Title // The Princess and the Fangirl
Author // Ashley Poston
Publisher // Quirk Books
Publication Date // April 2nd, 2019
Synopsis // 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.
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5)
Sob story of my life is that I requested an ARC of this and the publisher actually responding saying they would send one if they had one available… and I waited, and waited… anyways, six months later I’m reading this book from the library lmao.
Geekerella was one of my absolute favorite books that I read last year, so naturally when I heard about this book, I was beyond excited to read it! Unfortunately, it fell short and wasn’t as incredible as the former is. There were still so many things I loved about it though!
One thing I really enjoyed was the geeky fandom aspect of Geekerella! Part of that book takes place at a con, and it was probably my favorite part of that book. Well, the entirety of this book takes place at that con, so it’s all the fun for the entire book! I adored getting to see a bunch of fans gathered together, cosplaying, selling pins and fanart, speaking like their favorite characters, making endless nerd culture references, and basically just everything that the con entailed! I also loved seeing a character connect with her internet friend because I love my internet friends!!
This book really addresses the darker and more toxic sides of fandoms too, which made the book feel more substantial and real and I really enjoyed the conversations about it taking place. Jess, the actress who plays Princess Amara in the immensely popular Starfield movie, has to deal with absolutely horrible trolls commenting on her social media that really take a toll on her self esteem and mental health, and I thought it was so good how this was addressed.
For the most part, I really enjoyed reading from the perspectives of both of the main characters, Jess and Imogen. They both had such a fun, light voice, and there were certainly no shortage of references and jokes haha. I loved seeing how passionate Imogen was the fandom and saving her favorite character, especially from a feminist perspective of a female character deserving her own arc and not just supplementing men. Jess came off as a little annoying and entitled in the beginning, but she really grew throughout the story and I loved seeing the friendships and interactions she made with people she met as Imogen. One complaint I had though was that sometimes their two voices seemed rather similar and there were points where I forget who was actually narrating; they weren’t distinct enough.
The plot as well as a bit contrived and unbelievable. The idea that these two who just happen to look identical manage to run into each other, and then come up with the idea to switch, and then manage to pull it off after knowing each other for such a short amount of time is rather unbelievable. I mean, reading the synopsis you already know that it might be silly, but I was hoping the author would pull it off better.
I mean, there are multiple characters who know the girls and have conversations with them while they’ve switched and don’t even notice. I mean, people can tell identical twins apart if they know them well enough, and these two aren’t even twins, and they’ve never had a conversation with each other before the con, but they know each other well enough to impersonate each other so perfectly? Even being able to replicate their accents?
The romance is also something I’m rather conflicted on. The entire book takes place at a con over the course of four days, and both girls have busy schedules, Imogen attending panels and meet and greets and such and Jess searching for a script, and yet they’re both able to get into relationships with people they just meet at the con? Although the relationships were cute enough, they both felt rather like instalove. This book is also relatively short, around 300 pages, and it’s split POV so each girl only gets like 150ish, and romance isn’t the main focus of the book, so with such a short amount of time dedicated to romance, it felt really rushed and I was really not feeling or shipping them by the end: I didn’t hate the romances, but I didn’t like them either and I mostly didn’t even care. One of the romances is f/f though so there’s a plus for representation!
Overall, although I’m definitely not going to be adding this to any lists of favorites or anything, I did enjoy this book. It was quick (I read it in one sitting) and a good fluffy read for if you’re in the mood for something lighter!