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Once Upon a Con #2

The Princess and the Fangirl

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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.

320 pages, Hardcover

First published April 2, 2019

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About the author

Ashley Poston

20 books6,112 followers
New York Times best-seller by day, fanfic author by night.

Viist her at www.ashposton.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,754 reviews
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,536 reviews9,779 followers
April 24, 2023
Jessica Stone, gorgeous teen actress, had planned to use the Starfield reboot as a stepping stone to greater projects.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be working out that way.

Afraid of being typecast, Jessica wants to distance herself from Starfield as much as she can, but with the sequel in the works and the fate of her character up in the air, it is becoming a challenge.

As she prepares to attend the same Con that her costar, Darien, met the love of his life, Elle Wittimer, at the previous year, Jessica begins to feel overwhelmed by pressure to be something she's not.

Imogen Lovelace is a fangirl extraordinaire, who will be attending the same Con.

Furthermore, she happens to look surprisingly like Jessica Stone. When people end up confusing one for the other, a brilliant life swap takes place.

Imogen is hoping to save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being wiped out of the Starfield universe forever.

Certainly, Jessica, who plays Amara on screen would agree with that goal, right?

We follow the two girls as they swap lives and learn a valuable lesson: the grass is not always greener on the other side of that damn fence.

I was so happy to return to ExcelsiCon and the whole fan vibe surrounding it. Unfortunately, for me, this one wasn't quite as enjoyable as Geekerella.

I legit swooned over that story for a week!

While I did still like this a lot, Ashley Poston's writing is just so fun, I think it suffered a bit because I don't really know the story of The Prince and the Pauper.

Obviously, this is not the book's fault, it is mine.

One of the things I loved so much about Geekerella was all the little details connected to the original Cinderella story. To me, these were like finding Easter eggs throughout. I loved it!

I still had a lot of fun with this book, don't get me wrong, just not quite as much as I did with the first book in the series.

I am really looking forward to the third installment, a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Heck, I know that story so well, it's like I wrote it myself!

To the stars, Ashley Poston.

Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,478 reviews19.2k followers
April 5, 2019
This was... fine? Nothing to really complain about, but I definitely think that I have outgrown fandom books :c womp
Profile Image for Heather.
387 reviews16.8k followers
April 9, 2019
I was a huge fan of Geekerella when it came out so I was highly anticipating this book but sadly I didn't love it as much as the first book.
I think The Princess and the fangirl had the same heart as it had in Geekerella so I adored that but I wasn't in love with our two main characters.
The book takes places over a weekend during the ExcelsiCon and Starfield actress Jessica Stone meets Imogen and a Parent Trap/Freaky Friday event takes place. I just felt like the 2 stories were a little disjointed and I needed more than just the weekend.
I enjoyed the 2 romances but wasn't in love with them. They were both very instalove which is fine by me but there wasn't enough time to have a spark or a deep connection in either of the relationships.
Overall I enjoyed the book and would recommend if you've read Geekerella and also if your a fandom lover at heart.
This series is made for fans of fandoms. For people who love a fandom with everything they have and pour their heart and soul into it which I love about this series. It's made me fall in love with Starfield and I will be continuing on with the series even if this one was a little lackluster.
As always,
Profile Image for Jessica.
569 reviews777 followers
March 30, 2019
I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Quirk Books) in exchange for an honest review.

Omg this book was incredible and I have nothing but good things to say about it. I read Geekerella about 2 years ago and loved it, but I don’t remember having this level of response to it. I’m obsessed.

So first off, I loved the writing style. Sometimes when you read books about fandoms it can come across like a fan fiction. This book read like a nice YA contemporary with fandom references.


I also loved that this book tackled the darker side of fandoms. A big focus was on how harsh fans (particularly in the sci-fi community) can be on actors. This is something that happens all the time and I’m glad the book gave the perspective of the actor on the receiving end of it. I also liked that this darkness was balanced by the positives of fandoms. It showed both sides well.

As for the plot, I liked that it took place entirely at the con. I thought the romances were adorable and I loved the representation (LGBT and POC).

The fandom references were so on point. My favorite was the Blue Eyes White Dragon reference to Yu-Gi-Oh on page 251 (I was super obsessed with Yu-Gi-Oh as a kid).

Lastly, if you miss Darien, Elle, and Sage from Geekerella, don’t worry. They all make an appearance in the book and I was so happy to see them again.

Overall, this was an amazing companion novel to Geekerella. If you loved that book, you’ll love this one!
Profile Image for Lea (drumsofautumn).
619 reviews627 followers
January 7, 2020

Video Review

Sometimes books just shoot cupid's arrow right into your heart and you have so much love for it, that it's hard to explain why.
I'm gonna tell you all of the things that I enjoyed and loved about The Princess and the Fangirl, but there's no way to actually explain to you how it made me feel. This book filled a void in my soul that I didn't know existed and I'm so grateful for this book and the whole universe around ExcelsiCon that Ashley Poston has created.

“I am a kaleidoscope of hope and dreams and wonder in the shape of a girl. I am not a porcelain doll. I am not empty. I am worthy. I am enough.”

