Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
Format Read: ARC
Published by Pan Macmillan Australia on March 14th 2017
Book Depository | Buy from publisher
When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever.
Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Reese Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.
While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own.
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 Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.
“To the weirdos, the geeks, and the fandom queens.
To the outcasts, the misfits, and everything in between.
The days of playing the sidekick are over.
You are the superheroes now.
You are my people, and this is for you.”
When you open up a book and the dedicated page reads this beautifully, you know you’re in for a treat. And what a treat Queens of Geek were. It was delightful and eye-opening, and downright sweet. I loved every minute of it.
Jen Wilde’s book follows three best friends on their trip of a lifetime to one of the major fandom conventions around — SupaCon. Charlie, an Asian-Australian (!!!) is a relatively well-known YouTube star, who’s heading to SupaCon to promote her surprisingly successful indie movie, The Rising. She brings along her two besties, Taylor and Jamie who are both just adorable. The book follows the perspective of both Charlie and Taylor, and it was so nice to experience the crazy convention through the eyes of these two girls. The best part of Queens of Geek for me wasn’t the romance, or the diversity, or the way it dealt with mental issues like anxiety. The best part of the whole book was the friendship between all three characters.
Charlie and Taylor are some of the nicest characters I’ve had the pleasure to read about lately (probably because I rarely read contemporary). Their love and support for each other are such a breath of fresh air, and I love the way each can lean on the other, regardless of how hectic their schedules are, or the shit that’s happening in their own lives. Add Jamie to the mix, and you have a super adorable trio that is a lot more relatable for me compared to the crazy drama that happens in US-based high school stories.
Individually, both Taylor and Charlie can stand on their own two feet. They are totally different to each other, but when they come together, they just click. Charlie is charismatic and headstrong — she knows what she wants, and more importantly, who she is. Charlie is unashamedly bi, and she has known this for a long time. I really liked this little touch to the story — coming from an Asian background, we don’t often see or hear a lot of people within our culture express themselves the way Charlie is able to. Being gay, or bi, is still considered quite taboo, and it’s not an issue that is widely spoken about. It was great to see that Charlie had a supportive family that respected her for her. I thought Queens of Geek handled this part of Charlie’s story extremely well, and it was great to see her explore this side of herself, following a nasty breakup with her ex-boyfriend.
Queens of Geek also deals with the issue of anxiety. We all experience anxiety in one form or another, but I personally can’t say that I have experienced it the way others have. Taylor has anxiety, and her story explored the way she went about dealing with it. Granted, she didn’t always deal with her anxiety properly (but who am I really to say what is the right way), but she was strong enough to get through it all the same. That takes strength. And it takes strength to help others that are going through the same thing, and share your scariest experiences with others.
Both Taylor and Charlie are such strong female characters in totally different ways. Queens of Geek truly showed me that you don’t need to be a superhero to be strong. You just need to find the strength within yourself, and lean on those that love you.
While there’s very little to fault about this book, I did get a little confused as to why it was written in US english. Forgive my ignorance (and the fact that I didn’t do any research into this), but it just irks me that a book written by an Aussie author needed to be Americanised. Because of this, the timeline threw me off as well. SupaCon was set in the Australian mid-winter (July-ish), but supposedly Charlie, Taylor and Jamie had finished their exams and were about to graduate. No, in Australia we finish the school year in December. This is just another case of Americanisation — and a pretty unnecessary one.
Other than the little nitpicks, I thought Queens of Geek was just brilliant. It’s a perfect weekend or beachread for those that are looking for something delightful, but eye-opening at the same time.
Thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia for providing an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.
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