of a drip, but then again most Cinderella type characters are.  They are doormats for the most part, as is Sophie.  I did like the way that Quinn set up the scenario, it was clever but it still annoyed me  to no end-and yes, I know Sophie’s options back in that day were sad at best but…but…I somehow wanted her to become a self made women like all these self made men you see in tomances.

Le sigh.

The whole climax of this book was a little over the top too.  Sure, I don’t know that much about 19th century British law-save for all the cow cases I had to read in Contracts I (though that might’ve been 17th century not 19th century law) BUT I don’t think someone could get arrested so easy like that.

What do I know though?

Nothing, it seems.  The villain also was a little cartoonish.  And maybe that’s what bothered me the most about this book, that it lacked shades of gray.  Motivations and characters were really 2D and yeah…just didn’t really work.

I have a few more Quinn books in my stash and I will get to them eventually, but so far I haven’t been that impressed.

Maybe it’s just me though.

Overall Rating: A B- it is a fun read, but it really lacks depth and in hindsight it could’ve been a lot better.

Cinder-bratty-ella: The Stepsister’s Tale by Tracy Barrett

 

Disclaimer: I do not own the lyrics to “I Want It Now” which belongs to Warner Brothers. Also, I received an ARC  copy of this book from NetGalley.  It did not effect my opinion of this book.

What really happened after the clock struck midnight?

Jane Montjoy is tired of being a lady. She’s tired of pretending to live up to the standards of her mother’s noble family-especially now that the family’s wealth is gone and their stately mansion has fallen to ruin. It’s hard enough that she must tend to the animals and find a way to feed her mother and her little sister each day. Jane’s burden only gets worse after her mother returns from a trip to town with a new stepfather and stepsister in tow. Despite the family’s struggle to prepare for the long winter ahead, Jane’s stepfather remains determined to give his beautiful but spoiled child her every desire.

When her stepfather suddenly dies, leaving nothing but debts and a bereaved daughter behind, it seems to Jane that her family is destined for eternal unhappiness. But a mysterious boy from the woods and an invitation to a royal ball are certain to change her fate…

From the handsome prince to the evil stepsister, nothing is quite as it seems in Tracy Barrett’s stunning retelling of the classic Cinderella tale.

Source: GoodReads

Yes, I read another Cinderella retelling.

I can’t help it.  Fairytale tellings are like my weak point in YA.  Luckily, this one was a lot better than the last fairytale retelling I read, Cinderella’s Dress.

I actually enjoyed reading The Stepsister’s Tale, but it did have some problems.

The plot I thought was nice.  It wasn’ t very action pack.  And some might call it, I dare say boring, but it worked for me.  The story is really, more or less, character driven.  And I did like the development you saw with the character Jane.  So much, that I was able to avoid yawning at the constant drudgery that is farm chores.

The main character really was the best thing this book had going for it.  Jane felt like a real character.  She wasn’t ridiculously perfect, but she wasn’t unlikeable either.  Though, I have to say for an evil stepsister Jane wasn’t that evil.

In fact, she was really the Cinderella character (in my opinion) of the novel.

Who had ugly written all over her, on the hand, was Cinderella.

Dear lord.  As well developed as Jane is, the Cinderella character is hardly realistic.  From the book, I’m guessing she’s suppose to be about fourteen tops, but she seemed like she was about six to be honest.

It was ridiculous. That’s how I can only describe it.  Don’t believe me.  Here’s an example (paraphrased) of a conversation that Cinderella (know as Isabella) would have with her father:

Isabella: Daddy, I want a pony.

Father: Of course, darling.

Isabella: A pony driving a pumpkin colored carriage and pretty mirrored shoes and…I want a bean feast

Father: Oh, one of those.

Isabella:  Cream buns and donuts and fruitcakes with nuts….

Okay wrong movie, err…boook…you know what I mean. I think Veruca Salt is the inspiration towards this character.  She i sjust horrible.  And her quick turn around towards the end of the novel, just doesn’t do it for me.  You can’t make up all the shit you did the first ninety-five percent of the novel.

I’m sure…but no.

Besides, Isabella another issue I have with this book is how everything is suddenly resolved.  While I liked the overall slow pace of the novel, I felt like the end was a bit too sudden. There was so much building and then it just stops.  Suddenly.

As for the romance in the book…meh.  It was okay.  Definitely not overpowering.  But I didn’t get the thrills from it.  The good news though is it’s not really a main plot point of the book.  It’s more or less an after thought.

In a weird way, this book felt more middle grade than YA and I would’ve been fine with it if the characters were middle grade age.  But they weren’t.  These were all ladies of marriage age-though it sort of disturbed me how Maude (who was twelve in the novel) was marriage age.

Overall though, I thought there were some nice twists to the Cinderella tale.  I just wish…I don’t know…I just wanted more.

Overall Rating: B.  This one works.  But it could’ve been better.  However, I do recommend it with some reservations.