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All Hail Her Royal Nerdiness

Make the essential geek pilgrimage to San Diego Comic Con—I mean SupaCon—in Jen Wilde’s Queens of Geek.

All Hail Her Royal Nerdiness

BOOK REPORT for Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

Cover Story: There’s Something in Your Hair
BFF Charm: Shrug x 2
Swoonworthy Scale: 7
Talky Talk: She Said, She Said
Bonus Factors: Comic Con, Diversity
Anti-Bonus Factor: Too Much
Relationship Status: Internet Acquaintances

Cover Story: There’s Something in Your Hair

As someone who sports fantasy-colored hair, and who digs it when other people do as well, I’m all for a cover covered in pink hair. It’s also fitting with the content of the novel, since one of the main characters has pink hair.

The Deal:

Three best friends Charlie, Taylor and Jamie are headed—for the first time—to San Diego for SupaCon, the world’s largest comic and pop culture convention. Charlie’s attending as a guest; her vlogging and role in an Australian indie film have rocketed her toward stardom. Taylor and Jamie are simply attendees; but both are excited to see some of their favorite stars.

Charlie, the outgoing one of the bunch, is eager to put a complicated relationship with her co-star in the film behind her, and looks forward to doing press for the film without him. But a wrench is thrown into her plans when said co-star shows up … and acts like he did nothing wrong.

Taylor’s much more reserved, and struggles with social anxiety issues that make it hard to be among crowds and in the spotlight. But when she’s given the opportunity to take part in something that could lead to her hanging out with her favorite author—but shove her completely out of her comfort zone—she has to make a hard choice. Then there’s the whole “thing” with Jamie that she’s been avoiding for years ...

It’s amazing the amount of change people can experience in a matter of a few days.

BFF Charm: Shrug x 2

On the surface, I should adore Taylor. We’re crazy alike: we both struggle with social anxiety, body image and self-worth; we’re both better at expressing our feelings in written form and have been mislabeled at bitchy or cold because of our introverted natures; we’re both unabashed fangirls. Both of us have had to force ourselves out of our comfort zone to achieve goals and dreams. But we never clicked. I felt for her, and her struggles to overcome some of her issues, but didn’t really like her. I found myself dwelling more on our similarities (see: anxiety issues) and worrying (ridiculously, I know) about if I came across like her when I was her age rather than really caring about her story.

Charlie and I, on the other hand, are very different. She’s outgoing and confident—at least, on the outside—and loves being on camera. She seems really cool on the surface, but would likely be overwhelming in reality. She’s someone I might admire from afar; but then again, I’m not really of the demographic that her vlogging would appeal to (i.e., I’m old).

Swoonworthy Scale: 7

I’m going to keep this vague, but the thing I most enjoyed about this book was the lead up to the swoony moments.

Talky Talk: She Said, She Said

Queens of Geek is told in Taylor and Charlie’s alternating POVs. Even though the two girls are very different, it took me a while in the beginning of the book to determine who was who when the chapters switched. After a while, thanks to their storylines diverging, it got easier. Reading each girl’s thoughts was a nice way to get to know them on a deeper level, but I would have liked to see a bit more of Charlie through Taylor’s eyes and vice-versa. The book felt very much like two different stories that just happened to be occurring at the same time, and occasionally crossed paths.

Bonus Factor: Comic Con

Although Jen Wilde’s version of the annual comic and pop culture convention held in San Diego is called SupaCon, it is Comic Con. I’ve attended the event, and reading about Charlie, Taylor and Jamie’s excitement in being there made me miss it all over again. I totally connected with this part of the story: the lines, the people, the sheer overwhelming excitement that leads to utter exhaustion, but is oh-so worth it. I’d love to go back some day, but dang if those tickets aren’t hard to get!

Bonus Factor: Diversity

Wilde includes a huge amount of diversity in Queens of Geek. Charlie is Chinese Australian and bisexual. Taylor’s on the autism spectrum and a chubby girl. Jamie (I think) is hispanic, and a transplant from Seattle to Melbourne. Charlie’s vlogging crush, Alyssa, is black. It’s a good indication of all the different types of nerds who exist. (In case you weren’t aware, we don’t all look like this.) That said ...

Anti-Bonus Factor: Too Much

There are A LOT of ideas within Queens of Geek’s covers; so much is covered that I found it distracting. The themes/ideas within include, but aren’t limited to: bisexuality, sexuality, broken hearts, the struggles that come with being in a celebrity, sexism, unrequited love, autism, social anxiety, panic attacks, fear of being in in the public eye, slut shaming, fat shaming, and what being a nerd means. My connection to the story suffered from this overload.

Casting Call:

Abigail Breslin as Taylor

Note: I don’t consider Abigail chubby, but you know Hollywood.

Natasha Liu Bordizzo as Charlie

Relationship Status: Internet Acquaintances

I really wanted to connect with you IRL, book, but something was missing. I think we’re better off sticking to the online realms where we can both fangirl over the shared things we love, but not be forced to make awkward in-person small talk when we run out of things to say to each other.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Swoon Reads, but got neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. Queens of Geek is available now.

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.
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