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The Princess and the Fangirl

Review

The Princess and the Fangirl

Ashley Poston returns to the world of GEEKERELLA in her newest release THE PRINCESS AND THE FANGIRL. This latest installment follows Imogen Lovelace and Jessica Stone. Imogen is a Starfield fangirl who is at ExcelsiCon petitioning to save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from death. Unfortunately, Jessica Stone has no interest in continuing to play Amara, especially considering all the backlash she has faced from the fandom. When the newest Starfield script leaks, Imogen and Jess reluctantly team up “Prince and the Pauper” style after a case of mistaken identity earlier on during the convention. As each gets the opportunity to live in the other’s shoes, both learn of the unique and complex value of fandom all while falling in love at the same time.

 

GEEKERELLA was one of the first stories I read that focused so heavily on representing fandom within young adult literature. For this reason, I, as well as many others, felt so attached to the story and the characters. The return to this world was one that I was very highly anticipating and it did not disappoint! While I was very excited to read the sections of the novel that featured cameos from Elle, Sage, Calliope and Darien, I loved getting to learn more about the new characters from this novel in depth. Imogen and Jess are both such strong and unique protagonists that each have their own three-dimensional personalities. Imogen has such a deep love for Princess Amara, making her petition to revive the character incredibly admirable and heartwarming. Yet, there is this nagging feeling that she is taking her pursuits too far. Imogen seems to initially lack a consideration or understanding for what goes on behind the scenes of creating these films, even if she is correct in acknowledging that Amara’s development on screen has been unfairly cut too short. Jessica understands first hand what it is like to face ridicule for her looks, her word choice, or every day decisions that she makes. Having only seen the bad in fandom, she loathes the Starfield franchise. It is difficult to understand Jessica’s position because, as readers, we have a strong attachment to fandom and the goodness within a fandom.

 

Poston brilliantly highlights the duality to fandom in this novel through the identity switch Imogen and Jess make. Both characters have the opportunity to see the opposite side of the fandom that they were never exposed to; as a result, a highly rewarding sense of enlightenment comes with it. Fandoms can be very beautiful places, but fans need to know when to take a step back to ensure that their actions are not damaging to others.

 

Intense analysis aside, this story is incredibly fun and light-hearted. Everything that I loved about GEEKERELLA is brought into this new story in full force. There are several adorable romances with queer representation present, of course. Characters share tender moments of intimate connection, moments of frustration, moments of joy and happiness, and moments of awe-striking glory. In a sense, they experience the full range of emotions that comes with fandom and finding yourself a part of all of its chaos. If you have any connection at all to fandom, this read is perfect for you. I could not recommend THE PRINCESS AND THE FANGIRL enough. Please pick it up at your nearest bookstore and give it a read. It’s a whirlwind of a story that is sure to touch the heart of anyone that knows the true power of fandom at its finest.

Reviewed by Gabby B. on April 3, 2019

The Princess and the Fangirl
by Ashley Poston