I was kindly sent a copy of this book for review from Pan Macmillan in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Books, movies, fandoms, SupaCon and geekery - talk about heaven in a book!
BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie have traveled from Melbourne to SupaCon in America for an experience of a lifetime. Charlie's, a vlogger, is there to promote her new movie The Rising. She's hoping to show the world she's moved on from her heartbreak, and when she meets one of her favourite vloggers, Alyssa Huntington, she senses that her crush isn't one-sided. Taylor and Jamie are ready to geek out, and Taylor in particular is hoping to meet her all-time favourite author and idol. Suffering from anxiety, being at SupaCon is a big deal for Taylor, and through the people she meets, she realises that she's not alone in the world. And that maybe her feelings for Jamie could lead to more.
This. Book. Is. Amazing.
Talk about a cute contemporary filled with geeky-goodness! I connected with so much in this book - the characters, the fandomness - and I loved every minute of it. And what's more, this was such a diverse book. Charlie is a Chinese-Australia bi teenager, and we get to see her develop a relationship with Alyssa. Taylor suffers from severe anxiety and Asperger's Syndrome, and we get to see her handle the highs and lows, and coming to understand that she's not alone in the world. And Jamie is just a swoon-worthy, geeky guy! I can definitely see myself in some of these characters, and I know that a lot of other readers will feel the same.
The story is told in alternating perspectives between Charlie and Taylor (and I kind of wish we got to see at least one chapter from Jamie's perspective), as they explore SupaCona and the drama that unfolds. Charlie is dealing with having her ex-boyfriend around, and Taylor is trying to overcome her anxiety to participate in a super-fan contest to meet her favourite author. Throw in a tonne of pop-culture references and you've got a pretty awesome read!
This is such a brilliant book that will definitely resonate with you on some level. And although its a super-cute geeky romance, there are so many important messages that this book shared with the reader. And I'm positive that one, or more, of these messages will hit home for you.
Queens of Geek was written for book community - you will definitely see yourself in at least one of these characters, I certainly did. If you've ever geeked out and gotten lost in a fandom or two, this book is for you. It has definitely made it into my top 5 books, and it will be one that I will come back to in the future, especially when I need to be reminded of my place in the world and that I'm not alone.
Wow, this book was a lot of fun to read! It was so entertaining from start to finish, I virtually smashed this book in about 2 days! I love reading stories that are set at what I call “geek conventions” as I am big fan of pop culture myself so I really get wrapped up in entertaining reads like this one that follows BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie who go to the SupaCon with expectations of an epic time but what they don’t expect is it will change their lives forever. I found it easy to place myself with the characters and following their journey in this book even though they switched from one character to another throughout the story. What I found unique and quite clever about this book was how the relationships between the characters were beautifully woven into the story and the strong representation of diversity within the characters. A fun, humorous story relating to strong friendships regardless of diversity and covers important themes through a positive story.
Special thanks to Pan Macmillan Publishers for approaching me to be part of this Blog Tour and for sending me an Advanced Review Copy in exchange for my honest review.
Taylor has panic attacks. She doesn't like places with a lot of people, but because her best friend Charlie is at SupaCon to promote her movie and Taylor's favorite author will be there to sign books, she decides to be brave and go anyway. They have another best friend, Jamie, and he will be by her side to keep an eye on her. Taylor is in love with Jamie, but she thinks he will never like her in the same way. She doesn't want to stand out, she's a quiet girl with many insecurities. Being at SupaCon, however, makes her think about herself in a different way and maybe she'll be able to take a few chances after all. Will she be able to let Jamie know how she feels and does he like her back?
Charlie is at SupaCon to connect with her fans. She and her ex boyfriend Reese played in a movie together and they're there to promote it. They were a couple, but have broken up because Reese cheated on Charlie. Their marketing team wants them to get together again, but Reese broke Charlie's heart and she isn't going to let him do that again. She can barely stand being in the same room, let alone pretend she still has feelings for him. Charlie is a rising star in the vlogging world and when she meets her idol Alyssa SupaCon becomes a lot more interesting all of a sudden. Charlie has always admired Alyssa from afar and when she meets her in person her crush only becomes bigger. Does Alyssa share these feelings?
Taylor has panic attacks and her anxiety is something she's struggling with every day. She's incredibly brave because she does things that are out of her comfort zone and even though there are tears and breakdowns she's determined to get herself together every single time. She even joins a contest that puts her in the spotlight. I loved her sweet nature and her courage. She has a lot to be proud of and I enjoyed seeing her discover that. Jamie is a wonderful friend and it's clear that he adores her, but Taylor has no idea. It was endearing to see how Taylor slowly starts to believe in herself and lets Jamie in. I admired Jen Wilde's amazing empathic and realistic descriptions of Taylor's character and liked the warmhearted nature of the relationship she has with Jamie.
Charlie is outspoken. She has pink hair and she likes being in the spotlight. The focus on her breakup with Reese is difficult for her though. The whole world has witnessed his infidelity and most of their fans have easily forgiven him and now want them to be together again. That was heartbreaking to read about. Reese is a judgmental bastard and he makes the time he spends with Charlie at SupaCon complicated and painful. Fortunately she meets Alyssa. She's really nice and Charlie instantly feels a connection. I like stories about love at first sight and the bond between Alyssa and Charlie is wonderful. I loved Charlie's creativity and her unique personality. She wants to be happy with the girl of her dreams after everything Reese has put her through and is willing to fight for it. I loved how Jen Wilde writes about their relationship, she gives plenty of emotional details, which makes it realistic and honest. Alyssa and Charlie admired each other from afar for years and there are plenty of sparks when they finally meet. They have great chemistry and are a cute couple.
Queens of Geek is a fabulous story about two girls who stand out in their own way. SupaCon is a fantastic place for them to express themselves, it's an impressive setting and I loved Jen Wilde's vivid and colorful descriptions of the event. Her writing has a nice flow. The story is being told from both Taylor and Charlie's point of view and their voices are equally compelling. Queens of Geek is all about their experiences at SupaCon and the reader has the chance to find out everything about this short, but very important fragment of their lives. The event brings Charlie and Taylor some life changing experiences and I loved witnessing those. Queens of Geek is a surprising, fun story with plenty of interesting layers.
This is a hella cute diverse YA contemporary that takes place in a world where I spend half of my time: fandom. It’s so great to see characters who reflect people I know in everyday life - featuring not only female geeks, but queer geeks! This is an empowering story of chosen family, love, friendship, and courage, and I'm so glad it exists.