Bookish and the Beast (Once Upon a Con, #3)
In the third book in Ashley Poston's Once Upon a Con series, Beauty and the Beast is retold in the beloved Starfield universe.Rosie Thorne is feeling stuck—on her college application essays, in her small town, and on that mysterious General Sond cosplayer she met at ExcelsiCon. Most of all, she’s stuck in her grief over her mother’s death. Her only solace was her late mother’s library of rare Starfield novels, but even that disappeared when they sold it to pay off hospital bills.On the other hand, Vance Reigns has been Hollywood royalty for as long as he can remember—with all the privilege and scrutiny that entails. When a tabloid scandal catches up to him, he's forced to hide out somewhere the paparazzi would never expect to find him: Small Town USA. At least there’s a library in the house. Too bad he doesn’t read.When Rosie and Vance’s paths collide and a rare book is accidentally destroyed, Rosie finds herself working to repay the debt. And while most Starfield superfans would jump at the chance to work in close proximity to the Vance Reigns, Rosie has discovered something about Vance: he’s a jerk, and she can’t stand him. The feeling is mutual.But as Vance and Rosie begrudgingly get to know each other, their careful masks come off—and they may just find that there’s more risk in shutting each other out than in opening their hearts.

Bookish and the Beast (Once Upon a Con, #3) Details

TitleBookish and the Beast (Once Upon a Con, #3)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 4th, 2020
PublisherQuirk Books
ISBN-139781683691938
Rating
GenreContemporary, Young Adult, Romance, Retellings, Young Adult Contemporary, Young Adult Romance, Teen, Fiction, Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Pop Culture, Fandom

Bookish and the Beast (Once Upon a Con, #3) Review

  • Ashley Poston
    January 1, 1970
    Books, beasts, and german shepherds, oh my!
  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    UPDATE 2/25/20: ((screams in geek))I didn't know we had a cover for this as well! Behold its beauty. I love it...there's a puppy on it...and bookshelves!!!BEAUTY AND THE BEAST RETELLING!!!Commence stalking internet until cover reveal.That is all.Wake me up in June. UPDATE 2/25/20: ((screams in geek))I didn't know we had a cover for this as well! Behold its beauty. I love it...there's a puppy on it...and bookshelves!!!BEAUTY AND THE BEAST RETELLING!!!Commence stalking internet until cover reveal.That is all.Wake me up in June.
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  • Sophie
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the publishers for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. This series has been a bit of a frustrating one to me. It's cute and lighthearted so reading it always sounds appealing, but at the same time it has so many pop culture references that it overpowers everything else and doesn't give any room for the actual fictional universe created in this story to shine. Think of Galaxy Quest, it created its own universe and has nods to other science fiction (without Thank you to the publishers for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. This series has been a bit of a frustrating one to me. It's cute and lighthearted so reading it always sounds appealing, but at the same time it has so many pop culture references that it overpowers everything else and doesn't give any room for the actual fictional universe created in this story to shine. Think of Galaxy Quest, it created its own universe and has nods to other science fiction (without outright naming them) but it is also very much its own thing. This series should have aimed to be more like Galaxy Quest. At that point why even create your own universe? Other than to make all of the love interests stars of the world, of course.I am also iffy on Beauty and the Beast retellings. I have read some really good ones (Heart's Blood is absolutely lovely) but so many retellings come off as lazy. It's also usually hard for people to make the Beast Beast-like without making him such a major tool that romance seems unlikely. This guy (Vance) is complaining about how he's missing out on life because he can't fly in coach and buy cheap sneakers. He's in exile because of a car accident he caused and he needs to hide out from everyone, but he's planning that as soon as he's 18 he's going to be out of his stepfather's life and out of "exile." In this super nice house in North Carolina that his stepfather's friend is letting him stay in, not caring that his dog is ruining the rose bushes. He also plays the "hot villain" in the new movies. So "Belle" (in this book her name is Rosie) sees his dog and chases him into the house which she thinks is abandoned because it looks rundown on the outside but is super nice inside it, sees a bookshelf with a huge collection of fandom books (think those Star Wars and Star Trek novels, the main character even mentions Timothy Zahn's Thrawn books), picks up the most expensive one from the author created universe that she is super excited and touched to see because of the sentiment behind it. She gets chased, jumps in the pool with it, and it gets destroyed. Oops, turns out the book is worth a little over a grand. Which, I have a hard time believing to begin with. Fandom books CAN be worth that much but that's unusual (a super rare Star Trek book is currently being sold for $60), and I have seen special edition books from authors worth less. Hard to believe that she'd treasure it that much, know that it's rare and special, and then just be all nonchalant and casual about ruining it. This is even funnier later on because the two characters mention that the new fandom created universe movie can't be as good as The Last Jedi but still pretty awesome. So the author sees her universe as "not as good" as a terrible movie and basically a universally hated movie that destroyed Disney's Star Wars legacy and hurt the success of future projects, but definitely good enough to have a fandom tie-in book worth a ton of money. Cool, makes sense! Moving on, in order to make up for the cost (because who cares about the roses, but not the book!!), Rosie agrees to volunteer to organize the library and create a spreadsheet of which books are damaged, etc, and the guy watching the house and Vance, says that Vance will help out and also will pay to replace the book. Because who cares about everything the dog destroys in the garden, but not the fandom book!! Well, turns out that Vance had met Rosie before when he was in a costume at a convention and was honest about his life, so uh-uh! He wants her gone. I will end my description there since that was the basic set up and I don't want to ruin it for everyone, but let's just say that it doesn't improve. This book was trying too hard to fit into the Beauty and the Beast story, but it just fell flat and felt so forced. I shouldn't be surprised, to many people all characters need to be are a sexy villain and everything will just magically fall into place with readers finding them sympathetic and the backstory being rich even if there isn't one. That shit doesn't work on me. With the exception of the godfather and Rosie's dad, every character was insufferable, and the references were worse than ever. Rosie has no sense of self preservation in the most infuriating and immature way possible. She gets fired from a job early on in the book for using her phone immediately after getting warned to not use her phone, and one of the reasons listed that she was in trouble was for using TikTok and filming videos at work. This is a job she's supposed to keep because she needs it to help pay for college. The godfather is supposed to be Latino, but there were just a few forced "mijos." The diversity in general just felt incredibly forced. While the other books had their flaws, this one was just unbearable.
