Look to the stars. Aim. Ignite
She’s a shy geek stuck in a family who doesn’t appreciate her, and he’s a secret nerd who is famous for his looks. Geekerella, written by Ashley Poston is a Cinderella-based story about learning to stand up for oneself. The book is told from two viewpoints, Elle and Darien, as we watch how their anonymous texting helps them embrace being themselves.
Elle joined the Starfield fandom because of how much it meant to her father and mother, and now that they have both passed away, Starfield is Elle’s way to feel connected with her parents. Can the new Starfield movie be a success with someone like teen heartthrob, Darien Freeman, being casted as Federation Prince Carmindor?
Darien’s life seems to be full of friends and fans from the outside, but really Darien still feels like the lonely, geeky, Starfield fanatic that he was years before he became famous. Now he has his dream role- Prince Camindor, but will he have to listen to his father’s advice about maintaining a perfect image which includes hiding the fact that he is a total Stargunner?
When Darien accidentally texts Elle’s phone number, the two begin an anonymous conversation which begins as a Starfield debate and could end up meaning something much more. Follow these characters in their Cinderella-like story complete with a fashion-obsessed stepmother, vlogging stepsisters, an orange food truck called The Magic Pumpkin, and of course a ball ending at midnight. This book was goofy, adorable, and definitely worth the read!
Alright, now that is out of the way. Let’s get down to it. If you’re still reading this, then you should know that I’m about to discuss the book. All of it. Spoilers included. Probably even the ending! 😉
Ahhhh, Cinderella. My sister and I have always been those girls who loved watching all the Cinderella movie remakes, and the cheesy Disney Channel movies with a Cinderella plot line. That being said, not all of the movies we saw were good. Some were so bad that we enjoyed watching them just to make fun of. This is not how I felt about Geekerella. To begin with, the title is adorable! I love a good, dorky, geeky character, and I was thrilled to get all those feels with Elle in this book. I don’t know about you, but as soon as Elle saw Darien’s face in the magazine and her “lips curl into a sneer,” I knew that he was about to be our love interest. Because that is how fantasy works. I loved watching Elle watch Darien come on TV as her Federation Prince Carmindor. She was so upset, but I could also tell that she hated him in the way that many girls I know hate people. On principle. It had to be done. It made me laugh, because her hatred of Darien obviously stemmed from her feeling like his show was pointless, and she didn’t want to be one of those crazy, Seaside Cove fans like the stepsisters she hates. But you could tell that she liked him, at least a teeny tiny bit, but she had to act like she hated him, on principle.
Meeting Darien on TV and in real life was amazing, I could feel his dislike for the image that his father was making him create. As he pointed out, he gets fans for his abs! Darien hated his famous image. I feel like he honestly missed just being a regular guy with friends that he could trust. Darien had such witty thoughts like how he said his workout trainer “reminds [him] of Wolverine with the personality of a wet cat…so basically just Wolverine.” I also liked the part when Darien was doing his own stunts and felt like he was about to die. He requests time to write his will, then when he finally does the stunt for the first time, he “screams like a girl” the whole drop. 😊 Under the fake, popular guy is a geek who honestly wants the role of Carmindor in the movie as a fanboy, not just to get paychecks like other cast members.
Elle’s story is incredibly sad. Being based on Cinderella, I knew that she couldn’t have parents, but watching her struggle with her stepfamily was just depressing. I literally started crying when Elle talked about how she used to write fanfiction for her dad while he was at work. Then one day, she was waiting on the porch to give her dad her new story, but her stepmother called her inside because her father was never coming home. Oh my gosh! My heart broke. The poor little girl. I was thrilled when Elle finally found her parents’ old costumes in the attic and decided to be her father’s daughter and “make them proud. [She’ll] ignite the stars.”
Obviously, I love Darien and Elle’s texts, but honestly Elle and Sage’s friendship gives their relationship a run for its money. Sage and Elle’s first interaction in the book makes me smile. I can totally relate to Elle’s feeling like she “think[s] one thing, and [her] mouth says something completely different, like [she’s] possessed. By a whole lot of stupid.” The lovely friendship started developing between them when Elle points out that Sage wants to be a fashion designer. Yessss, we need her on our side! I laughed at Sage’s reaction to Elle trying to fix the costume with a YouTube video. “Oh no! My eyes! It burns! No. Put that away.” 😊 This is when Sage decides to help Elle and they finally start talking about Starfield. Their sewing/ Starfield marathon evenings were adorable, and it made me so happy for Elle to finally have someone kind in her life. The Carmindor costume they made was described beautifully, and I was thrilled that Sage accompanied Elle to ExcelsiCon. Oh, and Sage being a lesbian and a Hobbit fan made me super happy. There was something about the way she came out by joking about being Team Arwen that just made me love her character even more!
Alright, well as amazing as Elle and Sage’s interactions are, they really do pale in comparison to the deep, wonderfully sweet texts between Darien and Elle. When Darien first gets real with Elle and asks her if she thought “Darien Freeman” could pull off being the new Carmindor, I knew that these texts were about to get interesting. I love how Elle doesn’t totally shoot him down! She says that Darien could probably do it if he tried even though the odds seem hopeless, just like what Carmindor would do! Ooooo, another good part is when they start talking about their heights and Elle admits to being short and Darien responds that he’s “6’1” but [he’d] be able to see [her]. Even in a crowd, [he’d] know” that he would want to dance with her. AWWWW how cute! Then, he sends her a picture of his silhouette in the sunlight! Hehe 😊 I also loved when Elle got flustered while texting Darien and accidentally references him being hot in the shower. I was just dying of laughter because I felt like that was a stupid mistake that I would make! I felt like I could feel Darien’s joy and giddiness when he read her text and wanted to comment about how Carmindor would be jealous of him in the shower. Of course, he decides on not embarrassing her too much, so he just thanks her for thinking of him. And she responds that she thinks about him a lot. It’s just so cute! And of course, ah’blena. Ahhhh, that’s all I’m going to say.
