This book is for the fandom queens, the regular geeks, the people who think they’re a little weird. It’s for everyone, because everyone needs to read this.
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde is like walking into a pop culture convention and feeling like you’re home. It’s like taking a plunge into the deep end of your worst fears and resurfacing with a smile because it turned out better than you thought it would. That’s how I imagine meeting your idols and being surrounded by your nerdy loves would be like when you’re not accustomed to being around people.
Queens of Geek is set at SupaCon and follows the journey of a trio of friends who have flown from Australia to be there: Taylor (who is a massive Queen Firestone fan, struggles with anxiety and is autistic), Charlie (a bisexual Chinese-Australian vlogger with rockin’ pink hair) and Jaime, the moral support who is just as huge a geek as the others. Did I mention that this is an Australian book with an Australian author with Australian characters? YO, THIS IS GREAT!
Let’s get into some of the things I adored about this book.
There are pop culture references EVERYWHERE!
The amount of references had me geeking out in my own bedroom. There were references to Back to the Future, Lord of the Rings, Marvel, Supernatural, you name it. (THEY MENTIONED DESTIEL LIKE, I CAN’T!) They even see Felicia Day and I lowkey screamed. I also loved the use of social media throughout the book because I find that YA lacks the appropriate use of it (I haven’t read a YA book where the protagonist uses Twitter as a bargaining tool in a race).
The characters are simply fantastic.
It is dual-narrated by Taylor and Charlie and their voices are so distinct and brilliant, you can’t help but fall in love with them. While it would have been super cute to have a chapter from Jaime’s perspective, I liked how it was with just the two girls. Jaime is adorable and precious and I loved every moment he was in. I loved the representation and diversity we get from this book, especially with autism, which was amazing to see.
It emphasises the importance of friendships between girls.
It’s been a long time since I’d read a book where two girls are able to have a good friendship without the negative stereotypes of tearing each other down or being mean/popular. I liked how Charlie was the ‘popular’ one in regards to her YouTube following and acting, but Taylor was popular on Tumblr and Twitter. Despite their differences in popularity, they were both focused on their friendship, always checking in on each other. It reminded me a lot of my high school friends and the support we gave each other – it was great to see that reiterated in a book.
The slow burn romance, yo. I can’t.
The relationship between Taylor and Jaime is super sweet and shows how the little things are what mean the most. Jaime is understanding of Taylor’s anxiety and autism. He knows how to react and help when she suddenly feels too tight in her body. In turn, Taylor knows how to make Jaime smile and it brought a warmth to my chest when I was reading their parts of the book.
I also adored Charlie and Alyssa’s relationship (the two of them secretly fangirled over each other, I mean, how is that not true love?) While it came across as instalove, I didn’t mind it in the slightest because it was really cute.
The moments of fangirling and important discussions were not only brilliant but educational.
Is it possible to fangirl over fangirling? Because that’s what I did. The aspects of SupaCon were so cool and I loved how involved the characters were with the convention. It led to the book addressing issues of sexism in acting, bi-phobia and bisexuality, as well as body positivity and mental health. It was brilliant to see these in a YA book and while some of the discussions came across as a bit ‘preachy’, I didn’t mind it too much. Some parts of the book felt a little underdeveloped and it’s easy to see when the narration goes from the story to emphasising the message it is trying to convey. Despite this, it’s an enjoyable read!
I honestly like the discussions about anxiety the most, because as someone who suffers from it, the inclusion of it was fantastic.
“That’s what we do. We walk a tightrope every day. Getting out the door is a tightrope. Going grocery shopping is a tightrope. Socializing is a tightrope. Things that most people consider to be normal, daily parts of life are the very things we fear and struggle with the most, and yet here we are, moving forward anyway. That’s not weak.”
Overall, this a warm and light-hearted YA book with lots of geeking out and fandoms galore.
It’s too adorable for words so just read it. You won’t regret it.
What are your thoughts on Queens of Geek? Have you ever been to a convention? Let me know in the comments!
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, Reese Ryan. When Alyssa 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.