About the Book

Title: The Princess and the Fangirl (Once Upon a Con #2)
Published: 2019
Series: Once Upon a Con
Swoonworthy Scale: 6

Cover Story: Montell Jordan
BFF Charm: Meh x 2
Talky Talk: Fan-tastic
Bonus Factors: Starfield, Comic Con
Anti-Bonus Factor: Douchebro
Relationship Status: Mutuals

Semi-Danger, Will Robinson! The Princess and the Fangirl is the second book in the Once Upon a Con universe. If you have not read the first book—Geekerella—you might want to read it before this one. Although The Princess and the Fangirl doesn’t have the same main characters, and it’s more companion novel than direct sequel. certain plot points for Geekerella are spoiled in the book. I won’t spoil either in this review, however.

Cover Story: Montell Jordan

GIF from Montell Jordan's music video "This Is How We Do It"

I love this cover. I love the cute but minimal illustrations, the glitter treatment on the title, the little geeky nods (hello, Han Solo blaster) and how the cover actually continues onto the back of the book. Fun fact: I saw Poston speak at a book event, and this cover’s designer is not the same as the one for Geekerella. (They did a great job at matching, that’s for sure!)

The Deal:

Imogen Lovelace has one goal for this year’s ExcelsiCon: Save her favorite Starfield character, Princess Amara, from permanent death. Through an online petition and passing out buttons from her mothers’s figurine booth on the con floor, Imogen gets the word out.

Jessica Stone, the actress who played Amara in the Starfield reboot movie, wishes that everyone would stop talking about Amara—particularly the person behind the #SaveAmara movement—and let her get back to real acting.

When a case of mistaken identity thrusts Imogen into the spotlight, Jessica—her look-alike—takes the opportunity to be a normal person again (and if she solves a possible career-ending situation while going incognito, all the better). Imogen sees no problem with the situation either; if it means putting her words into “Jessica Stone’s” mouth, at least the words get heard.

BFF Charm: Meh x 2

BFF charm with a :-| face

Imogen and Jess are both young women who are very self-centered. Neither considers the consequences of their actions until it’s far too late, and both are out to use each other, and their unusual situation, for personal gain. I can’t fault them; it’s easy to be self-centered as a teen. But I was definitely leaning toward Roger Murtaugh-ing them both on more than one occasion. Thankfully, they turn out OK in the end … but that still doesn’t convince me that either of them would be a very good friend.

Swoonworthy Scale: 7

There are two romances in The Princess and the Fangirl that are sweet, but they both suffer from a lack of development. I think this is in part because the book is divided into Imogen and Jessica’s POV’s, and so neither romance gets enough attention. There are sweet, swoony moments, but I wanted to feel a lot more connected to/chemistry from both.

Talky Talk: Fan-tastic

Poston is excellent at writing geeks who feel true and honest. They’re not stereotypes, and they come in all shapes and sizes, which—le gasp—is super accurate to real life fans. Geekerella was one of the first “fandom” books that I really connected with, and The Princess and the Fangirl continues that trend. The book also takes an honest look at both sides of fandom, which can be very good and very, very bad:

“The Internet makes it easy for us to forget that there are real people on the other side of those characters, and whether you like us or not, we’re people, too. So your hot take shouldn’t dehumanize me, or tell me that I’m wrong, or that I’m worthless, or a slut who slept on some casting couch for the role.

“Because I’m none of those things. And it’s so, so hard to remember that when the Internet just keeps echoing it back to you.”

Poston a voice of reason in a world filled with vitriol and joy in equal measure, and it would do the Internet a lot of good to heed her wisdom.

Bonus Factor: Starfield

A logo: a pink background with a gold star-shaped ship taking off.

Starfield is an amalgamation of many of my favorite classic science fiction TV shows, from Star Trek to Galaxy Quest. The fact that Poston has written 50-plus storylines for the show, all in the name of backstory—another tidbit I learned at the book event—makes her even more one of my people. I want to see this show made. Or at least read all of the plots!

Bonus Factor: Comic Con

The logo for Comic Con, a comic book black and white eye.

I haven’t been to a con in ages, and although I am old and filled with dread at the thought of being around that many people, there’s something special about being surrounded by people who are just as fanatic about the things they love as you are. Doesn’t matter if those things are totally different from each other; people (for the most part) at cons just appreciate that everyone’s a fan of something.

(Note: I know that ExcelsiCon is more based on Dragon Con than SDCC, but I’m talking about cons in general here.)

Anti-Bonus Factor: Douchebro

A guy wearing a backwards flannel baseball hat and a fur coat; Scumbag Steve meme.

Imogen’s ex is The Wooooooorrrrrsssttttt.

Relationship Status: Mutuals

We didn’t connect as well as I’d hoped for, Book, considering how much your predecessor and I are my OTP. But I still loved what you had to say, and how you said it with a decidedly geeky slant. Happy to reblog your GIFsets, if you’ll send me asks.

FTC Full Disclosure: I bought a copy of this book with my own money and got neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. The Princess and the Fangirl is available now.

Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband and their dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.