“Are you happy the way you are? Are you comfortable? Do you feel like yourself?”
The corner of my mouth lifts into a half smile. “Yes. Yes. And yes.”
“Then that’s all that matters. Fuck everything else.”
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde is the most adorkable novel I’ve read in a long while. The book is ridiculously cute, but it also sends an important, hopeful message across through the main characters: that you don’t have to change yourself to fit in to someone else’s standards.
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.
What I love most about this book is that it’s a #LoveOzYA … which means THE CHARACTERS ARE AUSTRALIAN! Yay! For those who don’t know, I’ve decided to start reading more Australian YA fiction, and this book was probably the best one to start with because it’s so nerdy and relatable. Honestly, I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t relate to this book as we have all, at one point in our lives, been immersed in fandom culture.
This book is also amazingly diverse, which is apparent by the two narrators, Taylor and Charlie. Taylor is autistic and Charlie is bisexual and Asian. Obviously I can’t speak for whether the representation of Taylor was accurate or not, but Charlie’s bisexuality was portrayed beautifully. I can’t think of a time where I had read bisexuality so positively in a novel which doesn’t include a big coming out moment. I do love bisexual coming out stories and they most definitely have their place in both YA and adult fiction, but sometimes it’s comforting to have a character already secure with their sexuality.
“I’m forever observing, trying to learn how to be an adult human being by watching others, and I’m constantly in awe of how easy some people make it look.”
Taylor and Charlie were fantastic characters with distinct, personal voices. Despite how different they were, they were the very best of friends and I loved reading about how much they cared for each other and supported one another. Jaime is their friend from America who moved to Australia, and he was just a sweetheart who so deeply cared for Taylor. I adored his and Taylor’s budding romance.
I have a small list of grievances (as in one thing) which didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book too much, but did irk me enough to not give this book 5 stars. The romance between Charlie and the vlogger girl featured that awful instalove trope (nooooooooooooooo) which is just not realistic. Authors, please stop featuring the instalove trope in your novels. The only time that trope is applicable is in like paranormal werewolf romances during that moment where the werewolf sets sight on his mate for the first time. (Yes, I used to read a lot of werewolf romances.) Aside from that, I don’t want to see it.
One of the best elements of the book is how fandom positive it is. So often those of us in fandom circles are shamed or ridiculed by those outside the fandom for our love of geek culture (please put your hand up if you’ve ever been personally victimised by someone who doesn’t understand your love of a show/book/movie) but this book takes our love of geek culture and celebrates it.
Queens of Geek is the fluffiest YA book I’ve ever read, and trust me when I say everyone will relate to it. You can still read the book on Wattpad here, so please give it a shot! Also, if you’re joining the SapphicAThon challenge, this is a great book for the ‘Bisexual’ category!