Review: Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Queens of Geek by Jen WildeQueens of Geek by Jen Wilde
Published by Swoon Reads on March 14, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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four-half-stars

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, Jason 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.

After handfuls of fails and one success, I’ve been trying to convince myself to write off Swoon Reads. Admittedly, it hasn’t gone well. Every single book basically sounds like a great concept for shippy awesomeness, so, despite consistent disappointments, I keep accidentally requesting them. By accident. You know, accidentally on purpose. Because I have no willpower. The good news is that Swoon Reads accidentally published another good book (the other is These Vicious Masks) in Queens of Geek, which is every bit the expression of nerdy delight you hope it will be.

Queens of Geek immediately proved to have stronger voice and banter than most of the other Swoon Reads offerings. Banter, though not generally considered much of a skill by the literary community, really does take talent; when banter is attempted and not achieved, it’s clunky and eye-roll inducing. Wilde’s whole book bursts with humor and charm that actually hits the mark. Wilde’s dual first person POVs (Taylor and Charlie) both have strong voices, which are generally easy to distinguish.

Though I haven’t read/tried to read quite all of Swoon Reads books, I can still say with confidence that this is the most diverse offering to come out of this Macmillan imprint; most of them have been whiter than Wonderbread. Taylor’s white, Charlie’s Asian, Jamie’s Hispanic, and Alyssa’s black. Both ships are interracial, and one of them is f/f. It’s a smorgasbord of adorable, diverse nerdy ships.

Speaking of representation, Taylor struggles with anxiety. She’s been prepping herself mentally for months to attend SupaCon, because crowds and social interaction cause her to panic. I love seeing how hard it is for Taylor, but also how much better she learns to cope while she’s there. (Girl, you did so good because I went to DragonCon for one day and I ended up weeping, leaving early, and not doing shit with my pass so.) What helps her most is finding that community of people who really understand, meeting other people with anxiety who one hundred percent understand what she’s dealing with. I was totally cheering for Taylor as she navigated a bunch of super scary shit and put herself out there.

In case that wasn’t enough rep for you, Taylor’s also fat. There’s this amazing moment where she rants on tumblr after some random person fatshames her, and it’s brilliant. (Actually, I was surprised how much I enjoyed Taylor’s tumblr posts throughout.) Taylor’s confident about who her body, and I love that her appearance isn’t an issue ever in her romance. Jamie thinks she’s hot af and has been into her for ages. Friends to lovers is hit or miss for me, but these two were a hit. Usually I hate when both people have had a crush on each other for ages with neither realizing it because teenagers are not subtle, especially teenage boys, but I totally found it believable and convincing here. Also, the library scene. And the elevator scene. And the amount I relate to how Taylor overthinks everything. Taylor’s also autistic, and there’s a brilliant scene where she bonds with another autistic girl, and she gets a new view on herself, and it’s so beautiful.

Charlie could not be more different from bestie Taylor. Taylor tumbls, and Charlie has a super popular vlog and has just broken into acting with an Australian indie that’s been a surprise smash hit. Charlie has panels and events to do at the Con, and she’s so excited to establish her name on her own right and to escape Chase, aka her irl ship with former costar Reese, who cheated on her. Of course, fucking Reese shows up at SupaCon to try to overshadow her. For Charlie, Queens of Geek is about finding her way back to the self-confidence she’s always had which took a hit when the first person she ever loved hurt her so publicly.

Oh right, more rep. Charlie is bi, even if Reese doesn’t believe bisexuality exists. Raise your hand if you’re surprised this guy’s a piece of shit. Oh look. No hands. Anyway, Charlie meets one of her favorite vloggers, Alyssa Huntington, and they hit it off right away. This ship is also fabulous, and I love love love that the f/f ship has sex and the m/f ship doesn’t. This might be a first in YA fiction? Their first date is so cute, though it’s a shame they have to move so fast but I guess that’s a downside of fame. I do like how chill and mature they are about the unavoidable drama.

Queens of Geek is everything that All the Feels failed to be. It’s a geeky celebration jam-packed with excellent representation and humor.

Favorite Quote:

“I’m not quiet about how miraculous I am.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

2 responses to “Review: Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde”

  1. Daphne says:

    I think taylor is supposed to be autistic?

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