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  • Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
    January 1, 1970
    This book made me so freaking happy!I don't care about the other books in this series but this one is just meant to be mine 😍With all that nerdiness and book talk.With all that friendship vibes.With all that homecoming vibes.With all that things can go horribly wrong.With all that the story is just beginning at the end!I just love the characters so much!Rosie is so level headed even if she sounds like a romantic (I mean who doesn't when you're someone who's obsessed with a book series and it's m This book made me so freaking happy!I don't care about the other books in this series but this one is just meant to be mine 😍With all that nerdiness and book talk.With all that friendship vibes.With all that homecoming vibes.With all that things can go horribly wrong.With all that the story is just beginning at the end!I just love the characters so much!Rosie is so level headed even if she sounds like a romantic (I mean who doesn't when you're someone who's obsessed with a book series and it's movie adaptations; more so because they were her mom's favorites!).And Vance. Damn this guy. Hahahahah! He's just terribly clueless and just so cute the way he is!And the best friends?! Annie and Quinn alongwith Rosie's dad! They're a riot! ☺️☺️And yes, author. I want more of that thing between Rosie's dad and Elais. I thought their story was going to start. Not fair 🤦And that guy Garrett. Hahahahhah!!!! The ways he tries to ask out Rosie. Damn! 😂🤣🤣🤣And whoa! So many book references! I totally love this book!Surprised!
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  • Candace Robinson
    January 1, 1970
    This one had some cute and funny moments but I still liked Geekerella the best! I know Vince is supposed to be spoiled but sometimes I just couldn’t relate to him but I did still like him.
  • K Whatsherface
    January 1, 1970
    Feb 2020: there's a cover!! When did we get a cover? That's rhetorical. Please don't actually answer. It's cute. Also a description! I had a feeling this one would be about Vance2019: Beauty and the beast set in the nerdy world of geekerella? Sold
  • Melindam
    January 1, 1970
    Expectations: Reality:YA/Nerd/Sci-Fi-Fan-retelling of Beauty and the Beast with a Library as one of the "main characters".This sounded really exciting in theory. However, it just did not work in practice.I mean, the Belle / Beast / Gaston / Poor Dad counterparts are obvious and the story follows the original path while trying to translate it into "Nerdy", but honestly? I found it drawn-out and boring.Rosie (Belle) - Vance (Beast) are both characters with valid issues, who are in serious limbo be Expectations: Reality:YA/Nerd/Sci-Fi-Fan-retelling of Beauty and the Beast with a Library as one of the "main characters".This sounded really exciting in theory. However, it just did not work in practice.I mean, the Belle / Beast / Gaston / Poor Dad counterparts are obvious and the story follows the original path while trying to translate it into "Nerdy", but honestly? I found it drawn-out and boring.Rosie (Belle) - Vance (Beast) are both characters with valid issues, who are in serious limbo because of these, but so is the book. It's dragging its feet at a snail's pace. I already reached 50% in the story, where the only interaction between them (apart from quick meetings that ended in .. yes, nothing) was Rosie spraining her ankle because of her super-clumsiness and at their next encounter turning Vance's hair into orange colour by mistake, which I guess is supposed to be hilarious, but it's just not?! Also, chemistry between the pair is practically non-existent.Obviously, I am too old to be the target-group of this book, but I don't think it's the only reason I could not connect to the characters at all.Some more thoughts to come. ARC by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Steff Pasciuti
    January 1, 1970
    | Review on Reader Fox Blog | AH! I literally screamed when I learned that Ashley Poston was coming out with a Beauty and the Beast retelling. While this particular story has often been hit or miss for me with the ones I've read, I was pretty sold on Bookish and the Beast before I even had it in my hands, let alone started reading. I think it had something to do with the title. Of everything, I fell in love with that title instantaneously. Plus, it helps that I've really enjoyed Poston's pri | Review on Reader Fox Blog | AH! I literally screamed when I learned that Ashley Poston was coming out with a Beauty and the Beast retelling. While this particular story has often been hit or miss for me with the ones I've read, I was pretty sold on Bookish and the Beast before I even had it in my hands, let alone started reading. I think it had something to do with the title. Of everything, I fell in love with that title instantaneously. Plus, it helps that I've really enjoyed Poston's prior novels.Despite not being a con-goer and typically finding that area of being a fan difficult to relate to, I've always been pleasantly surprised by how much I've enjoyed each and every Once Upon a Con novel so far. Retellings have always been my jam, really, so of course, I picked them up. But the truth is that I did not expect to like them as much as I