My rating in stars: 4,5 stars
My rating in words: Loved it!
What it’s about:
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, Reese 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.
My thoughts (spoiler-free):
“Messes aren’t so bad, so long as you have people to share them with.”
Queens of Geek is an adorkable and inspirational look at fandom life, friendship, love and being happy with who you are. It’s the perfect pick-me-up book, the perfect read to make you smile and restore your faith in humanity. A must-read! I am seriously tempted to quote almost every single page, because it’s so awe-inspiring and swoon-worthy. But since that might just be overkill, I’ll just give you some highlights.
Fandom and geekiness at its’ finest. The story takes place during just 3 days. But not just any random 3 days. They take place during SupaCon, a major fandom convention, so be ready for lots of geekiness! Plus it follows three best friends, Charlie, Taylor and Jamie, who are proud supernerds who have dreamed their whole lives of coming to SupaCon. Meaning, we get to experience the wonder of a fandom convention through their eyes and since I’ve been dreaming about attending a convention such as this for ages as well, I was in awe. Not only is it such a fun and unique setting that I wish I could have been at, but the book is also filled to the brim with fangirliness and pop-culture references and all that just made me so happy. No better way to my heart than a few Supernatural, Felicia Day, Star Wars, The Breakfast Club or The Craft references!
Epic friendships. Well, another way to my heart is by writing a realistic but still epic friendship and boy, did Queens of Geek deliver. We follow these three best friends, whose friendship runs so deep and is so beautiful, despite their differences. The amount of support, understanding and loyalty they have for eachother kind of made me tear up several times.
Relatable and diverse characters. Charlie is a bisexual Asian-American youtuber and rising actress with a lot of confidence and empathy, even though she just went through a very painful and very public break-up. Taylor is a supersweet superfan who is on the Autism spectrum and has anxiety. And Jamie is a latinx extrovert who has been in love with Taylor for ages and is just the sweetest and most supportive teddybear imaginable. All three of them are so well-written and relatable. Though we only get Charlie’s and Taylor’s POV, which was a pity because I would have loved to see Jamie’s POV as well.
The romance. As the cover tagline promises, we get not one, but two love stories here. One is between Charlie and Alyssa. Alyssa is the popular youtuber and actress who Charlie has had a crush on forever. At the con she finally gets to meet her idol and when they agree to film a collab video together, sparks fly. Their romance was sweet and thoughtful, and features a date that is basically the perfect date, but the only downside was that it was just a teensy bit too insta-lovey for me. Taylor and Jamie, on the other hand, had me swooning from the very start with their best friends-turning-into-lovers story. Their romance felt so real and well-developed and I loved it.
The messages. Though there isn’t that much of a plot (it’s basically three friends finding themselves at a fandom convention), the messages spread throughout the book are just possitive and brilliant and uplifting. They made me want to quote every single page and recommend this book to EVERYBODY. I mean, it tackles so many important topics, from anxiety to fat-shaming, from biphobia to misogyny in the movie industry, and from the importance of friendship and support to the power of fandom. Did it feel a little cheesy and preachy at times? Yes, but the messages were so beautifully written and inspirational that I’m willing to overlook that.
So overall, I highly recommend this heart-warming and adorkable story to anyone. Any fan, nerd or geek will love this, but mostly just about anyone in need of some positivity, fluff and inspiration.
“History and experience have proven to me that it’s very hard for people to understand, and all too easy for them to judge.”
“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. We are the brave ones”
“Sometimes I don’t think I’m being a girl right. I have an undercut and wear clothes I’ve bought from the boys’ section, and I don’t wear makeup or do my nails. I watch horror movies and play video games and burp and swear and don’t talk about my feelings or any of that crap. I’m like Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality, only before the makeover.”
“There’s no one way to be a girl, Tay. You don’t need to fit yourself into what society tells us a girl should be… Are you happy the way you are? Are you comfortable? Do you feel like yourself? … Then that’s all that matters. Fuck everything else.”
“You can’t pick and choose whose equality you support. That’s not equality.”
“I didn’t see how much of my self-worth had been tied into that relationship until it was over. The hardest part wasn’t leaving her behind; it was feeling like I’d left pieces of myself behind. The only pieces I liked.”
“And the anxiety is a constant hum, a buzzing in your body and mind that never stops. Sometimes it feels like I’m allergic to the world, like I’m allergic to my own species. Being here, it’s an assault on my senses.”
“Don’t look. I don’t want you to see my messiness.” I hate crying in front of people. Charlie hands me a tissue from the box on the bedside table. “We”re all messy. What kind of friends would we be if we demanded you only show us your prettiness? This isn’t Instagram – it’s real life. And real life is messy.”