Before we really get into this review, let me talk about the representation. One of the main characters, Jess, has a f/f romance and her love interest is black. Both characters never mention any labels or specifics about attraction (or maybe I was crying while they mentioned it) and I'm digging it. We need on-page representation but we don't always need specifics.
The love interest of the other main character, Imogen, is Japanese-American (although I don't know how I feel about the fact that Imogen said he looked like a J-Pop star). Imogen has two moms and her brother is in a relationship with another guy.

I really enjoyed Poston's Geekerella on a lot of levels but what really got me about the novel were the fandom elements and how much of her own love for fandoms Poston put into it.
And The Princess and the Fangirl did it AGAIN.. maybe even better. There were so many beautiful, fandom related moments in here. Reading this as someone who has made herself a home online and in many fandoms, this book felt a little like coming home too. Poston just GETS IT! And she writes about how it feels to be part of fandom culture like no other.

“We need those stories, too. Stories that tell us that we can be bold and brash and make mistakes and still come out better on the other side.”

And oooh, my heart with all of the Geekerella references. You COULD definitely read this without having read Geekerella but I would really advise against it. First of all – if you enjoy Geekerella, you'll probably enjoy this one and vice versa. But this book is really loaded with references to its events and characters, so not only do I imagine it's probably a bit confusing in parts but you'll just have a much greater reading experience if you can recognize all those references.
AND there's some spoilers for Geekerella and I'd find it really sad if you couldn't discover those events and character developments for yourself. So, please read Geekerella first! It's worth it! It also makes the reading experience much more emotional.

This is also important for the understanding of the fictional sci-fi show, Starfield! If you've read Geekerella you have a certain knowledge of this show, which is really important for understanding the impact that a lot of the events in this novel have.
And if, like me, you also fell head over heels in love with this fictional show, it truly feels so wonderful to be back at ExcelsiCon, to read about Starfield again, to experience the fandom. I'm not even gonna lie – I'm a Starfield fan and this book only strengthened my love for it. One day I want this show to actually happen. I can quote so many things from the show. I literally want a shirt that says "Look to the stars! Aim! Ignite!" And there was one really beautiful scene at the end of the book where this phrase gets used and I could literally feel myself experiencing this moment with everyone else and I just BAWLED!

“As our friends in the Federation always say – Look to the stars!” “Aim!” echoes everyone on the showroom floor and I join in for the final word: “Ignite!” Cheers rise up across the showroom floor, and I close my eyes and relish it, because there's nothing quite like the possibility of another ExcelsiCon.”

One aspect that I also really loved was the two perspectives that we got. Apart from the fact that I truly loved both main characters with all their flaws and everything, it was just so fun to see the perspective of an actress at a con (and especially someone who is not involved in fandom at all) and of a frequent con-goer who even shared a booth with someone and then see those roles reversed. Both characters learned a lot from this experience and I just think that it worked incredibly well in this context.
This also had so much commentary on social media, misogyny in especially Science Fiction and Fantasy fandoms, harassment at cons.. you name it. Sometimes those moments felt a little clumsy but god, I'd rather have them in there clumsily than ignore the fact that this is A CONSTANT THING that happens.
I like that we see an actress as part of a big Science Fiction franchise (especially a rebooted one) and how much harassment she experiences through social media. It referenced both Daisy Ridley's and Kelly Marie Tran's situations and it was clearly a very timely commentary on that. It was really great to see this talked about in a novel cause I had never read about it, especially from this side of things, and I thought that Poston did such a good thing to also explain how it's hard to escape those comments and how it's scary.. but also sometimes even scarier to not read about yourself. I just thought that this was overall handled incredibly well. And I loved that the main character pointed out her own white privilege and that she acknowledges that she receives less hate than many women of colour in similar situations.

Through those perspectives, especially of the actress, Jess, experiencing the "fan"-side of things, this book explores the theme of the art-house movies vs the popular, entertainment movies and how there is value to both and an audience for both and how the entertainment media shouldn't be belittled, especially by people working inside of it.
I loved this aspect because that is exactly what I feel about this book! This was no Great Gatsby. This book has many flaws. There's some overly dramatic scenes in here, it has a very quickly developing romantic storyline (I'll get into this in the next paragraph) and I know this is gonna be too filled with pop-culture references for a lot of people. And I get all that. This is no Literary Fiction. But this pulled at my heartstrings and it was exactly the fluffy and emotional read that I needed. And it made a huge impact on me, an impact that a Great Gatsby would never achieve.

“What I am built for is to fall in love slowly, page by page, like reading a favorite book. I am built for the nearness of someone, the quirk of their lips, the sincerity of their smile, the dreams just underneath their skin. I fall in love moment by moment, collecting who they are, who they were, who they want to be, into a kaleidoscope of colors.”

When it comes to the romantic storyline, you have to go into this knowing what you're gonna get. If you cannot handle a romantic storyline that takes place over a couple of days, this is not the book for you. I do not mind short real-life time spans, especially not if it's at a con because.. let's be real, cons are magical places and feelings are very heightened. But you might have to suspend your disbelief. Let's keep in mind that this is a fairytale retelling.
If you take out that element, or, like me, just don't care, I loved both romantic storylines SO GOD DAMN MUCH. Now, I gotta say, with the whole Princess and the Pauper situation, the f/f romance was one that some people will probably not love? Cause it's basically build up on a lie and I definitely wish Poston had done something different but at the same time, I can't deny that.. I kinda didn't mind? Like I'm putting this info here cause I know it's gonna bother other people but for me, I still think it worked well and Poston just managed to sell this romance to me regardless, which is SKILLS in and of itself.
The m/f romance was a dislike-to-love (there wasn't enough time for hate) and it was SOME GOOD STUFF! I could tell IMMEDIATELY this was gonna be it and I looove that, I loved the dynamic and development.