have.Bookish and the Beast is Poston's best novel to date.Set after the ending events of ExcelsiCon, Bookish and the Beast picks up with Rosie Thorne, a young girl who has somewhat recently lost her mother as she enters her senior year of high school. She is prepping for college right alongside her family's immense financial struggles as a result of her mother's medical and funeral costs. Upon following a loose dog into what she believes is the abandoned castle home of her neighborhood, Rosie finds herself in the unfortunate circumstance of needing to pay for the damages on a priceless first edition Starflame novel.Thus begins Rosie working for (sort-of) none other than Vance Reigns to repay her debt.This novel was pretty phenomenal. From the central couple to each and every piece of the retelling, I loved it. I even loved the Gaston character, at least insofar as he was brilliantly written (the guy was a capital J - Jerk which Poston portrayed so well!). The pacing was fantastic, keeping me thoroughly engaged the entire time. Bonus points for diversity and inclusion re: the LGBTQ community with a non-binary and a bisexual character, none of which felt forced at all.And I loved Rosie and Vance.I have to be fair here, however, in admitting something about the book I could see as a potential problem. Poston skipped over a fair amount of the connection building between the two love interests. Basically, we're meant to accept that they have built up feelings for each other based on a night that they had prior to the majority of the events that take place in the book. The initial connection they have is shown as a sort of brief look into the night they met while leaving out the majority of their conversation. Then we're met with a flash-forward.Honestly? I was okay with this.It didn't really take from the novel for me. As far as I'm concerned, made the couple feel more real than I believe any slow build-up of excess interaction in the beginning would have. In my opinion, the decision to leave out the majority of their first night getting to know each other was the right decision. Poston instead just acknowledged that their night happened and delved deep into how it made the characters feel. And it was brilliant.This take probably won't work for everyone.It did work for me, though. I found myself literally on the edge of my seat as I stayed up egregiously late into the night to finish the novel the very day I started it. From fantastic characters to great commentaries, this book had so much to love. The tension between the two main characters was perfect. And while certain events were predictable--it's a retelling, that's to be expected--my only complaint comes from Vance's response to that predictability.Still, these characters were fantastic.Vance was not the typical cookie-cutter of bad-boy actor you usually see in the novels. Instead of having some traumatic past to justify his horrific behavior, we see a deeper side to a character who has quite literally dug his own holes and is dealing with the emotional fallout as a result. Rosie is relatable in many ways. What stood out most for me was her story, detailing the struggles women face with unwanted and unwarranted advances from a guy who just won't take no as an answer.Garrett, our Gaston, was well written and just the right amount of privileged cringe. Quinn and Annie were the perfect best friends for Rosie, wonderful in a multitude of unique ways. While I wasn’t in love with the adult characters, they were both extremely likable. And, as with Poston's prior novels, there are a few callbacks to characters from the previous novels, so keep an eye out! Plus, it's chock full of movie and fan references from just about any fandom you can think of. There was even one poking fun at Disney buying everything!Bookish and the Beast is set for a publication date of June 16th.If this book hasn't been on your radar up until now, I would definitely suggest putting it on your TBR. A wonderful retelling that is definitely now on my list of favorites, Bookish and the Beast is a book that'll stick with you. Also, look out for the Tom Holland reference! I giggled so much!| Instagram | Twitter | Reader Fox Blog | Bloglovin’ | Facebook |
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  • Kate (GirlReading)
    January 1, 1970
    4.5* It’s got a library. It’s got beauty and the beast references. It’s got epic friendships. It’s got the cutest crush to enemies to lovers. It’s got so. many. books. It’s got a dog. It’s got a brooding beast and a bookish beauty. It’s got just the right amount of pop culture references. It’s got a small town romance. It’s got ‘oh no, we’re caught in the rain’ scene. It’s got an epic homecoming scene. It’s got a space dad. It’s got reading aloud to each other. basically... SOMEONE MAKE THIS INT 4.5* It’s got a library. It’s got beauty and the beast references. It’s got epic friendships. It’s got the cutest crush to enemies to lovers. It’s got so. many. books. It’s got a dog. It’s got a brooding beast and a bookish beauty. It’s got just the right amount of pop culture references. It’s got a small town romance. It’s got ‘oh no, we’re caught in the rain’ scene. It’s got an epic homecoming scene. It’s got a space dad. It’s got reading aloud to each other. basically... SOMEONE MAKE THIS INTO A DISNEY CHANNEL ORIGINAL MOVIE STAT.