Alright, so ExcelsiCon is drawing near… As Sage and Elle finished her Carmindor costume, I was really worried. I’ve seen Cinderella. I knew that something bad was about to happen. Sure enough, freaking Chloe ruins her costume, steals her tickets, and makes Elle feel like Princess Amara- lost in the Black Nebula, on the wrong side of everything she loves. But don’t worry, the astonishing Sage is to the rescue! Sage tells Elle that she is correct, she’s not Carmindor, she’s Amara. I love Sage explaining why Elle is Amara! “Because you’ve taken a crappy subplot and managed to live through it, and you are selfless and you’re brave…Amara saved the universe.” And with that, Sage brings out her mother’s dress, and they are off to ExcelsiCon in the Magic Pumpkin!
Arriving at ExcelsiCon and meeting Miss May who tells Elle that “the daughter of Robin Wittimer never needs to buy a pass!” because she’s a part of the con’s family made me cry. They printed her her dad’s pass for the last seven years and her stupid stepmom never told her?! Oh, my heart. It’s breaking. Poor girl. But hey, she made it into the con, and she sassed Darien for the first time in real life, too!
Backstage at the costume contest, I got feels. One of the competitors actually recognized Elle from her blog, and she gives Elle her crown. Elle is overwhelmed by emotions because as she admits to being Robert Wittimer’s daughter, all the other competitors start giving her items and thanking her for everything that her dad did to make this event possible. Elle realizes something important as she is surrounded by people who care…
“I’m the villain of my story, and the hero. Part of my mom and part of my dad. I am a fact of the universe. The Possible and the Impossible. I am not no one. I am my parents’ daughter, and then I realize- I realize that in this universe they’re alive too. They’re alive through me.”
Oh gosh, Elle, you’re so sweet. I’m so proud of her for finally finding who she is in the world and accepting her parents’ deaths in such a mature and healthy way! Needless to say, that Elle got second place and wins tickets to the ball at the end of the day. Of course, right as things were looking up, Elle finds Darien’s text (which his super jerky ex-friend) sent to her. What a lovely coincidence that as Elle was running out the door because she was crying over her mystery Carmindor, she slams the door into Darien’s face. Ha ha ha. Serves him right! Although in his defense, Darien was actually thinking about coming clean to Elle.
When Elle enters the ball, alone and beautiful, I loved seeing Darien drawing near to her. It made me laugh that Darien acknowledged that this is the point in the movies where everything would click and he would fall for the beautiful girl coming down the stairs. But he can’t. Because he already “fell in love across the cell signals and late-night texts with a girl [he] barely knew.” Alright, I don’t know about you, but it was about at this point where I definitely started screaming at the characters to just talk and figure out who they are! She’s Elle! She’s the girl you’re in love with! Ahhhhh. This is dragging out. Of course, I’m also high-key loving it.
After sassing the stupid Knox King, who of course turns out to be Darien’s horrible old friend, Elle and Darien share a moment on the balcony where they apologize and have a little heart-to-heart. They both point out how familiar the other seems, and I just want to slap some sense into them. Luckily, Chloe makes a scene and spills the beans in front of everyone. Darien hears Elle’s name and realizes that she is his mystery girl. Yay! Finally! Oh, and can we acknowledge how stupid it was of Chloe to badmouth Elle for being a lonely geek in the middle of a convention of nerds. Darien points out her mistake and gives her the promise-sworn salute which is picked up by “everyone, in their different-colored hair and costumes and makeup” to show that “underneath the robes and breastplates and Spandex are people whose hearts beat together.”
Dong, dong, dong. Oh great, right as Darien is about to tell Elle who he really is, Sage comes running into the ball yelling “Yeah, Cinderella, the time!” and drags her home. Poor Darien chases after them and gets left in the dust of the Magic Pumpkin with only Elle’s lost, starlight shoe.
Cue the upbeat music. Bum bum bum, let’s do this thing! Darien finally confronts his old friend Brian and his dad, then he takes control of his life. I was so proud to see him making his own decisions and planning to go after Elle (with his amazingly loyal bodyguard!). After some searching, Darien finally finds Sage, by herself, in the Magic Pumpkin. I love how Sage questions Darien’s intentions before taking him to see Elle! She’s literally the best friend ever!
While Darien’s music is picking up as he figures out what to do, Elle is rejected and punished. Don’t worry, girlie, you don’t have to put up with Chloe’s B.S. for much longer!
Best scene of the book:
Elle: *cleaning up Chloe’s mess. Hears “thunder.” Looks up and sees “over the bushes to the parking lot, emerging like the great pumpkin in flight, flies an orange and yellow truck… and with the truck, blaring from the open windows so loud [she] can hear the speakers pop, is the Starfield theme.”
Elle seems so happy when Sage gets out of the pumpkin to see her, and I loved their joking as Sage tells her that she picked up a hitchhiker. Darien comes out and gives Elle the slipper of starlight. Yay! He calls her ah’blena, and she knows that he is her Carmindor. It’s so adorable! Then they explain things and apologize, and finally…kiss. And the kiss “isn’t the kind of kiss to end a universe of possibilities. It’s the exact opposite. It’s the kind of kiss that creates them.” After a whole book of build-up, I was not disappointed by this scene. I love Elle and Darien, and I am thrilled that Elle could see the real Darien under his media image. He seems so free to be himself with her, and I was excited to see Darien ask Elle to “be [his] copilot” when she accompanies him to the Starfield premier eight months later. Finally, Elle and Darien realize they found the impossible in their universe after all.