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The Prince and the Pauper gets a modern makeover in this adorable, witty, and heartwarming young adult novel set in the Geekerella universe by national bestselling author Ashley Poston.
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.
To start off, this book is a sequel-ish/companion novel-ish to Geekerella. It takes place after the events of Geekerella but follows a different person. I will not discuss anything that happened in Geekerella, therefore this review is completely safe if you haven’t read the first book yet.
Now, the review.
I love conventions, I love space. Most of my favourite books are situated in space. I also love contemporaries, so you can imagine my excitement when I was approved for an eARC! I can already say that I definitely enjoyed it.
The story takes place at ExcelsiCon and follows two characters. Imogen Lovelace, the fangirl out to save her favourite character Amara, who happens to be portrayed by the other character in the book, Jessica Stone.
The Princess and the Fangirl reads like a modern Freaky Friday, without the actual bodyswap. Them pretending to be eachother not only taught them about the struggles of the ‘other side’ of the fandom, but also about themselves, which is exactly what I expected from this book.
The writing was so fun and engaging, I really felt like I was a part of the story. I felt my heart beating faster when the story was getting exciting and I wished I could be there with Imogen and Jessica. The one thing I missed was a map of the con, to understand the layout better, but that might just be me since I’m a very visual person. I just really liked nerding out, and I would have loved a con like ExcelsiCon in my country. The references to movies and books are just so cool. I loved reading Imogen’s parts because I could identify with her so much flashback to her Tumblr days.
Having two characters from two incredibly different worlds did make me want to scream sometimes. While I didn’t have a character I could relate more to, there were some moments where I wanted to scream at someone for having incredibly wrong sense of righteousness. It all worked out in the end but it really bugged me at the time. I think it might actually have added to the story. Since the two characters are so different, it’s easier to see how they change over time. How the dark side of the fandom and the closed side of the movies clash and can learn from eachother.
What I really loved were the little eastereggs in the story if you had read Geekerella. Just mentions of things that even I might not have understood instantly, but then a few pages later it just dawned on me. It’s subtle enough that you don’t have to have read Geekerella, because you’re not missing any important details, but it is really fun to read them if you háve read Geekerella!
One of the things I was really excited about was the f/f relationship. While it was there, it wasn’t as present as I hoped it would be. Then again, the story takes place in less than a week, so I don’t think it could have been more present without it feeling like it was pushed upon us. Actually, while writing this review I feel like I’m at peace with this decision. By focusing more on the switch between Imogen and Jessica instead of the romance, I feel like this book is also really suitable for people who don’t like romance. I’m actually kind of impressed.
This book was perfect for my little nerd heart. I love retellings and this one isn’t as obvious as the normal ones since The Prince and the Pauper isn’t such a wellknown story. If you love conventions or nerdy things or Harry Potter this is really a book for you. But read Geekerella first if you can, it might not be needed but it gives you more information and it’s just a really cool story.