“I think there are people who come into your life, and you just know. For however long or short a time or however impossible it might seem – they're important. Like a guiding star amid a storm.”

In conclusion, I can only say I loved this book and could probably write five more paragraphs about it. Really, through writing this review I only just realized all the small nuances that added up to this being an absolutely fantastic read for me. It was so enjoyable and emotional and I will cherish this book forever. Look to the stars! Aim! Ignite!

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I received an ARC of this through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 8 books351 followers
December 8, 2022
Love love love! This has all the wonderful, quirky cosplay fun of Geekerella, fandom at its finest as Imogen, Princess Amara’s biggest fangirl comes to a con with her family, and Jessica, the actress who plays Princess Amara (and who not-so-secretly hates the role) sits on panels barely disguising how much she’d rather be anywhere else. But after a chance meeting where the two realize they look similar enough to pass for twins, a lost script, and an interview gone right/wrong, they decide to switch places. And hilarity ensues.

This was so much fun as one girl got to go back to “normal” for a bit, the other tries to save her favorite princess, unlikely romances begin to form, and there’s just so much comicon fun. The enemies to lovers thing with Imogen and Ethan? Yes, please. I hope she keeps this series going!

Profile Image for Hayley.
99 reviews27 followers
June 18, 2019
This was quirky and cute and cringy wrapped up in a galactic nutshell.

Maybe I’ve grown out of her writing since I read Geekerella in 2017 and loved it, but Ashley Poston REALLY wants to cram as many Harry Potter and Starfield references as is humanly possible in every page of the novel. This whole book screamed at me ‘look at how relatable and adorably quirky I am’ the whole time and it did annoy me and hinder me enjoyment as it read as too immature for me at times.

We have the Princess, Jessica Stone, international actress extraordinaire, grew on me towards the last quarter of the book, her relationship with another character, was heart warming, but wow man, she is annoying and whinyyyyy af. I do appreciate her showing how there are two sides to be being famous, the harassment and trolls picking her apart as society typically does to anyone with any kind of platform, but I just couldn’t get over how she treated people and that bitchy vibe she was giving me lingered far too long for me to love Jess overall. She redeemed herself towards the end, but I still think she’s a bit stuck up. 🤷🏼‍♀️

And we have the Pauper, Imogen Lovelace, Fangirl fanatic, who I like more than Jess, but I found her fangirling to be a bit much at times. She’s the product of galactic red bull and coffee in the form of a human being. Her relationships with her brother and Mums were fun to read from, they’re just one big happy family full of nerds. Her determination to stand up for something she truly believes in and has such a passion for was admirable, the lengths she went to for this cause was admirable to say the least. Her relationship with another character was predictable (as was Jess’) but it was cute, nothing mind-blowing, just two nerds coming together and seeing each other under the surface.

Seeing the other characters from the first book was nostalgic as this book is set in the same world as Geekerella.

If you’re looking for an incredibly easy and fast read, full of fandoms, supportive families and quirky diverse romances, then this book is for you!
February 1, 2020
“I am a kaleidoscope of hope and dreams and wonder in the shape of a girl. I am not a porcelain doll. I am not empty. I am worthy. I am enough”.

¡Amé muchísimo esta segunda parte/spin-off/novela compañera de Geekerella! Si el anterior era un retelling de La Cenicienta este es un retelling de El Príncipe y el Mendigo.

Aquí nos encontramos con Jessica Stone, la actriz que interpreta a la Princesa Amara en Starfield, la franquicia que está reviviendo una serie mítica de ciencia ficción. Jessica ha soñado toda su vida con ser reconocida por películas artísticas y con ganarse un Oscar, y cree que hacer parte de Starfield la ayudará a propulsar su carrera, pero cuando se da cuenta de que no firmó por sólo una película sino por las entregas que fueran necesarias, su vida entra en crisis. ¡Y todo es aún más dramático cuando pierde el guión de la segunda película en medio de ExelsiCon, la convención friki más importante, y alguien empieza a filtrarlo en Twitter!

Y, por otro lado, tenemos a Imogen Lovelace, una fangirl profesional, fan absoluta de Starfield y la persona detrás de la campaña #SaveAmara para que su princesa favorita siga saliendo en todas las películas de la franquicia. Imogen está intentando vivir una convención más, pero, de repente, su camino se cruza con el de Jessica Stone y se dan cuenta de que son idénticas. Al principio se odian un poco, pero luego Jess entiende que necesita a Imogen para que la cubra en los páneles y firmas mientras ella busca a quien está filtrando todo el guión. ¡Y así es como cambian de identidades en medio de ExcelsiCon!

