4 Star Reads, Book Review

The Princess and the Fangirl – Ashley Poston

The Princess and the Fangirl (Once Upon a Con, #2)

The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Princess and the Fangirl is the second book in the Once Upon a Con series by Ashley Poston. I loved Geekerella when I first read it, which is a geeky Cinderella retelling. I generally don’t like Cinderella, so any fairytale retellings that can get me to appreciate that story more is a win in my book. So, of course, I was super excited to find out that there was a Prince and the Pauper retelling in the same world as Geekerella. Although these could technically be read as stand-alone books, I would highly recommend reading Geekerella first as it sets the stage for the world of fandom specially created for this series.

In the Princess and the Fangirl, we are introduced to our two leads: Imogen and Jessica. If you’re read Geekerella, you’ll remember that Jessica is the actress who was cast as Princess Amara in the Starfield movie. Imogen is a huge fan of the movie and has started a #SaveAmara campaign, so when the two trade places at the Con – what can you expect other than hijinks and chaos? I liked both characters and really appreciated their arcs over the course of the story. Although the time period was incredibly short (just a few days), I felt like they changed and learned so much about fandom, themselves, and the people in their lives. It was impressive, although it probably would have been more realistic if that arc took place over a week or two, rather than two or three days.

I loved getting to know Imogen’s brother, Milo, and his boyfriend Bran. They were super cute and I wanted to see more of their story. The other supporting characters were Ethan, Jessica’s assistant, and Harper, but I never really felt that I got to know Harper, so she wasn’t super memorable. I was super happy when we had cameos from Darien, but felt that Elle didn’t get much cameo time. Imogen’s moms were also supporting characters, but they were definitely the least developed or important to the plot. Sometimes I forgot that they existed.

Although there were multiple romance plots in this book, there just wasn’t enough time for them to lay a foundation, let alone really cement into anything. The depth of feeling after only a few days was a little fast for me but contemporary is known for its insta-love tropes, so it was not unexpected. I appreciated both of them, but they are certainly not going to make it into my top ships of all time.

The plot was an overarching theme of Starfield’s new movie, with many intersecting plots of leaked scripts, individual character motives, and yet it all worked well together. The plots were never convoluted or confusing and I was always invested in the POV that I was currently reading. That being said, it wasn’t a particularly surprising journey but it was still super fun and enjoyable. I would definitely recommend this as a quick, fun contemporary read with the perfect amount of geeky love (and the brilliantly authentic Con atmosphere).

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