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Goldsmiths' Official Student Magazine

Geekerella, fandom and the YA book genre

31 October 2017
Geekerella review & the power of fandom, because... "If you love it? That is never a waste of time.”

Geekerella, is a contemporary Cinderella retelling. But, before you roll your eyes at how many recreations of this classic fairy-tale there have been, this one has an edge…

The main character Elle, was raised by her father watching the TV show ‘Starfield’ (a fictional recreation of Star Trek). The premise of the book surrounds Elle’s attempt to attend ExcelsiCon (fictional recreation of ComicCon). To win the cosplay competition and use the prize money to escape the corrupt home of her stepmother. Of course, there is the classic love story tangled in, but for the purpose of this review, that is really not too important. Beyond this, this book represents so much more – the power of fandom.

Upon finishing Geekerella I felt an odd sense of self-acceptance, something that I, sadly, do not feel all too often. I love to read and would class Young Adult as my favourite genre, usually YA fantasy. Yet unfortunately, I have encountered many people who are not fans. They have given me the impression that they see it as  unworthy of being read, and I have often felt looked down upon for reading it. In a way, for me this book is a middle finger to those who judge.

“Never give up on your dreams, and never let anyone tell you that what you love is inconsequential or useless or a waste of time. Because if you love it? If that OTP or children’s card game or abridged series or YA book or animated series makes you happy? That is never a waste of time.” – Ashley Poston 

In the acknowledgments, the author Ashley Poston really brings the above point home, she affirms that it is okay whether you are 13 or 30 to invest yourself in the fandom world. This meaning that it is okay to fall hype for billion dollar Disney empire and set your alarm for 3am to watch the new full length Star Wars trailer. Or, that there is no issue if you spend hours working on your cosplay of Black Widow, and feel apprehensive when the cast for new movie adaptations are being announced. What fills your life with joy is something to never be ashamed of, and no one should make you feel otherwise, or stand in your way.

A recommendation for another book with similar themes is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Here we follow eighteen-year-old Cath about to embark on her first year at college in Omaha. But instead of cosplay, Cath writes fan fiction, another vivacious element of fandom culture.

Words, Emily Bird