Review | The Princess and the Fangirl – Ashley Poston

I read and loved Geekerella almost two years ago and was very happy when a companion novel was announced. Geekerella is set at ExcelsiCon and The Princess and the Fangirl is set at that same con, but a year later. As I said, I really enjoyed Geekerella by Ashley Poston. So I was expecting The Princess and the Fangirl to be something similar. A fun, geeky, cute, romance-y YA book. Did I find what I was looking for in this book? Keep on reading to find out!

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.

Cover

The cover is done in the same style as Geekerella and I really appreciate that! These two books fit together perfectly! I like the colors that were used on the cover and think they fit the story really well. There are a couple of smaller details on this cover that match the story and I love when that happens. If you finish the book and look at the cover again you see so much more than at first glance!

Plot

The Princess and the Fangirl is a gender bent retelling of the Prince and the Pauper. I’m personally not that familiar with that story so I can’t say to much about the retelling part, but I’m expecting it to be very loosely based on The Prince and the Pauper. Jess plays princess Amara in Starfield and she switches places with Imogen, who tries to save Amara from being killed off. The switching places part was a lot of fun and I liked that not everyone was fooled. Their families and best friends immediately knew something was up and this made it more realistic in my opinion.

There is a little mystery aspect to the story, this was fun but I can’t say that it was a super satisfying mystery. Especially not when you read a lot of mystery stories, this was just a fun little part of the story I my eyes. It was all about the characters’ development and two cute romances. Both Jess and Imogen see a very different side of the Starfield fandom after they switch places. Jess gets a lot of comments for not being a good enough Amara and has to deal with creepy guys with grabby hands. Imogen on the other hand sees the loving side of the fandom, where there’s fan art, fanfic, and a lot of meaning in the story and characters for a lot of people. While dealing with the other girls life, they both open their eyes to the opposite side of the Starfield fandom.

Sometimes the stories we need are the ones that can show us a happy ending and make us feel whole and welcome and loved

There are two cute romances, one for Jess and one for Imogen. You can tell who’s going for whom right away. And that was fine. It wasn’t anything special, no epic romances or new book boy/girlfriends but it was still cute to read. The plot probably could’ve been moved along faster if the characters had better communication. I did enjoy the resolution of the little mystery involving the leaked plot. Everyone had to work together and that was wonderful to see. In the end it was a fast, mostly light-hearted read I really enjoyed.

Characters

I’d say there are four important characters, our two main characters Jess and Imogen, and two supporting characters Ethan and Harper. We meet a couple more characters but I don’t think they are important enough to be mentioned here. Something I do have to mention are all the character cameos from Geekerella! It was a lot of fun seeing them hang out at ExcelsiCon and even interact with our new main characters. I would definitely recommend reading Geekerella before The Princess and the Fangirl so you won’t miss out on this.

Jess plays princess Amara in the Starfield franchise and she isn’t enjoying it in the slightest. A lot of fans seem to hate her and she’s afraid she won’t be able to get the indie roles she was used to. Jess’s dream is winning an Oscar and she believes the only way to do so is by getting roles in movies ‘that mean something’. During this Excelsicon weekend Jess learns a different side of the fandom and slowly starts to think a little bit different about her career. I really liked Jess! She knew what she wanted and tried her hardest to get there. I think she was a little judgmental at first but she managed to open herself up to new possibilities.

Imogen, or Mo/Monster as her family and friends call her was actually a little judgmental as well! She wants to save Princess Amara in the franchise but it takes almost the whole book for us to understand why she wants to do so, so badly. The reasoning seemed a bit selfish to be. Although she also raised some valid and feminist points. Imogen starts to see the more toxic side of fandoms when she’s pretending to be Jess. I think it’s good for all of us to keep in mind there’s a person on the other side. People can be so vocal, opinionated, and just plain mean on the internet. I liked that Imogen realized that Jess is just a person trying to live her life and learned to respect that.

Ethan is Jess’s assistant and was a fun character to read about. I would’ve liked some more depth and development for him though. The same goes for Harper. She’s an online friend of Imogen’s and they’re supposed to meet IRL for the first time at the con. Both characters seemed to be cute and fun. But like I said, there wasn’t that much depth so I didn’t care too much for them. And therefore I didn’t care too much about the romances either. They were fun and cute to read about, but they won’t become my next favorites.

This was exactly what I was hoping for; a cute and geeky, fluffy contemporary novel. It’s the perfect book to read in between hard-hitting contemporaries or fantasy novels. I would highly recommend The Princess and the Fangirl, and especially if you read and enjoyed Geekerella. Have you read Geekerella and/or The Princess and the Fangirl? Let me know in the comments!

6 thoughts on “Review | The Princess and the Fangirl – Ashley Poston

    1. It definitely compares to Geekerella! I think it had a little bit of a different feel to it but at it’s core it as the same geeky and sweet quality to it!

  1. Great Review!! I agree that it’s good for us to keep in mind that there’s a person on the other side. Especially on the internet I think people tend to forget that. I think the story did a great job of making that point!

    I loved Ethan, tho I can see why you didn’t really care too much about him. I felt that way about Harper, but was more invested in Ethan haha.
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    1. Haha ok, I’ll admit Ethan was pretty great. I just would’ve liked to see more of him! If he got a whole book dedicated to him, I would for sure LOVE him!

      I agree, Ashley did a great job. It felt like the Starfield fandom was a ‘real’ fandom and it showed both the good and the bad.

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