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Published by Pan Macmillan Australia on March 14th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, LGBT, Loners & Outcasts, Mental Illness, Romance, Social Themes, Young Adult Fiction
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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.
When Charlie, Taylor and Jamie fly from Melbourne to San Diego for a weekend full of all things pop culture they knew it would be life changing. When fandoms collide and romance blooms, their super pop culture convention experience isn’t quite what they were expecting- it’s so much better!
There’s so much to love about Queens of Geek. Firstly, it’s written by someone who is just as passionate about the geeky side of life as the characters in this book. The pop culture references are sprinkled throughout in a way which felt natural and just added to the overall fan convention vibe of the novel.
Another thing I adored about this book is that the characters represent parts of society I don’t often come across in YA fiction. Charlie is a Chinese-Australian bisexual who is just starting out as an actress after a few years of vlogging success. She’s outgoing but goes after what she wants with a healthy dose of caution considering her history. Her best friend Taylor is almost her opposite – a young woman with an anxiety disorder who lets her unease get the best of her. These characters contrast each other wonderfully. Their differences are highlighted but at the same time their close friendship is evident over the course of the novel.
The romance in this book was very sweet but when the entire novel takes place over just a few days it does feel a little quick in some respects. That said I enjoyed the journey both the romantic relationships took me on with the exception of one other thing. Perfection in love interests makes the story unbelievable. Taylor’s relationship with Jamie was almost too good to be true. When you’ve got an adorkable, geek-chic best friend to possibly be something more – he needs at least one flaw (besides the flaw of perfection). Him being this quintessential being made their part of the story to feel a little one-sided. I would have liked him to have shown a weakness just so he felt more like a real person and less like an unattainable paragon of boyfriend perfection.
In addition to the romance, this book explores embracing ones own self. With Charlie that meant moving on from a past relationship to something new, exciting and a little bit scary. Taylor also has to face her fears as she steps out of her comfort zone and lets the world see the girl beneath the cosplay costume.
Queens of Geek is a fun, contemporary romance with a great handle on the pop-culture world. All things geeky are covered and combined with two love stories and one beautiful friendship. If you like books with plenty to fangirl over – this book is for you!
Many thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for the review copy.