Title: Bookish and the Beast (Once Upon a Con #3)
Author: Ashley Poston
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release date: August 4, 2020
My rating: ★★★
Synopsis via 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.
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for a finished copy!
I absolutely loved Geekerella and The Princess and the Fangirl! They are two of my favorite books. Needless to say, I thought Bookish and the Beast was going to be another love of mine, but unfortunelty, it was just an okay read for me. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t quite live up to the hopes that I had for it.
First off, Bookish and the Beast is the third book in the Once Upon a Con series! These books are companions so no, you do not have to read Geekerella or The Princess and the Fangirl to read this book. It can stand on its own just fine. However, I personally feel like you will have a better experience with this story if you read the other books first. There are several references to prior events and characters so you may get a little confused if you don’t. Also, this series is a lot of fun so I highly recommend Geekerella & Princess any way!
As you can probably tell, this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling! Ashley Poston did a wonderful job taking the classic tale that we all know & love and she put a bookish and geeky spin to it!
Rosie is our Belle! When Rosie chases after a dog, she ends up in an abandoned house….so she thinks. There she finds a huge library full of the Starfield books. After being caught in the house and damaging an expensive book, she must organize the library to pay off her debt. I really loved Rosie. She is a total book nerd. She loves the look of books, the smell of them and getting lost in th pages. My favorite type of character! Rosie recently lost her mother, the person who helped her to fall in love with books and Starfield. She is trying to navigate life without one of her parents while also trying not to be the “girl with a dead mom.”
Vance is our Beast. He is Hollywood royalty and oh, he plays the villain, General Sond in the Starfield movies. After many slip ups with paparazzi, Vance’s parents send him away so he can try to see the error of his ways. Vance can be pretty annoying and almost unlikeable at times. He is has that *I can do anything I want because I’m rich* thing going on and it drove me crazy. Of course, I still wanted the best for him though. He struggles with trust. He thinks that everyone is out to get him. He also feels like he isn’t good enough. It was interesting to see his character changes & learns. By the end of the book, he isn’t the same person we see in the beginning.
What I loved most about Geekerella & The Princess and the Fangirl is that they were very fandom centric. Being the nerd that I am, I really enjoyed the convention settings, cosplays and all the other geeky things that those books had. I was hoping for something very similar with the third book, but sadly that wasn’t the case. Bookish and the Beast went in a different direction and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. We still get to see the wonderful word of Starfield, but it’s through books. Obviously being a bookworm, I loved that, but I always found myself missing the fun of the ExcelciCon! Compared to the first two books, there wasn’t enough fandom related things for me to nerd out to.
As far as the romance goes, it wasn’t my favorite. I didn’t hate it by any means, but I didn’t find myself rooting for it either. The chemistry between the two seemed to fluctuate. At times I could definitely see the sparks between the characters and then others times I was almost cringing at the awkwardness.
My favorite part of Bookish and the Beast was the adults that surround Rosie and Vance! They were incredible. Vance’s guardian, Elias is a total gem. He was always there to support Vance, especially when his parents weren’t. Yes, Vance has his troubles, but Elias saw the best in him. He believed in him when Vance needed it the most! Rosies dad was the coolest! I’m not even kidding, I loved him. He is a 90’s rock band loving, ear gauge wearing, queer librarian. Total perfection! His relationship with his daughter as very special. It’s just him & Rosie. They take care of each other no matter what. He is so supportive and gives amazing advice! Space dad is the best!
This may not have been my favorite book in the series, but it was still a fun & quick read. The Once Upon a Con series will forever have my fandom loving heart!