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When I’ve first picked Queens of Geek I didn’t know what to expect. Being a geek myself, I liked the quirky cover and the title. I had the feeling it was going to be a lightweight read – and well, it was that but… so much more. This awesome book is easily digestible while being diverse, realistic and sensitive at the same time. Want to know more?
Disclaimer: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Queens of Geek
by Jen Wilde
Publication date: March 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, LGBT
When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever.
Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Jason Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.
While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own.
Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.Amazon US Amazon UK
“That’s what we do. We walk a tightrope every day. Getting out the door is a tightrope. Going grocery shopping is a tightrope. Socializing is a tightrope. Things that most people consider to be normal, daily parts of life are the very things we fear and struggle with the most, and yet here we are, moving forward anyway. That’s not weak.”
The Worst: The cheesiness.
The Best: The realism and perspective.
Who should read it? Anyone! But if you relate to being ‘geek’ and are interested in the topic of conventions (even if you haven’t gone to any yet) you will love this.
Would I recommend it? Yes!
What could possibly happen during a convention that could change someone’s life, you wonder? With such a simple plot, it’s surprising how much this book was able to deliver. Following three BFFs, who are all geeky like me and deal with real problems like any of us, the book includes a fun amount of pop culture references. You read about this cool convention called SupaCon from different perspectives, so you know how it feels like to be there whether you’re the guest or one of the stars! But Queens of Geek goes beyond what is obvious (hint: there’s romance) and explores other subjects such as bisexuality and anxiety. I am someone who deals with anxiety, so I can say that not only this topic has been accurately represented here, but it also came with added value. Raw, yet uplifting. Real, yet bright. It described so well so many of the things I’ve felt and by reading Taylor, not only I understood her but felt she understood me too.
Despite having a fairly simple plot, Queens of Geek makes it up to us by finding ways to make us want to turn the page and keep following these awesome characters. While doing so, the book focus on their personal journeys towards self-acceptance and sends a message across.
The characters are diverse – and I mean, SO diverse – and never boring! Meet Charlie, bisexual Asian YouTube celebrity; Taylor, autistic fangirl dealing with anxiety issues; and Jamie, the best friend we all fall in love with at some point in our lives – and these are just the main ones. We get easily attached to many of the characters and even though they are all different, they all deal with things we also do. Falling in love, starting a new chapter in your life, dealing with a douchebag ex (ugh).
Because these characters are not typically “perfect” (even though they are pretty awesome), it’s easy to relate to them. The way they support each other and still remain strong regardless of fame or personal issues is inspiring! Specially what I really like about the book is that it focus on how they move on towards a new brighter chapter in their lives.
The Writing Style
It’s a present-tense first person narrative! And it’s told from 2 POVs (Taylor and Charlie). Bold move, Queens of Geek. I’m not easily impressed by this writing style but Jen Wilde nailed it. It’s simple, yet it fits the characters, the tone, the vibe, and no, it doesn’t make the book sound silly or too simple. Oh, and it’s very quotable too (it was difficult for me to pick my favorite quote). There’s a layer of depth and realism that is automatically added once we feel we are in each of these character’s shoes. Interesting also to read about Taylor through Charlie’s eyes and Charlie through Taylor’s eyes, and realize how this makes you feel differently about each character. The smart choice of the writing style certainly helped making this book a page turner.
Overall, Queens of Geek is nearly perfect. It’s a book full of awesomeness that captures the excitement of going to a convention while adding a diverse cast to the mix. Representation on point. I forgive Queens of Geek for the simple plot and for being sometimes a bit too cheesy. Also, geekiness, so much geekiness! What is there not to like? 5/5.
Portuguese geeky girl living in France. My first OS was Win 3.1 and Sony Playstation was officially the first console I’ve owned - of course that didn’t stop me from emulating SNES and GameBoy games, mostly RPGs. Roleplaying games were part of my childhood, they've expanded my horizons and made me start writing Fantasy too.