Diversity for the Win! - Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde Blog Tour + Review + Giveaway

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde Review

First things first, let's talk about the glorious amount of diversity Queens of Geek has. Charlie is Chinese-Australian (when it was first mentioned, I literally squealed. Finding characters who share my cultural heritage is rather rare, unfortunately), plus she's also bisexual! (I've seen an increase in the amount of novels that include gay and lesbian characters recently, but sadly, very few bisexual ones so far. PS: If you have any recs leave 'em in the comments please.)

Synopsis & Details:

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 read more... 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.

Title: Queens of Geek
Series: N/A
Author: Jen Wilde
Publication Date: March 14th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Source: I received an arc from the publisher for review consideration (thanks Swoon Reads and Xpresso Blog Tours!) this in no way affected my review, cross my heart.

Taylor, our other main character, is on the Autism Spectrum.

She has Asperger's, which affects one's ability to socialize and communicate. The third guy in the trio, Jamie, is of hispanic descent. I didn't know about any of this going into the book, so it was a wonderful and welcome surprise.

Queens of Geek was a fairly effortless and quick read.

I picked it up while attending a Chinese New Year celebration and had pretty much finished 50% of the book by the night's end. I'm not sure if it's just me (and my overthinking brain), but I'm getting the nagging feeling that effortless is a bit of an odd descriptor to use in a review, so I'm gonna lay down a quick explanation.... Recently, I've been reading a lot of books that are rather prosey and purpley, and with that type of writing, I typically have to reread some sentences a couple times before they actually make sense and settle in. I love a good, beautifully written book as much as the next person, but occasionally it gets tiring, so a light fluffy read, like Queens of Geek, was exactly what I needed.

There were definitely a couple of shortcomings though, particularly with characterization.

While Charlie and Taylor did get a couple good moments of development here and there, pretty much all of the characters ended up feeling rather flat, and consequently, the romantic relationships also came off as a bit underdeveloped. In my opinion, the romances moved a little too quickly, we just didn't have enough time to get to know the characters before we jumped into the relationships.

On the other hand, the POVs were fairly distinct.

I don't recall ever having to check who's chapter was who's while reading (which I generally have to do a lot due to my poor memory). The two narrators, Charlie and Taylor, both had clear and easily distinguishable voices.

Queens of Geek also touched on some pretty interesting issues by tackling the flip side of fame.

Being famous notoriously comes with a lack of privacy, something which we see Charlie, a rising star as a result of her role in the indie hit "The Rising" (ha), deal with countless times throughout the novel. Her fans, while generally well meaning, also stir up some trouble. The fandom fervently ships her with her co-star, Jason Ryan, a boy she wants nothing do with as a result of their nasty and very public breakup. While the fandom desperately wants them to get back together, Charlie couldn't want it less. This leads to some conflict between her and some of her fans.

Fandom references are to be expected, after all this is a novel that takes place in a convention, and it's literally titled "Queens of Geek."

The references fit in well with the story and don't feel forced at all, thank thor (brownie points if you can name the fandom). However, I must admit that many of them went over my head, like at least two miles above my head. Though, the ones I did get were extremely enjoyable (hey, I'm but a simple fangirl, mention my fandom and I shall screech in delight).

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

So, what fandoms are you in? I bet you all know which ones I'm in... I'm pretty obvious when it comes to my obsessions.