Three friends, two love stories, one convention: this fun, feminist love letter to geek culture is all about fandom, friendship, and finding the courage to be yourself.
Charlie likes to stand out. She’s a vlogger and actress promoting her first movie at SupaCon, and this is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star Reese Ryan. When internet-famous cool-girl actress Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.
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 her best guy friend Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about a fan contest for her favorite fandom, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.
“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.”
It’s always great to find a story that really surprised you by how much you fall in love with it. Queens of Geek managed to be exactly that for me. Going into the book I expected to like it for its fandom aspects and because it promised to be a light-hearted contemporary. However, it became clearly very quickly that this book was going to be so much more than that. Queens of Geek took me by surprise and really touched me in a very profound way, because I could relate to so many aspects. I was smiling with this book, I was crying so much, especially in the end. Needless to say, the book became an instant favorite 2017 read as well as an all time favorite book. This book just makes me so emotional, I cried while reading it and I cried while writing this Review.
👑 I really related to Tay and her anxiety. Tay was my favorite character of the entire book, because she was the most relatable. She (unlike me) is on the autism spectrum, but also struggles with anxiety. That was the reason I related so much to her, Tay said so many things that really resonated within me and touched me. She talked about how she isn’t good with conversation around people that she does not know well. Tay fears change and is afraid that in the future her friends will stop hanging out with her, too busy with other things. For her going to this convention and having so much attention on her is very hard. Public speaking is her nightmare and it was books that helped her through a lot of hard times. When it comes to romance, she is very clueless. She always worries about everything. These are just a few things that I related to so very well. Of course I’m not 100% like her, but there were so many things that I could see in myself as well. What I loved was Tay’s character development and how it was not about “curing” her anxiety, but about learning to live with it. She realized that there was nothing wrong with her, that she was strong for continuing to do so many things that might be easy for other people but were hard for her. Tay began to accept herself and to see that there was nothing wrong with the way she was, that she could still do things that might scare her but that were worth it in the end. That just really meant a lot to me, it was something I needed to read myself.
👑 I liked seeing Charlie’s perspective of fame. She was a very different narrator than Tay, which made for a nice contrast. I liked Charlie, but of course not as much as Tay, as Tay really had connected with me. Charlie is a more extroverted and self-confident girl, which I really liked seeing. She’s a YouTube star and recently had her huge breakthrough when she starred in an Indie Movie. Ever since she is more in the spotlight and struggling with everyone digging into her private life. The breakup with major sexist douche Reese is still hard on her, as everything was public and it seems like she cannot escape it. I loved how Charlie talked as a Bi Chinese Australian about sexism and racism that she encountered. Throughout the con she also meets her crush Alyssa, who surprisingly likes her back. I really like both of them, their romance was adorable and I was so glad to see Charlie happy with her new girl. In the end, she realizes that she was trying so hard to change people’s opinion of her that it completely blocked her future.
👑 Jamie was the sweetest and the romance was so slow burn. Honestly? I want someone like Jamie in my life as well, because he is the sweetest. Forget all the annoying alpha males, who needs them when you can have a precious cinnamon roll. I loved how positive and supportive Jamie was the entire time, he’s that person who always makes you feel good when you are feeling down. He would do anything for Tay and tries to encourage her to do this thing that she is terrified of but that could really transform everything for her. I really, really loved how Jamie was the person that Tay could always count on and turn to, when she had problems. There is a lot of slow burn when it comes to the two of them, which was really great, because it made sense for both of them. They were really adorable together and their relationship was so cute that it gave me all the fuzzy feelings. Normally, I’m not a huge fan of the “Best Friends realize they have been in love since forever”, but here it’s really well done! Another thing I liked about Jamie was that he always asked for consent, which sadly still is rare in books.
👑 Tay, Charlie, Jamie were the ultimate Trio. I loved that there was a focus on their friendship and not just the romance! The entire book is about the three of them, even if I was surprised that Jamie didn’t get his own POV like I would have expected. Nevertheless, I loved seeing a strong friendship portrayed and read about how they meet each other. No matter what happened, they were always there for the other and needless to say those three are definite friendship goals. It was great that they were all nerds and honestly it’s the dream to have two nerdy best friends that go with you to a convention and plan to live with you in college. Even when Charlie’s fame took of she never ditched her friends and in return they always understand when she has to do to a meeting. This is a friend group that I would definitely like to be part of!
“In one brief conversation, she made me see that there’s nothing wrong with me.”
👑 There was so much women supporting women. A nd I was all here for it. The most obvious are Tay and Charlie, as they are already best friends and supportive of the other. No matter what happens Charlie is always there for her friend and doesn’t forget about her when she gets into a relationship. On the other side Tay wouldn’t do that either and Charlie is someone who she would always stand up for, no matter how hard it is for her. It was great to see their positive relationship without any jealousy or weirdness when things between Tay and Jamie started to evolve. Charlie was always 100% happy for Tay. Then there is a girl who participated in the Contest like Tay did. Even though they are rivals, there is no jealousy or negative feelings between them at all. Instead they support and encourage each other to make it easier with all the nervousness they are both feeling. Tay also meets an artist and a girl who is on the autism spectrum like herself. Immediately, they feel connected and become close. Talking to her helps Tay so much and it was just beautiful to see all these strong, female friendships.
👑 Gloriously much fandom & nerd culture. Obviously there was lots of fandom, because our three main characters are nerds. As a fellow nerd, I’m always happy to read books that deal with fandom, which is why I had been excited to pick up this book in the first place. The entire book takes place at a fictional convention called SupaCon, which is a really huge thing in the US. It kind of reminds me of SDCC to be honest. There are lots of signings & panels with actors, author, YouTuber’s and so much more. There are booth that sell merch or artwork and we see a contest taking place. basically there is lots of fun and games, which makes me a bit jealous of everyone going to SDCC. I would kill to be able to attend a con like that, with so many people coming. The best things is that there are real life celebrities mentioned like e.g. the cast of Vampire Diaries or FELICIA DAY. Like seriously I loved that so much! A main part of the book was also Queen Firestone, the book series that Tay is a huge fan of, because it helped her through so much, which is something I can relate to. Apart from that there were lots more references, to TV Shows, Movies and Books. Among them Supernatural, which made me the most happy, since the author is a fan as well! They even mentioned Destiel!
IN CONCLUSION: Queens of Geek was a heartwarming story about friendship, fandom and coping with change that really took me by surprise. It really tugged at my heartstrings and I could connect so very well to one of the main characters – Taylor. By the end of the book I was ugly crying, because the book meant so much to me. It is a new favorite of mine and the one of the best books I read in 2017.
Have you read Queens of Geek? What’s your favorite book about fandom? 👑