I was provided with an ARC of this book courtesy of Quirk Books in exchange for a fair review.
I was SUPER excited and totally shocked when this ARC arrived in the mail from Quirk Books! I first encountered Ashley Poston 2 years ago at the 2017 Boston Teen Author Fest where she appeared on several panels. I had seen Geekerella on Bookstagram and had it on my “someday TBR”, but that was where that ended. AND THEN I saw Ashley on this panel and she was AMAZING! She’s quirky and funny and a total geek. She talked about how much she loved fanfiction (Dramione FOR LIFE) and her love of HP (yessss). I knew then that here was an author I needed to get behind!
I read Geekerella immediately following BTAF and adored it! One of these days I will do a review for that, especially since Cinderella retellings are my life. Anyway, I was super excited when the sequel was announced and getting it in the mail was like second Christmas! I immediately dropped all of my TBR plans and dove right in! SO let’s cut to the chase, and discuss The Princess and the Fangirl!
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.
I really enjoyed this book, if not quite as much as Geekerella. I loved that it was a Prince and the Pauper retelling; its always nice to see the less mainstream stories get remakes!
Imogen was a great MC and looked forward to her POVs. I didn’t quite get where her lack of self-esteem came from, but I think that was mostly because we only had 320 pages to work with and didn’t have time for elaborate backstories (even if I want them anyway). I loved how she embraced her geekiness and considered the con to be like a second home. As someone who has vended at Boston ComicCon several times, it was great to see it from a vendor standpoint, because it really is a different view! My one complaint was that I felt her and Ethan’s relationship lacked a lot of building blocks. It wasn’t there and then it was and we didn’t get any of the feels or tension or longing looks or anything. We had like a half a page moment that was nice and then the rest of the book was a lot of them disliking each other. It could have been better. BUT I still ship them, because they really are perfect for each other, so that’s cool.
Jess, on the other hand, pissed me off for a good portion of the story. I hated her extreme disdain for all the fandom peeps and the con-goers, and how she was firmly convinced her movie wasn’t a “real movie” despite being a blockbuster hit. I feel like this would have played better a decade ago, but this is 2019 and “geeky” movies are THE MOVIES. We live in the Marvel generation, for Pete’s sake. The HP and SW kids are all grown up now and instilling our love on OUR KIDS! *deep breath* *end rant* I will say, however, that she redeemed herself by the end and so I will forgive her for being stupid. Despite all of that, I actually super loved her! Sometimes it’s the less-than-perfect characters that are the most intriguing! Also, her love story plot line was the better of the two, so that gives her some bonus points.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It had a lot of laugh-out-loud moments, and it was FILLED with awesome geeky references (Imogen calling Ethan a Burnt-Hufflepuff opened me up to a whole subset of house designations I didn’t know existed!) and Easter eggs (yay Geekerella). As someone who full embraces their geekiness and lives for their fandoms, I will never not want to read these books! HOWEVER, can we get a Starfield book now?!?! PLEASE?!
The Princess and the Fangirl releases April 2nd, and you can snag a copy here!
UPDATE: Quirk Books has a super awesome pre-order campaign for The Princess and the Fangirl, which is open until April 8th!
For the pre-order campaign, Ashley wrote a brand new (and SUPER cute) short story about Elle and Darien’s first date after Geekerella and Margaret Owen made some equally adorable fanart of Elle/Darien sporting Starfield pajamas to use as your background! Anyone who pre-orders the book and submits their receipt can get a download of the story/artwork! Follow this link to claim yours!