Book Review: Queens of Geek – Jen Wilde

Title: Queens of Geek (2017)
Author: Jen Wilde
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQIA+
Extent: 288 pages
Release Date: March 14, 2017
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Goodreads Description

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.

Review

Going into Queens of Geek, I was actually kind of hesitant. Fandom books are somewhat of a rarity, in my experience, and what’s there is not always a hit. When I heard about this one and how it’s yet another con experience with best friends as main characters (like All the Feels or The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love), I was fully prepared to be let down. Thankfully, Queens of Geek managed to surpass those stories — at least in my humble opinion. 😉

The tagline is “three best friends, two love stories” and while that’s not inaccurate, this is really about two people: Charlie, an up-and-coming bisexual Chinese-Australian YouTuber, and Taylor, a chubby girl who is somewhere on the autism spectrum and suffers from anxiety. It is these two who experience the most growth, these two who start the story with a problem and have to find solutions to fix it, throughout the one fan convention they’ve always wanted to experience.

“This is it, you guys,” I say as we approach. “Everything we’ve always dreamed of. This is our Holy Grail.”

[…]

When we say it, it’s a whisper, like the name itself is to be cherished: “SupaCon.”

One of the most important things in a contemporary novel is its characters, as well as the relationships that they have with one another, and Wilde certainly brings it. Charlie and Taylor are both particularly well-developed, and their friendship with each other (as well as with Jamie) is so sweet, so adorable. The romances are also super sweet when the relationships start to develop, to the point where I actually start shipping them — especially Taylor and Jamie, because hell, they are freakin’ adorable and they’re perfect for each other. 💖

Queens of Geek also doesn’t disappoint on the representation front. Not only does it have diverse characters, it takes a stance on important issues multiple times throughout the book, and the characters have a couple of realistic discussions about these issues. Coming from a friendship group who does talk about these things in real life, it was great to see this happen. And yay for friendship!

“You don’t need to fit yourself into what society tells us a girl should be. Girls can be whoever they want. Whether that’s an ass-kicking, sarcastic, crime-solving FBI agent or a funny, gorgeous, witty beauty queen — or both at the same time.”

One tiny complaint, though: I wish there was more of fandom stuff! I liked the bits that were there, but for some reason this book didn’t really make me feel nostalgic the way some other fandom books do. This is probably more on me, though — while I’ve been a fan for more than half my life, I’ve actually never been into cons and cosplay and probably can’t relate that much to that side of the experience. 😅

I also, unfortunately, didn’t feel like the supporting cast is as well-fleshed out as our protagonists, especially love interests like Jamie and Alyssa. I don’t feel like I really know them beyond their romance with Taylor and Charlie, and what was there was more “told, than shown”. It’s not a huge problem because it doesn’t necessarily detract from my enjoyment, but it does mean that the book isn’t as ~perfect~ as I want it to be.

Overall, though, I really enjoyed this glimpse into the world of fandom! Both Charlie and Taylor are root-worthy protagonists, and I liked seeing the world through their eyes. Queens of Geek is a cute, easy read that delivers a good time. 🌸

REAL RATING: 3.5 stars.

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38 thoughts on “Book Review: Queens of Geek – Jen Wilde

  1. Lovely review, Reg! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it but didn’t fall in love with it, because I only have been reading raving reviews about this book, and it makes me SO nervous to read it now ahah 🙂

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  2. Great review, Reg. You took the thoughts from my head and put them into words so eloquently! I liked this one too. It was fun, lighthearted and it gave such a positive message to the readers!

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  3. Great review for this book Reg, I have Queen of Geek on my to-read list and you’ve just made me that little bit more excited to get started on it. I haven’t read many fandom based books (does Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell count) so I would have loved it if this one had more of the fandom, but I am pleased the main characters were well written. I definitely agree that characters are one of the most important aspect of contemporary books, and it sounds like in this book they are. Along with the friendships and the diversity this really does sound like the perfect book for me, and now I can’t wait to get started on it!
    Again great review! 😀 ❤

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  4. Lovely review as per usual Reg! I personally adored this book because it was so diverse and well written and cute and fluffy and short and I adore the cover! It was so unexpected because I didn’t realise I’d love it so much! Thanks for sharing!

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    • Thank you, Anisha! I definitely agree with you on all points – I suppose I just needed that little extra something to fall in love. It’s definitely a good book, though, one that I’m super glad to have read. 💕

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  5. Glad to see you ended up enjoying this, Reg! I’m the same with fandom books – they can be a bit of a hit or miss for me. Like with All the Feels, I read a sampler of that because I was contemplating picking it up only to not enjoy the sampler at all. 🙈 But, yeah, this one caught my eye more so for the fact that it has great representation and friendships over the fandom aspect and it’s good to see that it delivered in both areas. This is one I will definitely be reading sometime this year. Great review as always!! 😁♥

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  6. Sorry you didn’t completely fall in love with this one, but I’m so glad you enjoyed it! The rep was SO good and I loved the fandom stuff too. I get you on the con/cosplay stuff, that’s not really my scene either. Although, I’d love to try it because I feel like it’d be a cool experience so maybe that’s why I felt a bit more connected? I definitely understand what you mean about the romance. Jamie especially wasn’t very fleshed out. The writing felt a bit unpolished and rushed at times too. I think I got so swept away though by Charlie and Taylor, I didn’t really mind 😂 Lovely review, like always 😀

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    • Thank you, Lauren! I totally get getting swept away by Charlie and Taylor – they’re both such great characters. Jamie and Taylor were SO CUTE too, though like I said I wish he was more fleshed out and existed as his own character rather than a love interest, especially given the ~three best friends~ blurb. I’m keen to see what Jen Wilde comes up with next, though; I think there’s definitely potential here. ❤

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