Este libro es absolutamente espectacular no sólo porque nos cambia la perspectiva completamente para las dos protagonistas, sino por todos los temas de fondo de los que habla. A través de Jess podemos ver la cara más horrenda de los fandoms: cómo las personas creen que pueden opinar de cada movimiento que haces, la misoginia, los comentarios abusivos, el bullying en redes sociales y, sobre todo, el acoso sexual que sufren las mujeres en las convenciones. Todos estos factores son los que han ido alejando a Jess de Starfield, los que la han hecho odiarlo. Sin embargo, a medida que avanza el libro y puede vivir lo que es el fandom desde la perspectiva de Imogen, una chica normal, ve que también hay aspectos positivos. Ve cómo una historia de ficción puede cambiar la vida de las personas y puede unirlas de maneras que nunca habrían creído posibles. E Imogen, por otra parte, entiende de primera mano lo que es vivir del lado no amable del fandom y eso la ayuda a reevaluar muchas de sus conductas.

Quizá lo que más me gustó de todo el libro, además de las infinitas referencias frikis y los guiños que Ashley Poston hacía a Geekerella, fue la representación y el romance. En esta historia nos encontramos con personas de color, inmigrantes y chicas lesbianas y bisexuales. ¿Y lo mejor de todo? Es un tipo de representación que sencillamente está ahí, que se integra naturalmente en la historia y que no peca por ser forzada. Toda la trama se va hilando de una manera tan fluida que, cuando suceden las cosas que te hacen entender que a un personaje le gustan las chicas, sencillamente pasan. No te lo piensas dos veces ni sueltas todo el aire que tenías en ese momento.

¡Y es que soy una sucker para los romances! Debo admitir que me gustó muchísimo más el de Imogen con Ethan porque es el típico odio-a-amor. Y no, no es spoiler, está clarísimo que va a pasar desde el principio. Y, de hecho, amé toda su dinámica porque al principio Imogen, caracterizando a Jess, pensaba que a Ethan le gustaba Jess, no ella misma, así que todo era un lío. Pero el pobre de Ethan estaba preocupadísimo por su amiga y por estos nuevos sentimientos y... en fin. Y no, a pesar de que el libro sucede en... ¿tres días? ... no me quejo del instalove. En medio de una convención y con tanto drama y tensión alrededor los sentimientos son muy intensos, así que las relaciones que se crearon me parecieron perfectas.

Creo que, en resumen, The Princess and the Fangirl es un libro que van a adorar si alguna vez han sido parte de un fandom y han vivido lo intenso que es. ¡Se los recomiendo muchísimo! Eso sí, ¡lean primero Geekerella.
Profile Image for Shawna Finnigan.
474 reviews312 followers
June 8, 2022
TW// cyber bullying, sexual harassment, brief mentions of fatphobia and mysogyny

I wasn’t a huge fan of Geekerella, but I’d heard that most of The Princess and the Fangirl took place at a comic con so I decided to give this one a chance. I even got a signed edition at a comic con. It felt like the universe was giving me a sign that I was going to enjoy this book. I really should’ve known better though because this one was worst than the first one. The Princess and the Fangirl is a princess and the pauper retelling that involves cosplay and comic cons. That sounds perfect, but it failed to impress me and I found myself just hoping that the book would be done soon.

Let’s start with the two things that I liked about this book.

First of all, I really liked how this book made commentary on how toxic fans treat actors in their favorite shows, specifically reboots. We’ve seen it happen time and time again. We saw it happen with Daisy Ridley and Kelly Marie-Tran. As I’m writing this review, we are now seeing it happen to Moses Ingram and Vivien Lyra Blair for their roles in the Obi Wan Kenobi series. “Fans” relentlessly tear down and bully any female involved in their beloved franchises. I hate that part of “fan” culture and I’m glad that this book addressed that situation. I think this book could’ve made an even more impactful statement if the character that they used to make that statement wasn’t an arrogant brat, but I’ll touch on that more later.

And the only other part that I liked about this book was some of the side characters. Milo, Bran, and Harper were really fun characters, but they were super minor side characters and they barely got any scenes.

Now onto the parts I hated. Hopefully this’ll stay constructive and not become a rant, but no promises.

My major issue with this book is that all of the main characters were unlikeable. Jess was bratty, cocky, and annoying. The author was using Jess to make the statement about toxic fans, but the message just didn’t hit the way it was supposed to because I hated Jess so much. She did start to change at the end, but she didn’t change enough to get any respect or appreciation from me. This book would’ve been ten times better if Jess had a different personality. The other main character, Imogen, wasn’t much better. My issues with Imogen were the same as my issues with Elle from Geekerella. Imogen is an entitled fan who feels like she owns the fandom. She got on my nerves and I was constantly thinking about how she’s the type of fan that I steer clear of when I’m at conventions. I so badly want a book with a fangirl/boy/person that I can both relate to and love, but both Imogen and Elle were not that character for me.

The other massive issue with this book was the fandom references. There were too many pop culture references. I’m shocked that I’m even saying that because I’m usually giddy with joy everytime a book makes a pop culture reference. However, there were parts of this book where it felt like the references were being done every other sentence. You know that 2012 tumblr fandom phase were everyone made references nonstop and it was super cringey? Yeah, that’s what this book was like. It was bad. Also, speaking of references, I know it was just an unfortunate coincidence but there’s one fandom that triggers my flashbacks and it was referenced multiple times in this book. I actually had to put down the book and do self-soothing to get back to the present. It was not fun.

