Title: The Princess and the Fangirl (Once Upon a Con #2)
Author: Ashley Poston
Publisher: Quirk Books
My rating: ★★★★★
Synopsis via Goodreads:
The Prince and the Pauper gets a modern makeover in this adorable, witty, and heartwarming young adult novel set in the Geekerella universe by national bestselling author Ashley Poston.
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.
Ashely Poston has done it again! She has made my geeky, fandom loving heart so happy. I absolutely loved The Princess and the Fangirl. It was everything that I wanted plus more!
First off, this is the companion novel to Geekerella, which Iabsolutely loved! Technically you can read The Princess and the Fangirl without reading the other book, but I don’t think I really recommend it. There are a ton of Geekerella references that you won’t understand if you don’t read that book first. I have a good feeling you will be pretty confused and you won’t get to fully enjoy this book! Also, you should just go read Geekerella because it is amazing!
Okay so I am a huge nerd, I take pride in it. I love almost everything about fandoms. I love the geeking out over your favorite shows, movies or books. I love the friendships you can make. I love the conventions you can go to. I just love that you can be your true self in any fandom. The Princess and the Fangirl had all of that! Ashley Poston does an amazing job showing all aspects a fandom…the good, the bad and the ugly. Through Imogen and Jess you get to see the relationship between an actor and their fans and vice versa. Imogen and Jess walk a mile in each other’s shoes. One gets to learn what it is like to be a fangirl who goes to conventions regularly, while the other one learns what it’s like to be an actress at a convention. Both of the characters learn so much about themselves and each other.
The author also describes the toxic side of fandom so perfectly. I don’t think people truly realize how nasty it can get sometimes. Jess makes it very known that she doesn’t really want to be a art of the Starfield fandom. Mainly because she has had such negative interactions with people. She is constantly getting rude and hateful comments on her social media. Its ridiculous. I’m happy that the author brings this up. Actors/celebrities are people too and they don’t deserve the bullying that they get.
Like I said above, there are a ton of references to Geekerella. I loved getting to see Elle and Darien again! Just knowing that they are still together makes my heart so unbelievably happy! Reading this book really makes me want to go back and reread Geekerella as soon as possible!
Let’s talk about a little bit about the romance. If you have read some of my reviews before, then you will know that I am not a huge fan of instalove. It’s just not my thing, but sometimes it can be done well….like with this book. Since this is set a a convention, everything happens within the span of four days. So there has to be some instalove thrown in there, theres no getting around it. The romances were super cute! One of them was a hate to love thing, which ugh is one of my favorites tropes ever! Ashley Poston really made you root for the couples. So are the the romances realistic? No, not really. Are they super duper fun? Heck yes.
If you are looking for a book with some LGBTQ+ representation…look no further! There is a F/F romance (not spoiling it!), Imogen has two moms and her brother has a boyfriend. It’s quite wonderful.
I HAVE to mention that there were references to Supernatural, High School Musical and Harry Potter in this book! You can’t get much better than that! They definitely put a big smile on my face!
Overall, this book was fantastic. If you are someone who geeks out over fandoms then The Princess and the Fangirl is the PERFECT read for you! I cant wait for the next book in this companion series. I believe it will be a Beauty and the Beast retelling & I am here for it!!