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  • Hollis
    January 1, 1970
    Unfortunately, the latest installment in this fandom-and-nerdy-love-explosion just.. really missed the mark. The third book in the series, centering around the revival and cult-following of a tv-series-turned-movie-adaptation relies heavily on the previous fairytale-esque romances set in and around the fandom and conventions and, unfortunately, fails to live up to anything that came before. Added to the mix was an attempted Beauty and the Beast retelling that didn't remotely land.So what did wor Unfortunately, the latest installment in this fandom-and-nerdy-love-explosion just.. really missed the mark. The third book in the series, centering around the revival and cult-following of a tv-series-turned-movie-adaptation relies heavily on the previous fairytale-esque romances set in and around the fandom and conventions and, unfortunately, fails to live up to anything that came before. Added to the mix was an attempted Beauty and the Beast retelling that didn't remotely land.So what did work in this one's favour? It's diverse. Literally, that's it. This was a definite miss and though book one was just a like for me, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed book two, so that adds an extra layer of sad for this one which didn't work at all.1.5 starsFull review to come closer to release (because wow, Hollis, why didn't you realize this was a June ARC..)** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **
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  • Sage Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    1.) Geekerella ★★★★★2.) The Princess and the Fangirl ★★★★★-Ashley Poston's 'Once Upon a Con' series is the fangirl/contemporary retelling equivalent to Marissa Meyer's 'Lunar Chronicles'.
  • Lea (drumsofautumn)
    January 1, 1970
    “Every place his lips touch – my mouth, my nose, my cheek, my neck – lights up like a star in a constellation for us.” Bookish & the Beast was a very fun and enjoyable installment in the Once Upon a Con series, that to me sadly couldn't live up to its predecessors.I truly loved both Geekerella and The Princess & the Fangirl a lot and feel very invested in the Starfield world and storyline. I think where this book mostly fell flat for me was the element of fandom and especially spendin “Every place his lips touch – my mouth, my nose, my cheek, my neck – lights up like a star in a constellation for us.” Bookish & the Beast was a very fun and enjoyable installment in the Once Upon a Con series, that to me sadly couldn't live up to its predecessors.I truly loved both Geekerella and The Princess & the Fangirl a lot and feel very invested in the Starfield world and storyline. I think where this book mostly fell flat for me was the element of fandom and especially spending time at a convention that I love so much about the other two books.While this definitely tried a little bit of a new take on bringing the Starfield universe into this series, by talking about the book series and partly taking place in a library with special Collector's Editions, it just didn't give me enough of an emotional connection to the Starfield universe itself that I became so very attached to. I immensely enjoyed some of the snippets that we would get at the beginning of chapters but sadly there were only so few of them. “Most of the time, I try not to think about it, but sometimes grief comes in waves. It laps against the sandy beach of your soul, again and again, soft and rushing and impossible to escape. She's gone, but I miss her. She no longer exists, but the words she loved still do.” While I enjoyed the characters, the one character that stood out the most to me was probably the female main character's dad. I just found none of the characters to be very interesting or compelling. I didn't dislike reading from their perspective or about them but I felt like they just weren't all that exciting to read about either.And again, Poston definitely tried to offer us a different take to the books before too, by introducing Vance, who is an actor for the Starfield series but currently taking a break from Hollywood. And while his character and journey was very different than anything we had seen before in this series, I just can't say I found his journey to be very believable OR captivating. I just simply didn't care. And the same goes for the female main character too. I feel like she put such emphasis on not just being “the girl with the dead mom” that she did end up being exactly that because I can't point out many traits about her.Again, none of these characters were dislikeable or not pleasant to read about, I just found them almost replaceable.As for representation, both main characters read as queer (stating multiple gender attraction) but they don't ever use labels. There is a non-binary side character that uses they/them pronouns and queer (one who is definitely bi) side characters. It seems like there is a Latinx side character too.. but that was never explicitly stated.Just as the characters didn't really stand out to me, the romance very much did not either and this was another really disappointing aspect for me with how much I squealed for the previous romances. Not only did I not really think the hate-to-love trope was well done but I also just found their entire development not very convincing just because I feel like we got too little of it. I barely felt chemistry, barely felt like they truly got to know about each other. We know they spend a lot of time with each other but I feel like we just didn't really get to see that at all. Where was this entire process? There just wasn't enough there for me personally.When it comes to the retelling element of Beauty & the Beast, you could definitely see the elements but they didn't stand out immensely. Some people might enjoy that, others not so much. As someone who is not a big fan of Beauty & the Beast I can't say if that maybe affected my enjoyment of this story too? I normally never pick up retellings of the story cause I am just not interested in them or the original story but for me this was different, as I already felt invested in this universe.At the end of the day I just don't really think it worked all that well as the basis for a fluffy Contemporary story like this. But I also know that this was really the project of Poston's heart and that does make me happy to know. “With him, a little of her heart leaves, but it leaves room, too. For new people. For new loves. For new impossibilities.” So all in all, while I enjoyed reading another installment in this series, it also just didn't have the same magic as the other two for me personally. Nothing about this book set it apart from any other YA Contemporary, sadly, and that was a very different experience for me with the first two books. If you're a fan of the series, it's a fun reading experience, especially with other character's cameos too, but it is really not a must-read at all.Instagram | Blog | Booktube Channel | TwitterI received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!