The romantic scenes at the end were super awkward and cheesy. I’m not sure how they could’ve been improved because the whole princess and the pauper fairytale is cheesy in general, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t hate the romantic scenes at the end of the book. There were a couple cute romantic scenes in the middle of the book, but then the annoying main characters immediately had to ruin those scenes.

After suffering through this book, I think it’s time for me to stop reading this series. It’s not the worst series in the world, but it’s definitely not for me. I hope that some day an author can write a book set at a comic con that will make feel seen and understood. I literally live and breath comic cons. My next one is in less than two weeks, but all the comic con attendee characters in this book annoyed me and it didn’t feel like this book captured why I love comic cons. Also, it seems like the love interest in the next book is Vance. He’s one of my least favorite characters in this book. He uses people to get more media attention and fame. He’s an all around jerk, but somehow he’s supposed to be the beast in the next book in the series? Yeah, no thanks. I’d rather read literally anything else. The beast has to at least be somewhat redeemable in all Beauty and the Beast stories.
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,403 reviews1,850 followers
March 16, 2019
Okay, I definitely liked this more than GEEKERELLA. I'll admit things didn't go exactly as I thought they would based on what little I knew of the plot (which, as always, wasn't much because #TeamNoBlurbs) but I knew THE PRINCESS AND THE FANGIRL was set in the same fandom world as the first and would feature a f/f pairing. It just wasn't the pairing I thought and that is more than okay.

"I'm [..] sick and tired of princesses being either damsels in distress or the foil for a male character's emotional growth."

I'm really enjoying Poston's contemporary fandom retellings, this one obviously being a THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER reimagining, and I hope there's more to come! This follow up felt even more chockfull of references and memes and fandom and sci-fi and all sorts of geekery. If that's your thing, you'll love this.

The internet makes it easy for us to forget that there are people on the other side of those characters, and whether you like us or not, we're people too. So your hot take shouldn't dehumanize me, or tell me that I'm wrong, or that I'm worthless, or a slut who slept on some casting couch for the role.

In addition to all the fun-times, there's also some great commentary regarding internet behaviours, online and fandom culture, including the toxic sides, and just how devastating it can be to be targeted by trolls. But, on a lighter note, there's a little bit of that fairy-tale magic impossibility in the air and a mystery to solve; complete with a Scooby Doo-like adventure squad team up, featuring some familiar faces from the first Once Upon a Con instalment and plenty of new ones, too. In fact I might have liked the new characters even more..

This is a bad idea. I can think of ten ways to Sunday why this would never work in real life. Only in K-dramas. Only in anime. Only in YA novels. This sort of thing doesn't happen in real life, and it most certainly doesn't happen to me. And yet..

If you liked GEEKERELLA or if, like me, you wished you had liked that one more, I think you'll be very happy with THE PRINCESS AND THE FANGIRL.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **
Profile Image for Reading_ Tamishly.
4,292 reviews2,287 followers
October 20, 2020
*top 10 disappointing read of 2019*
So damn clichè. I need to stop reading such books. I should have known from the cover. But life is mysterious and it is not what it is sometimes and I had to try it out not to miss something good. But I should have trust my DNFing instincts.
Profile Image for Yusra  ✨.
249 reviews508 followers
Want to read
April 5, 2018



Profile Image for sam.
369 reviews543 followers
March 21, 2020
A prince and the pauper retelling in a geeky contemporary setting? Yeah hi can I get my copy now please?

Geekerella: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Princess and the Fangirl: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Geekerella by Ashley Poston was my favourite contemporary novel of 2018 and one of my overall favourites as well so naturally there were high expectations for this one as well. But, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first book.

This book is told in dual perspectives. ‘The Princess’ in this retelling is a character from the original story Geekerella, Jessica Stone and ‘The Pauper’ is a new character we’re introduced to in this novel. I strongly suggest reading Geekerella before diving into this novel because there are a few spoilers for that book in here. If you hate spoilers as much as I do then maybe just read the other one first😂.

To give a basic idea on what this book is actually about: Jessica Stone, who is an oscar nominated actress has a major problem. Someone is leaking parts of the new Starfield script and she’s on a mission to find out who it is. Imogen Lovelace, our second protagonist who looks almost identical to Jessica, is a fellow geek, a major Starfield fan and a die hard Princess Amara lover. Jessica and Imogen meet under the most unlikely of circumstances at ExcelsiCon and switch identities in order to find the culprit. Easier said than done.

The storyline had me intrigued from the beginning. Who wouldn’t be? Imogen was a very relatable character for me and her inward thoughts and monologues which she never voiced out loud provided a humorous element to the story which I absolutely enjoyed reading. For all you LGBTQ lovers out there, yes there is a female-female and I believe even a male-male(I’m not entirely sure) romance which was absolutely adorable and one of my favourite parts of the book.

I did find the story dragging out in a couple of parts which was my main issue because it did throw me off a lot but apart from that it was a very geeky and adorable novel.

Princess and the Fangirl is a novel that encourages people to break out of their shell and look beyond the surface. It deals with self discovery, family ties, and proves that happiness can be found where and when you least expect it.

Profile Image for paige.
591 reviews669 followers
September 18, 2022
"Sometimes the stories you want aren't the ones you need, and the ones you need are the ones you never thought you'd like."


