Themes: Friendship, Fandom, Romance
Audience: Young Adult
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Released: March 14, 2017
Wow, I have such a massive crush on this book! I loved everything about Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde, and I can’t believe it’s been waiting on my TBR pile for so long. I loved the pure, unashamed geekiness of the SupaCon setting and the whole atmosphere of fandom and cosplay. I loved both romantic storylines, which were so sweet and genuine they transported me back to those precious moments of new love. Most of all, I fell completely in love with the characters and their own individual journeys.
It’s rare for me to read a story where I like all the main characters equally; there’s normally one who stands out as a clear favourite. Not so here. I adored YouTuber turned actress Charlie for her warmth and sincerity, related on an all too personal level to Taylor’s anxiety and ambition to be a writer, and utterly lost my heart to Jamie’s humour and sensitivity. In fact, the bond between the three friends was the most special part of the book for me and made me long to be part of their little circle.
I also really enjoyed the two contrasting and yet equally touching romantic plots. On the one hand, you have the powerful attraction between Charlie and fellow YouTube star, Alisha. Despite it being Charlie’s first time with a girl and her still being cautious after her last breakup, they both know exactly what they want and don’t hesitate to go for it. Then there’s the far more tentative romance between Taylor and Jamie, each secretly crushing on the other but nervous about ruining their friendship.
I’ve never been to any kind of convention before, although I’m beginning to think I’d liked to, or even participated in a fandom online. That said, I’m a hardcore fan of Harry Potter—the books, that is, not the films—and spent countless hours with my best friend in the run-up to a release dissecting the characters and concocting plot theories. So, I get just how a fantasy series can capture the imagination and totally connected with Taylor and Jamie’s shared passion for all things Firestone.
Though it follows a very short timeline, the entire novel taking place over the course of three days, it manages to cram a lot in and pack a real emotional punch. In addition to the joy and unity of being part of a community, the story touches on several important issues—friendship and fandom, anxiety and courage, insecurity and learning to believe in yourself. Ultimately, what I took away from this book was that we all have our own fears, but we also possess the ability to face those fears and overcome them.
For a wonderful novel celebrating geekiness, the value of friendship, and the capacity for growth and courage that exists within us all, Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde gets 10/10 rainbows!
About the Book
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.
Charlie likes to stand out. She’s a vlogger and actress promoting her first movie at SupaCon, and this is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star Reese Ryan. When internet-famous cool-girl actress Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.
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 her best guy friend Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about a fan contest for her favorite fandom, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde, chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, is an empowering novel for anyone who has ever felt that fandom is family.
About Jen Wilde
Jen Wilde is the YA author of Queens of Geek, The Brightsiders and Going Off Script. She writes unapologetically queer stories about geeks, rockstars, and fangirls who smash the patriarchy in their own unique ways.
Her books have been praised in Teen Vogue, Buzzfeed, Autostraddle, Vulture and Bustle. Originally from Australia, Jen now lives in NYC where she spends her time writing, endlessly scrolling Instagram, and dancing to Harry Styles.