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  • sam ☆
    January 1, 1970
    How did I not know that this book existed? I absolutely love the starfield saga and I can’t wait to get my hands on this one
  • Gerardine Betancourt
    January 1, 1970
    In this third installment of the series after having met at Excelsicon Ball where they both wore masks, told intimate secrets, and spent a night eating waffles and talking about the Starfield series, both remember that day with happiness but neither of them reveals their identity to each other. One of those people is Rosie Thorne who is still grieving the loss of her mother. Rosie and her friends enjoy reading books and everything that has to do with the Starfield universe. On the other hand, we In this third installment of the series after having met at Excelsicon Ball where they both wore masks, told intimate secrets, and spent a night eating waffles and talking about the Starfield series, both remember that day with happiness but neither of them reveals their identity to each other. One of those people is Rosie Thorne who is still grieving the loss of her mother. Rosie and her friends enjoy reading books and everything that has to do with the Starfield universe. On the other hand, we have Vance Reigns a 17 years film star who will be the villain in the new Starfield movie, which will be directed by his stepfather.Vance's stepfather sends him along with his godfather to this small town for a month after a problem occurs involving some paparazzi and Elle the geekerella from the first book. The slow-burn romance in this book was super cute and easy to read. We learn a little more about the Starfield Universe and see other characters from pasts books. I loved the way Ashley Poston created this geeky retelling of the beauty and the beast and I will keep reading more books in this series because although many people think they are a little cheesy whenever I turn a new page in these books it brings me a little bit of joy and happiness to my life.So this book is 5 stars for me"Look to the stars. Aim Ignite!"Thanks to NetGalley and Quirk Books for this arc in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Helen Power
    January 1, 1970
    Plot This is by far the best instalment in this series. I think it might be the last, but I’m hoping there will be more. There’s always Calvin to pair up with a love interest, right? RIGHT? I absolutely love the interpretation of the Beauty and the Beast story to fit the romance between Rosie and Vance.There are a few parts that require a suspension of disbelief, but these are easily forgiven, because if it’s destined to happen, maybe these aren’t eyeball-rolling coincidences and are actual Plot This is by far the best instalment in this series. I think it might be the last, but I’m hoping there will be more. There’s always Calvin to pair up with a love interest, right? RIGHT? I absolutely love the interpretation of the Beauty and the Beast story to fit the romance between Rosie and Vance.There are a few parts that require a suspension of disbelief, but these are easily forgiven, because if it’s destined to happen, maybe these aren’t eyeball-rolling coincidences and are actually the fates working their magic.  After reading the first two in this series, I’d already jumped on the bandwagon of believing that ExcelsiCon has some sort of sorcery that makes the cast of Starfield fall in love with mere commoners. I guess I just took each of these silly little “coincidences” in stride.CharactersVance is my favourite of the love interests in the Once Upon a Con series. He's a ladies' man, a child actor born into the business, and he has a lot of well-concealed self-loathing.  We met him in The Princess and the Fangirl, albeit briefly, and he was presented as quite the a**hat.  I was surprised to learn that he would be in the third book in the series, based on the way he was presented.  But then I realized that this was incredibly exciting, allowing for the opportunity for an compelling redemption arc, just like his character General Sond in the Starfield universe.Rosie is my favourite type of protagonist. I love that she's the bookworm type who also sometimes gets attention from boys - which is evident in the case that Garrett (essentially Gaston from Beauty and the Beast) won't take no for an answer when he repeatedly asks her to Homecoming. In books like these, I like to see that the protagonist has seen some interest from boys but turns them down, because then when Vance falls for her, we don't think that she's falling for him back because she's never had someone interested in her before.  If that makes sense?  She loves him for him, not because of the attention he's giving her (despite the fact that the attention he gives her is a lot sweeter and more romantic than that douche Garrett--but that really adds to the humour of the entire situation). Worldbuilding The parallels between the world of Starfield and what is happening in the novel are just as pronounced in this book as they are in the previous instalments. However, as mentioned in my review of The Princess and the Fangirl, if you haven't read Geekerella, the world of Starfield might be somewhat confusing and harder to appreciate in this book.  We don't learn as much about the original television series, but this novel focuses more on the series/ book adaptations, which allows for General Sond to have a redemption arc and far more screentime than the original series.I recommend this book to any nerd at heart who is looking for a sweet and funny romantic retelling of Beauty and the Beast.This review appeared first on https://powerlibrarian.wordpress.com/ Instagram | Blog | Website | Twitter My 2020 Reading Challenge
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  • *The Angry Reader*
    January 1, 1970