This was a sweet little book about finding yourself in a character and doing everything you can to save them.

Jess hates her role in Starfield as Princess Amara and wants nothing more than to be seen as a serious actor. One who takes on serious roles, ones that are award worthy and talked about. She wants to be so much more than a character in a sci-fi movie that she doesn't even like. I didn't like her very much, nor do I still, but I admire her growth throughout the story realizing that the only thing that truly matters is how people react to the characters she plays. If they mean something to fans, shouldn't she do everything she can to bring them to life?

Imogen is a fangirl who wants to save Princess Amara and make sure she can see herself in her for so much longer. When the script for the new sequel leaks and they wonder, together, if Amara will be there, they strike up an unlikely bond over differing opinions.

It was so sweet to see Jess' change and Imogen's understanding of why she might not want to be the Princess anymore. I feel like this book is for anyone that has seen themselves in a character. For anyone who looks up to someone so much. To see that despite what you hear about someone else's life, not everything is always as it seems.

It was a sweet little read, I just didn't like either of the characters very much. The plot could easily be five stars with anyone else in focus!

- Paige
Profile Image for Lucy.
685 reviews166 followers
April 17, 2019
This was so good! I don't read as much YA as I used to a few years ago but I still really love books about fandoms and cons. I hope we get more in this series.
Profile Image for Claude's Bookzone (on hiatus).
1,501 reviews201 followers
August 25, 2021
3.5 Stars

Well I loved the secret squirrel, under cover aspect of this adorable YA romance.

It is a reimagining of the Prince and the Pauper but in a modern day Comic-Con type setting. I enjoyed getting to know our loveable two main characters. Imogen is a die hard fan girl and I liked her passion in the pursuit of saving her favourite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off the popular show, Starfield. Jessica, on the other hand is hoping for the death of her character so she can get on with more serious acting roles. There is a largish cast in this story but I really thought the author did a great job of making the characters feel distinct. A great addition to the library!
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,709 reviews703 followers
March 29, 2019
I was borderline obsessed with Geekerella and was 100000% in on this companion book, sadly it wasn’t quite the same.

I liked Imogen a lot. She’s passionate and supportive and I would love to go to a con with her. Her brother Milo was adorable and of course seeing Elle and Darien was fantastic. I wasn’t sold on Jessica. At the start she’s bratty {yes, it completely makes sense why} and I struggled to settle into the chapters with her POV.

Plot wise it’s sloooooooooooow. I was about 45% in and seriously considering a DNF, but I powered through. Thankfully when the action started it really got going and I was sucked into this world.

Ashley has such a fantastic way of writing about fandom and cons and fans in general. I loved that the story touched on the negative side of fandom, sexual harassment, social media, and how fans think they’re entitled to everything in a celebrity’s life.

Overall, it was fun being back with these characters new and old. I would have liked it to move a bit faster, but I love how it ended.

**Huge thanks to Quirk Books for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for Silvia .
635 reviews1,402 followers
January 11, 2019
I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.

Okay so first of all, I haven't read Geekerella yet! But I wanted to read this for the F/F romance and I was lucky enough to get approved for it. Reading Geekerella is definitely not necessary but reading this book made me want to read it. I think those of you who have read it will enjoy the references to it (which were a bit lost on me).

I love books about cons, and fandoms, and meeting people you met online, and internet culture, and all that. This was more or less what I had thought it would be. Actually, it kind of was more than I had expected, in both good and bad ways, but I overall loved it.

First of all, you need to keep in mind this is a loose retelling of The Prince and the Pauper. I haven't read it, but the modern setting made it kind of hard for me to really believe that thousands of people online and IRL would see photos of one girl and think she's another, especially when one is a kind of famous actress. I mean, fandom twitter is better than the FBI at investigating so the premise of them both looking very alike and being able to effortlessly pass for one another was kind of a miss for me, but once I accepted to go with it I could sort of forget about it and it didn't bother me so much.

The two MCs in this book are Imogen, fangirl who wants to save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off the franchise, and Jessica, actress playing said Princess Amara and currently under attack by a big part of the fandom, which she wants nothing to do with anymore. She's actually glad her character is being killed off.

Things happen and they "must" exchange roles in order for Jess to investigate about a missing/stolen script. I say "must" because I thought the reason behind this exchange was not entirely believable for me, and there were too many risks from the start. But anyway, once they found themselves in each other's shoes I could let it slide, and it's not like I'm reading a cute contemporary for it to make absolute sense.

Jess gets to meet Harper, a Black fanartist and Imogen's online friend, and spend two days with her. Jess is a closeted lesbian and Harper is also queer, and they have a really cute and endearing romance. Because this book takes place within a single weekend, things were a little fast, but I didn't mind and I just enjoyed reading about them.

Imogen, under the guise of being Jess, spends her days with Ethan Tanaka, Jess's Asian-American assistant, and they start off by hating each other. Their romance was cute if a little bit overdramatic, but I love that they're both big nerds, and at least he knew about her being Imogen (as opposed to the other romance, where Harper initially thinks Jess is actually Imogen because they'd only met online).

