Queens of Geek, by Jen Wilde
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: March 14, 2016
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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, Jason 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.
M/F and F/F Pairings
Autism Spectrum (Anxiety Disorder)
The Power of Friendship!
This book is so special. It only takes a few hours to read, but it could stay with you forever.
Told in alternating POVs Queens of Geek is the story of three best friends, two new relationships, and one awesomely geeky weekend. Charlie is an internet sensation and is attending SupaCon to promote her breakout film debut, bringing her friends Taylor and Jamie to support her and have fun at the most exciting convention in the world. Despite her constant anxiety Taylor is thrilled to be there and meet her idol, the author of a series of fantasy novels that have inspired and comforted her, and given her a fandom to belong to and feel safe in. Jamie is the devoted pillar of humour and strength to them both, and Taylor’s not-so-secret long time crush. The friendship between the three of them is central to the story, with life changing moments occurring for all of them but the steady constant of their love and understanding for each other is what makes it all possible. The importance of friends old and new is such a wonderfully significant part of the novel, and proves you can have a romantic plot without leaving your friends behind.
I adored all of the characters and would have loved for them to be my friends. Charlie is self-assured, affectionate and fun, Jamie is a sweetheart (and prime boyfriend material) and I could write essays about Taylor and on page representation for neurodiversity. I was continually blown away by how accurately my own life was portrayed, and grateful beyond measure for the way her friends treated her. I don’t want to spoil anything but Alyssa is a delight as well, and there are many charming surprises and expressions of love for fandom throughout. It’s not entirely fluff however, as Charlie’s horribly manipulative ex is there to drive conflict, and there are a few descriptions of intense anxiety and one fatshaming scene – but the outcomes are uplifting, and I would absolutely encourage everyone to read on.
The colloquial first person narrative style may not appeal to every reader, and I confess I occasionally felt terribly old – the adoration of youtube celebrities is something I couldn’t relate to, but I’m not the target audience so who cares – and while a lot of pop culture reference laden dialogue makes me cringe I was impressed not only with how naturally it flowed from the characters, but especially that it was used to articulate emotions or ideas and as a common language between both friends and strangers. Using film quotes and fictional situations as metaphors is a coping mechanism that’s important to me, and the shared language of fandom is something everyone can understand.
I wish this book had existed when I was a teenager. If I had read this 20+ years ago, if these characters could have been my friends, I might not have felt so alone. There is something truly magical about seeing yourself in fiction, and even more so the feeling of being seen, of someone understanding you, accepting you, and telling you it’s okay to be exactly who you are. I am a chubby, bi, autistic anxious nerd and Queens of Geek felt like a precious gift written just for me. Although the narrative itself is quite simple – three friends enjoying the world’s biggest pop culture convention weekend – it is an incredibly special and powerful book that I hope will help readers feel more confident enjoying and finding solace in seemingly ‘trivial’ things like online fandoms and their favourite novel series. I read it in one breathless sitting; smiling, occasionally crying, always feeling seen, accepted and loved.
Jen Wilde is a writer, geek and fangirl. Her debut into fiction, THE EVA SERIES, reached over three million reads on Wattpad and became an Amazon bestseller.
When she’s not writing, she loves binge-watching Netflix, eating pizza, and going to pop culture conventions cosplaying as Marty McFly.
Jen lives in a beachside town in Australia with her husband and their troublesome pug, aptly named Heisenberg.
You can find her online at http://jenmariewilde.com/
You can purchase Queens of Geek from:
I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.