    It’s generally not fun to do this - write a list just tearing into a book. I get that this is someone’s art. Their creation. And how easy for me to sit here and critique. But it isn’t easy. Sometimes I don’t mind writing a review about how terrible a book is. (On rare occasions I’m gleeful at the prospect.) But this isn’t that. I thought for a moment about being glib. Entire review “at least it was short.” Or “you know what sucks? This book.” And that kind of felt like a shitty moment for me. So It’s generally not fun to do this - write a list just tearing into a book. I get that this is someone’s art. Their creation. And how easy for me to sit here and critique. But it isn’t easy. Sometimes I don’t mind writing a review about how terrible a book is. (On rare occasions I’m gleeful at the prospect.) But this isn’t that. I thought for a moment about being glib. Entire review “at least it was short.” Or “you know what sucks? This book.” And that kind of felt like a shitty moment for me. So let me tell you I saw the heart in this one. I saw the try. I didn’t see what the characters saw in one another. (I don’t think a dude being tall and handing me a book I can’t reach is a basis for admiration. But I’m almost 6’0 tall. So “reaching things” isn’t on my love list.) I didn’t see the characters staying together Bc I didn’t see them as a couple. I saw too many weird space show references and barely any dialogue (what was there was weirdly cliched.) I saw a messy, disorganized book that needs badly to be weeded through and restructured to let the heart and sweetness shine. Oh to be seventeen again and naive enough to believe that any of this foolishness comes close to equaling love. *as always thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to offer my unbiased review*
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  • Ambriehl Khalil
    January 1, 1970
    ⭐️ [4.75/5 Stars] ⭐️AHHHHH. I’m so EXCITED. I love this series so so much. I could read them forever. Naturally, I don’t think anything is going to compare to the first for me. Geekerella is one of my all time favourite y/a books ever and it always brings me so my joy when I re-read it. At first when I heard this one was getting released, I was a bit nervous because I remember not fully loving the second book as much as I wanted to and I was worried that the same thing would happen here but that ⭐️ [4.75/5 Stars] ⭐️AHHHHH. I’m so EXCITED. I love this series so so much. I could read them forever. Naturally, I don’t think anything is going to compare to the first for me. Geekerella is one of my all time favourite y/a books ever and it always brings me so my joy when I re-read it. At first when I heard this one was getting released, I was a bit nervous because I remember not fully loving the second book as much as I wanted to and I was worried that the same thing would happen here but that wasn’t the case at all. I looooved this. It made me so happy.There were so many fun references and the characters were fantastic. Can we talk about the fact that more authors are now including more non binary characters please?? YES. I’m so glad. I loved Quinn (I think I spelt it right but I also listened to the audiobook because I was desperate to start) they were full of life and such a good friend. I love them. I liked that Vance’s character held up from the last book and he was still just as much of a broody dick in this one. I love a grumpy hero and I think Rosie was perfect for him. Also I adored the spin on Beauty and the Beast. Can Ashley Poston just do a retelling of every fairytale ever please? It’s all I ask. Gah! I don’t care about anything I’m just happy to have finally read this book.
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  • Bookphenomena (Micky)
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a fab, reel-you-in story, full of books, libraries, jerks, nerds and most importantly…jerk redemption. I have to admit, I’ve missed out book two along the way, but I will put that right soon. However, I was still able to follow this interconnected standalone with ease. There was something about the love of books, in this book, that just spoke to my soul. This quote below and the whole section around it resonated with me completely.I can recognise these books from anywhere – even te This was such a fab, reel-you-in story, full of books, libraries, jerks, nerds and most importantly…jerk redemption. I have to admit, I’ve missed out book two along the way, but I will put that right soon. However, I was still able to follow this interconnected standalone with ease. There was something about the love of books, in this book, that just spoke to my soul. This quote below and the whole section around it resonated with me completely.I can recognise these books from anywhere – even ten, fifteen feet away. I know their spines. I know their titles. I know their thirty-year-old smell. I am at those books, my fingers running down their broken, well-loved spines…The vibe of the two characters, Rosie and Vance were complicated, or maybe just rather simple hate. Rosie was a complete clumsy disaster whenever in the proximity of Vance. She repeatedly overstepped privacy boundaries in a cringeworthy way but it made for hilarious hiding-between-the-fingers reading.She’s strangely intimidating, like a squirrel with a butcher’s knife.Vance was a jerk, pure and simple. A rich kid, Hollywood royalty and a star in the movies this series is based on. Points in his favour were administered early on for Sansa the dog, but that was all he had to endear himself. Slowly over time, over their joint project, these two had some grudging connection. I loved how their story unfolded.There was a bi-Dad storyline which I adored to the point that I wanted some more. Space Dad was so cool and his crush potential deserved its own story. The friendship circle around Rosie was sweet and loyal with a non-binary friend going for Homecoming Overlord.Amongst the cute, were serious themes of grief and berevement. I found Rosie’s narrative, inner feelings and reluctancy to talk about her loss believable. Vance’s parent issues warranted a bit more depth, I think.Out of the two I’ve read of this series, this is my favourite. It was a devourable read with cover details that I’m only just appreciating now. This book was everything I want and need from a contemporary YA with the added bonus of books as a context.Thank you to Quirk books and JamiedoesPR for the finished copy to review.This review can be found on A Take From Two Cities Blog.