I love when contemporary books throw a few pop culture references here and there, and I expect a book about fandom to have a lot of them, but I just didn't expect them to be quite so many. I understood almost all of them to some degree but I wouldn't have minded them being toned down a little. But I forgive Ashley Poston because she mentioned Yuri On Ice!!! and Zuko's redemption arc too.

Anyway, even with a few issues here and there that didn't make this a full five stars for me, this was a really fun read that I think a lot of contemporary readers will enjoy!
Profile Image for Adah Udechukwu.
621 reviews83 followers
May 16, 2019
The Princess and the Fangirl was exciting and refreshing. It was totally worth my time.
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,290 reviews215 followers
June 7, 2019
This was so freaking adorable. I loved it so much!

The Princess and the Fangirl was again super cute. In it, you will meet Imogen and Jessica. They end up meeting a Con, which is called ExcelsiCon, where Imogen ends up sort of being Jessica's little doppelganger. Now this con is basically all Imogen really knows - she basically grew up there and knows every nook and cranny like the back of her hand.

Plus it's a good year, she's trying to save her favorite character from her favorite franchise. Now I like a show every now and then - and might even get a favorite character - but I don't think I would ever start a # movement on twitter to save them. Or the show if it ever got canceled - but I know it's a thing and does happen from time to time. For example, Lucifer - I love that show and had no idea that it was canceled but then got picked up and renewed by Netflix.

Back to the book, well Jessica actually doesn't care one bit about her character or this franchise. She thinks it's basically killing her acting career. It also doesn't help that she's constantly trolled or threatened on the internet because of this character/movement. So I can totally see why she doesn't want her character to come back to this show. She is a-okay with her being dead and gone.. well, until she ends up meeting a certain someone.

Honestly, the romances in this book were so freaking adorable. I shipped them so badly and had little heart eyes while listening to this book. I won't tell you who I shipped with who but just know that I want them to sail forever and ever.

Other than all of that, I really enjoyed this book. I'm so happy that I dove into it and hope to read another con book soon!
Profile Image for Julie .
867 reviews271 followers
January 1, 2019
Y'all, this is SO CUTE. Jess and Imogen are two of the greatest characters. They're so flawed and have to grow so much and the romances are the CUTEST THINGS and this is just. A really stellar follow up to GEEKERELLA with lots of nods to the first book.
Profile Image for Katie Hanna.
Author 6 books108 followers
September 17, 2020
"We don't die quietly."

*sobbing* who gave this book the r i g h t

The Princess and the Fangirl slammed me straight in the feels, man. It resonated with me more than any other story I've read this year, except maybe Ladies' Guide to Petticoats and Piracy. It's the sequel to Geekerella, set in that same mock-fairy-tale world of celebrity "royalty." Except this time, instead of a Cinderella retelling, we've got a genderbent Prince & the Pauper. I was a teeny bit skeptical (never having read the original Prince & the Pauper), but the first pages reeled me in, and by the end, I was an shaky, emotional mess.

Jessica Stone is a rising young actress who wants nothing more than to win an Oscar. She can't quite fathom how she wound up playing a space princess in a dumb reboot of some dumb 80s TV show ... and staring down the cold, hard certainty that the "Starfield" franchise will never win her that Oscar--will never garner her anything other than a mob of nostalgia-and-misogyny-fueled Twitter trolls--she's looking for any chance to jump ship.

Imogen Lovelace, meanwhile, is a high school senior with a penchant for attracting trouble and the sinking feeling that she'll never escape from her brother's shadow. Princess Amara is the one character who makes Imogen feel seen, and Jess Stone's performance in the Starfield reboot is everything to her. But when rumors fly that Amara will be permanently killed off in the sequel ... how far will one determined fangirl go to save her favorite princess? And maybe the whole galaxy?

When Jess and Imogen's paths cross at Excelsicon in Atlanta, buckle up for a wild tale of mistaken identities, deliberately swapped identities, forbidden romance, and intersectional feminism. The whole story plays out over four days of frothy excitement, the kind of turned-up-to-eleven atmosphere you only find at a geek/nerd convention. I love conventions, so I was in heaven, mwahahaha.

(My one caveat: Don't read this if you have trouble believing in doppelgangers--believing that two girls NOT from the same family could resemble each other strongly enough to swap places for a few days. I found it realistic /enough/, especially given that there were a few differences, like hair and eye color, which had to be covered up with wigs or contacts. But some readers might just go "no way, that's too much of a coincidence." Patterns in facial structure, weight, height, and build sometimes do repeat themselves, though ... so ... you know. I felt like it was fine.)

What did I love about The Princess and the Fangirl? Oh, gosh. So, so, sooooooo much. I won't even be able to fit it all into one review. I loved how deeply it drew me to sympathize with Jess's position, even though I've only been in Imogen's shoes (wide-eyed fangirl who can't control the fate of her favorite characters, but sure would like to). Jess, unlike me, isn't a nerd or a geek. In fact, she starts out the book thinking fantasy and sci-fi and make-believe in general are pretty stupid. And at first, I admit, I was like "who the heck does this ice queen think she is???" But I came to realize: Jessica Stone hates passionate fandoms because passionate fandoms can so easily become toxic ones: especially for the female authors and actresses involved. Jess was made to feel like an outsider by the very same self-proclaimed 'story lovers' who should've embraced her as family. And that's a sad, sad thing. But as Jess escapes into anonymity, as she explores the wonders of Excelsicon like an explorer mapping out a hidden kingdom ... she comes to see a different side of Starfield. A different side of fandom. A different side of this beautiful gift we call imagination.

