Friday, June 30

Recently Read | March + April 2017

Friday, June 30
I am a leeetle1 behind on updating this series, but I blame work, vacation, and being sick for the entire month of June.

What did I read during the months of March and April?

Top Read


Geekerella by Ashley Poston


Anything can happen once upon a con …

When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her stepmother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all—not to mention a fangirl’s dream come true.

Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they’re nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.



I love a good retelling, and y'all know how I feel about geekery, so the whole idea of Geekerella appealed to me from the very start. I was hesitant going into it, however, thanks to my recent experience with fandom/geek books. (Spoiler alert: It hasn't been good.) Thankfully, Poston has written a novel that feels true in its examination of fandom. In my review for Forever Young Adult, I put it this way: It is an ode to fandom without an overabundance of name dropping or stereotyping, a celebration of geek culture that doesn’t resort to tropes, and a book that I’m excited to tell my fellow nerds about. (Sorry not sorry for quoting myself.)


Poston's characters are fun, real-feeling individuals who obviously love their fandoms as much as I love mine. They never felt like caricatures, which I appreciate so much. The relationship between Elle and Darien is sweet and funny, and although it's fictional and more than a little unrealistic, still felt like something that just maybe could have happened. And I love how Poston updated elements of the Cinderella tale to fit with her story, from turning the magic pumpkin into a food truck and having the prince only play one in the movies.

Geekerella's plot isn't anything too deep, but sometimes you just want to get lost in a flight of fancy.


Honorable mentions


Defy the Stars (Constellation #1) by Claudia Gray

She’s a soldier.

Noemi Vidal is seventeen years old and sworn to protect her planet, Genesis. She’s willing to risk anything—including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she’s a rebel.
He’s a machine.

Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel has advanced programming that’s begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he’s an abomination.

Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they’re not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they’re forced to question everything they’d been taught was true.



With her Firebird series and the Star Wars novel Lost Stars,  Gray has quickly become one of my "must-read" authors. Defy the Stars isn't my most favorite of her books that I've read so far, but it's no exception to the "I love Claudia Gray's books" rule.

Starring an android who's way too human for his own good and a rebellious young woman who's willing to do whatever it takes to bring peace to her world, the novel is an exciting adventure featuring a surprising amount of swoon—which is one of the reasons I enjoy Gray's books so much; she's very skilled at mixing these sometimes disparate ideas. I'm excited to see where the rest of the series takes us.



Rebel by chance. Traitor by choice.

Gunslinger Amani al'Hiza fled her dead-end hometown on the back of a mythical horse with the mysterious foreigner Jin, seeking only her own freedom. Now she’s fighting to liberate the entire desert nation of Miraji from a bloodthirsty sultan who slew his own father to capture the throne.

When Amani finds herself thrust into the epicenter of the regime—the Sultan’s palace—she’s determined to bring the tyrant down. Desperate to uncover the Sultan’s secrets by spying on his court, she tries to forget that Jin disappeared just as she was getting closest to him, and that she’s a prisoner of the enemy. But the longer she remains, the more she questions whether the Sultan is really the villain she’s been told he is, and who’s the real traitor to her sun-bleached, magic-filled homeland.



I really enjoyed the first book in Hamilton's series (Rebel of the Sands) and was glad to find that Traitor to the Throne didn't fall prey to the dreaded Bridge Book Blues (i.e., not serve any real purpose other than transition from the first in a trilogy to the last).

Hamilton's world-building is superb, and the books are a fascinating mix of middle eastern, western, and fantastical elements. The plot moves a bit slowly for much of the book, but the pace picks up with a gusto as the end nears. It'll be bittersweet to read the last in the trilogy when it's released given how much I've enjoyed spending time in this world.


Other reads


★★★

Beneath the Shine by Sarah Fine | Freya (Freya #1) by Matthew Laurence | Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World edited by Kelly Jensen | Places No One Knows by Brenna Yovanoff | The Ship Beyond Time (The Girl from Everywhere #2) by Heidi Heilig

★★

Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor | Perfect (Flawed #2) by Cecelia Ahern | Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde


If you've read any of these titles, I'd love to hear what you thought! And definitely let me know if you've read anything lately that you'd recommend. My TBR pile is laughably large, but that doesn't mean I don't love adding to it.


1 A lottle, actually. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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