Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
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.
I don’t even know where to start with this book. While there were some differences, I’ve never found a book with a character that was like me. Until now. I am Taylor. Every time she talked about how her anxiety felt, I felt like I was being seen. Her descriptions were so spot on for me that I marked them (page flag, I’m not a monster) and read them to my husband. I can never explain it well and I think this helped him understand a bit more.
I really liked all three main characters in this book. I already talked a bit about how I connected with Taylor. She was awkward and I definitely understood her feelings well. Charlie was a lot of fun. I loved how she was so happy and outgoing, but still had a lot of insecurities. Her ex was terrible, but I adored her new crush. Then there was Jamie who might be the sweetest boy ever.
Charlie, Taylor, and Jamie are best friends from Australia. Charlie has been a big youtube star, but she recently got into movies and is doing press at SupaCon in San Diego. All three make plans to have an amazing weekend together. Things start off rough and Charlie is away a lot. Taylor’s anxiety gets to her, but Jamie is there as her anchor. He is so patient with her and knows exactly what to do. It’s obvious early on that Jamie and Taylor like each other as more than just friends. Taylor’s anxieties push her to stay quiet because she can’t lose Jamie’s friendship.
The book was a lot about fandoms, but I found it to be about the characters more than anything. There is something about Jen Wilde’s book characters that I adore. There is always rep and diversity, but it never feels forced or fake. It’s just there. The anxiety does play out a lot in this book. So does Charlie’s bisexuality. But still, it wasn’t just screaming “look at me, I have rep”. This friend group was just amazing. I loved how much each of them supported one another, no matter what. All three had to step outside their comfort zones in the book and it felt very real. I don’t really connect to the fandom/con thing much, but I could feel the excitement Taylor had. Taylor and Jamie made plans to go to college in LA so they can live with Charlie who is moving there. This brings up more anxiety and issues for Taylor. Charlie also struggles with having her whole life in the open. Being a celebrity in LA isn’t a quiet, peaceful thing.
I don’t really want to go too much into this one. I hope that you’ll read it and enjoy the characters, too. The whole book takes place in a very short amount of time at one con. Both relationships had flaws that I appreciated. While there were happy moments, the book did show some down sides of relationships and how they’re not all perfect.
I gave this book 5 stars and it’s a new favorite for me. I also loved The Brightsiders and Going Off Script by Jen Wilde. She’s an auto buy author for me.
Have you read Queens of Geek? Do you enjoy reading about Cons? Are you a part of any fandoms?