Her character arc. You guys. Her CHARACTER ARC. It's freakin' MAGICAL.

I love, too, how this book addresses the bias of the Oscars and of the film critic industry in general, flipping the "comic-book movies and sci-fi flicks are automatically dumb" argument on its head. Asking, instead, why today's Oscar-bait movies can't seem to garner a wide audience--why they aren't even trying?? Maybe elite doesn't have to mean superior. Maybe, just maybe, the massive, years-in-the-making fanbase of something like the MCU is the best award any movie could hope for ... knowing you've created something which allows people to truly connect.

Connect with the story. Connect with each other. Connect with themselves.

I just ... I just. There's one passage in here which I won't quote because I'm worried about spoilers, but basically, somebody was like "look, next time you see a bunch of adults masquerading in costumes with lightsabers and magic wands and you're tempted to roll your eyes, remember: you're looking at a living, breathing tribute to the power of story."

*cue me writhing on the floor from an Attack of the Feels*

This book has been called a love letter to fandom, and there's a lot of truth in that. But it's also a heady coming-of-age story (for Imogen) and a soft, wistful, love story (for Jess). Of course, Imogen gets a romance, too, but on her end it's a bit more of a crush ... idk ... I didn't ship her with particularly hard ... but Jess and ??? OH MY WORD. Sweet buttered crumpets. Somebody hold me, I'm emotional. Also, that last line?!?! Give a girl a break, I can only take so much #otp fluff at one time!!!!

My one big complaint would be with a piece of Jessica's backstory. As in Geekerella, Ashley Poston plays fast and loose with the actors' ages so that her series can still qualify as YA. Jess is 19, it turns out, pretending to be 23. She lied to a casting director at age 14 to snag a part meant for an 18yr old, and she's kept up the deception ever since. While this is a (sadly) realistic commentary on the hypersexualization of young girls in Hollywood, Poston never explains how Jess' mom and dad--shown to be supportive, loving, and highly involved--could possibly have okay'd this arrangement. What kind of parent lets their 14yr old daughter go around passing as a grown woman in a Hollywood rife with sexual harassment and predatory behavior? EXPLAIN THIS TO ME.

But moving past that one inconsistency, the book beautifully, delicately handles Jess' body-image issues and shattered self-esteem from years of battling Internet trolls and gossip columnists. And in a worthy, triumphant climax, Jess Stone seizes control of her own destiny. 1000/10 would recommend.

"I am a kaleidoscope of hope and dreams and wonder in the shape of a girl. I am not a porcelain doll. I am not empty. I am worthy.

"I am enough."
Profile Image for Hilda.
1,085 reviews133 followers
March 27, 2019
Bless Darien Freeman. Bless his tight jeans and his curly hair and his insufferable smile. Bless everything about that hufflepuff.

Not really important, I just want to point out that even fictional hugflepuffs are awesome. I loved Darien I’m the first book and I love him in this one. I like the new characters as well. It was really hard to like Jessica Stone and honestly I don’t think I ever did which made the story just bleh for me. Even after all is done if it wasn’t for Imogen Lovelace her Doppelgänger which I loved I don’t think the story would have worked for me. However, by the end I was rooting for these girls!! Jess and Mo had issues and cried and were scared and they were just so human. I loved it. I loved them. They were also smart and strong and courageous. It’s hard to fight for what you believe. These girls did it though.

All the geeky references continued and it was full of funny sweet moments. Definitely recommend it. Just fair warning, it’s a slow burn. Not to love but to the action. It felt like it took forever for something to actually happen. But when it did, it was amazing!
Profile Image for laurel [the suspected bibliophile].
1,413 reviews391 followers
March 26, 2019
Sometimes the stories we need are the ones that can show us a happy ending and make us feel whole and welcome and loved

Holy nerdgasm, Batman.

I have fallen head over heels for a fandom that doesn't exist

The Prince and the Pauper is far from my favorite of fairy tales, but this modern retelling, with a movie star space princess who doesn't want her fandom (because honestly...who would?) and a fangirl who just wants to save her favorite character from getting killed off, switching places to prevent the leaking of the top-secret sequel script to the next Starfield movie...and this is a run-on sentence which should show how much I enjoyed this book!

It's certainly not deep and honestly, who gives a flying fuck?

There's a lot to be had in this story: lesbian relationships, discussions of the toxicity of the fantasy/sci-fi fandoms towards women (and the varying levels of hell it can descend do depending on privilege), oodles of Easter Eggs, measuring success, imposter syndrome, and an important discussion of intellectuality and popular culture.

Speaking of fandoms and the love of things that aren't Oscar-worthy art flicks that literally no one but the critics will see—this is a rousing endorsement that it's totally okay to let your freak flag fly and love whatever the hell thing you want to love.

Anywho, one of my favorite quotes from the book:

What I am built for is to fall in love slowly, page by page, like reading a favorite book.

And a spoilery/not spoilery reveal of what I imagine Amara's dress kinda looks like if it was less spacey and more medievaly:


I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.
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