Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

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YouTube sensation Charlie recently starred in a movie that has seen more success than anyone thought. After a public breakup with her costar Reese, she’s determined to show the world she’s moved on. The perfect place to do this is at SupaCon – a convention where she’ll be a guest meeting fans, but also where she can escape the real world for a while. Shortly after arriving, she meets Alyssa, a fellow YouTube star, who she might have a crush on…it seems the crush may not be one sided either.

Charlie’s best friends Taylor and Jamie also accompany her on the trip to SupaCon. Taylor is very anxious, and is on the Autism spectrum, and is both excited to attend SupaCon and meet her celebrity icon, Skylar who stars as her all time favorite literary hero, and Jamie is excited to be spending time with Taylor. They might be best friends, but he has feelings for her, and thinks they might be reciprocated.

Told in alternation point of views between Charlie and Taylor, we see a trio of best friends enjoying their time at an event that will change their lives more than they ever expected.

Queens of Geek was such a delight of a book! I read it in two sittings, and flew through it. It was a very light, fun, read with minimal drama and conflict. While there are some speed bumps in the road, the story primarily focuses on friendship, confidence, self worth, and being true to yourself. I loved the friendship aspect of the book – in so many of the books I read, the friendships aren’t super healthy ones (or don’t exist at all), and this was a fantastic change of pace. I’d kill to have friends like Charlie, Taylor, and Jamie!

On that note, there were some moments in the book that felt a little too good to be true, if that makes sense. There were eloquently worded monologues, celebrities acting like they were best friends with strangers and inviting them to movie premiers after just meeting them, and women who didn’t get offended or upset when they overhear someone calling them fat behind their backs. While I’m sure those things can happen sometimes I feel like it would be incredibly rare for all of those things to occur, so I occasionally found myself having to suspend my disbelief in that regard. That said, if you enjoy the story for what it is and ignore the impracticality of some of the things that are said or that happen, the book is still adorable.

I really loved the representation of Taylor’s anxiety. As someone who suffers from anxiety, it’s not always easy to find books that accurately represent what it feels like to have an anxiety disorder, and I really related to Taylor feeling completely overwhelmed and having sensory overloads being in such a crowded place. I loved that her anxiety and Autism played into the story and weren’t treated as something shameful.

I also loved that these characters were diverse! The book had characters who were asian, overweight, bisexual, had shaved heads, weren’t traditionally “perfect” looking (as is the case in many YA books), and I loved that. There were a ton of references to fandoms (even some that I’m a part of, which was so fun to read!), and I loved that the “nerd culture” of attending cons and conventions was celebrated in this book.

Overall, I completely loved the book and could not put it down! It was a perfect light summer read, and was a 5 star read for me! I can’t wait to see what else Jen Wilde comes out with!

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