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  • Jaye Berry
    January 1, 1970
    Beauty and the Beast but make it shitty [insert 1492348 pop culture references here] This is so hard to review because this was seriously so bad it feels like a parody but no. This is a real book that a publisher spent real money on to publish. The author got paid cash money for this book and I got paid nothing to read this?? This is the worst trade deal in the history of trade deals. (Sick meme but also fuck tr*mp.)Maybe we should make this our last once upon a con book yeah? Besides one (1) fl Beauty and the Beast but make it shitty [insert 1492348 pop culture references here] This is so hard to review because this was seriously so bad it feels like a parody but no. This is a real book that a publisher spent real money on to publish. The author got paid cash money for this book and I got paid nothing to read this?? This is the worst trade deal in the history of trade deals. (Sick meme but also fuck tr*mp.)Maybe we should make this our last once upon a con book yeah? Besides one (1) flashback, none of this takes place at a con anyway. (Not that I wanted a con but it's literally in the series name so I expect what I expect.)Bookish and the Beast is about a girl named Rosie Thorne (why tho) who mistakenly ruins an expensive book and then has to organize the expensive library she took it from to pay back her debt. Vance is Hollywood royalty but to hide from a scandal and paparazzi, he flees to Rosie's town and ends up living in the very house that has the expensive library Rosie must organize. Quickly Rosie discovers that Vance is a jerk and the feeling is mutual. That is until they spend more time together.The connection to making this a Beauty and the Beast retelling is so weak oh my god. None of this makes ANY sense. Rosie literally BREAKS into this guy's fucking house for no reason, looks at a book and then ??? runs away with it when he's like who tf is in my house!! and then she ??? drops it in a lake and it's ruined so to pay back the price of the book she has to *checks notes* clean up the library with him for a couple of weeks. Even her father is like lol that sounds reasonable have fun with these people bye. Bruh whAT? Make any of this make sense!!Maybe this is an issue because of the arc but there were so many continuity errors and then just writing that was so lazy. One big one was Vance and Rosie made eyes at each other at the con in a flashback and then they see each other when she ruins the book but he doesn't recognize her? They were literally sitting across from each other and staring at each other?? After that meeting he's still moping about the mysterious girl then the next time he sees Rosie, he's like omg she's the girl from the con!! Maybe fix that though.It literally feels like the author didn't try at ALL with this one and was just forced to do it because of a contract. I'm not bullshitting- she really gave us nothing. The queer rep this time was such a joke. Rosie's father is maybe bisexual and then Rosie has a non-binary friend who seriously talks once. That's it??All of these characters were so annoying and Rosie is the dumbest girl in the world. In the beginning of the book she gets fired from her job that she apparently needed so much for using her phone literally 3 seconds after she was told not to use her phone. She is a complete brat, so obnoxious, and if she came within 5 feet of me I would dropkick her. She literally runs into a dark house after a random dog and for what? She did any of this for what? Also Rosie lost her mother and is still grieving and it was handled so badly. I just want to cringe and laugh at Rosie trying to have a deeper emotion that wasn't just "lol i'm a nerd rawr xD".There was so much dumb drama about the couple from Geekerella breaking up and it was SUCH bullshit. (view spoiler)[There is news they broke up, we never see them until the end then they are back together and we literally get nothing from that. What was the POINT then. (hide spoiler)] Leave them alone, thanks. Geekerella is the only book by this author that I loved but I highly doubt I would even like it on a reread so I will keep that in the past with the good memories I had of it.Really, the rest of the book is just dumb drama that doesn't make any sense as well. There is no plot. The epic climax is Vance has a video get leaked of him and he thinks Rosie did it and it was just ??? so ??? stupid?? The video was so unimportant and minor like why would he care. Why would anyone care PLEASE. Sex tape or fucking bust my dude. He was so edgy and emo about the sHoCkInG leaked video and it was the weakest way to make them have discourse. I almost cried because they took this so seriously.I'm sorry did you want SO MANY FUCKING POP CULTURE REFERENCES??? Well you got them friend!! This has even more than the last book, I don't know how that was possible. Ashley has zero chill and every page is littered with meaningless references that are already dated. Characters speak in random references to communicate and there was no reason for any of this besides trying to hit a word count and to try to relate to the kids these days. (I could go into it on how all of these so called "nerd" things really aren't because those very nerd things are super mainstream and popular and have been for a long time but alas.)Literally no one speaks like this in real life, ever. Some of the references were just complete bullshit too- like she saw them on tumblr and just threw it in without actually knowing what she's talking about. Endless pop culture references are terrible but using them wrong is even worse.Also when books have bookish characters that just go on a tirade about how reading is beautiful and magical and shaped their very core and blah blah- I've heard this so many times and the exact same thing too. Where do you think we are right now? Who do you think you are talking to? I'm never going to see a character that likes books and references random fandom shit that I may or may not like and go "omg I love this character so muCH". It's such a cheap way to try to get the reader to relate to your basic character that has nothing else and I don't want it. Liking books and "nerd" things is not a personality trait, send tweet.But I'm not the targeted audience and I've ranted enough, good night.
