If I had one complaint about the adorable and great Geekerella it was that it was about a very specific branch of fandom, and glorified gatekeeping a little too hard. (I’m not a big fan of “the actors playing a nerd role has to be a fan of the franchise” as a casting ethos.) Which is why it’s really fun that Ashley Poston dug into the dirtier side of things for The Princess And The Fangirl.
Jessica Stone is sick of Starfield, which she took as a job, not a lifestyle choice, and Imogen is a true blue nerd girl. Their passing resemblance and their accidental crossing paths at Excelsicon leads to a scheme that will give Jess the weekend off, and Imogen the chance to save the character of Princess Amara from an epic fridging. (The conversation around fridging in this book was fabulous.)
Jess learns to see the lighter side of fandom, as she spends time with fans, rather than just hearing the voices that have harassed and criticized her for a year, and Imogen realizes that she and her friends have been very unfair to another human being who just isn’t as into their thing as they are.
There’s a touching take on Carrie Fisher’s story here (Jess’s interactions with her predecessor, who’s moved on from acting to be a quirky Hollywood insider and script doctor) tons of nerd references, and two super fun love stories (One of them queer!). Dare and Elle show up too, though this isn’t about them. (Imogen barely cares about The Magic Pumpkin though all of her friends are really really into the vegan tacos.)
I’m really enjoying the Once Upon A Con series, and look forward to the third, whenever it comes. Goodreads tells me it will be Beauty And The Beast, and I’m guessing it will center on Calvin, the last of the Starflight trio.
Up next is Dune Road by Jane Green, because I think I need some sad white lady at the beach reading. It’s been a while.