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  • Lea ♞ That_Bookdragon
    January 1, 1970
    This series keeps on giving and I love it with all my heart. RTC!
  • aarya
    January 1, 1970
    The plot and the romantic development are a mess. I don’t have the energy to rant about how bad it is. Way too many fandom references for my taste (and I love most of the fandoms referenced! But there were too many references). Also there’s a Latinx secondary character (godfather to the hero) and the only sign of the rep is him saying “mijo” a few times. Not great.Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kloe
    January 1, 1970
    There’s the third book ????? And about beauty and the beast (aka my second favourite fairytale ) !! Sign me up !! I love geekerella so much !!The cover is sooooo pretty !!! Would be great if I get an arc 😢
  • Morgan Boyd
    January 1, 1970
    I need to stop reading 1-star reviews of books I love because I do get a lot of the points, but I need to judge books based on my original thoughts. BOOKISH AND THE BEAST- 5 starsSPOILERS AHEADThe amount of pop culture references took me by surprise. I don't normally pick up on every reference made by authors, and I mean, I started getting a little suspicious because somehow the author placed references to all of my favorite fandoms. I can see why it would bother some people, but for me, as a ge I need to stop reading 1-star reviews of books I love because I do get a lot of the points, but I need to judge books based on my original thoughts. BOOKISH AND THE BEAST- 5 starsSPOILERS AHEADThe amount of pop culture references took me by surprise. I don't normally pick up on every reference made by authors, and I mean, I started getting a little suspicious because somehow the author placed references to all of my favorite fandoms. I can see why it would bother some people, but for me, as a genz college student, it was engaging- especially because there is a Howl's Moving Castle remark (my favorite movie of all time). The romance was especially slow-burn. Like, they don't even interact much until halfway through the book slow-burn. Normally this would be a turn-off, but there is a side-plot involving the mc's two best friends that kept me wanting to read more. I did end up wanting more from this book due to the slow start though. Since the romance only picked up about 3/4 of the way the ending felt a little rushed, but I still enjoyed it.The author does a great job of representation, but sometimes it rubbed me the wrong way. For example, the mc's Dad is bisexual and has a scene with someone he finds "cute," but after that we get no further explanation or update on that situation. It didn't add anything to the plot, and started to feel as though the author was just adding that in for "woke points". Although this retelling didn't follow the Beauty and the Beast fairytale perfectly, it was still a super cute and satisfying read. This series has a special place in my heart as a huge fangirl in multiple fandoms. This book was especially easy to relate to because the mc is a book-lover herself. The romance is slow-burn enemies-lovers (my favorite), there's a huge library, an ATLAB reference, a prom overlord campaign, and much, much, much more. Overall, it was a quick cute read, like the rest of the books, and although I wanted more from the ending it was still satisfying.
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  • Bethany
    January 1, 1970
    The third installment in the series that began with Geekerella, Bookish and the Beast is a charmingly geeky rendition of Beauty and the Beast following the villain from the Starfield show (actor Vance Reigns) and a smalltown girl still grieving the loss of her mother. While this isn't my favorite book in the series, it was definitely fun and a different take on this much loved fairytale. If you liked the other books, this one is worth picking up too.From the modern mini-mansion designed as a cas The third installment in the series that began with Geekerella, Bookish and the Beast is a charmingly geeky rendition of Beauty and the Beast following the villain from the Starfield show (actor Vance Reigns) and a smalltown girl still grieving the loss of her mother. While this isn't my favorite book in the series, it was definitely fun and a different take on this much loved fairytale. If you liked the other books, this one is worth picking up too.From the modern mini-mansion designed as a castle to the swapping of a stolen rose for a damaged book, and a high-school aged YouTuber as a stand-in for Gaston, this was definitely a good time and it was entertaining to see the way the author adapted the story for this world. You get a hate-to-love romance with a prickly hero, casual diversity (including a gender non-binary best friend, a Latinx boss, and a bi-sexual dad), plenty of geeky references, and cameos from characters in the previous books. Perfect if you are looking for something light and fluffy, sometimes silly, always nerdy.I will say, this didn't quite hit the same way as the previous two did for me. I liked but didn't love the characters and I missed having more of the book set during ExcelsiCon. While it is involved in the prologue, most of the story takes place elsewhere. Which kind of makes sense because Beauty and the Beast, but nevertheless it wasn't quite as much fun for me and won't make my list of all time favorites like the earlier books in the series. That said, you might temper your expectations but this is absolutely still worth reading, and depending on taste you might feel differently. I received an advance copy of this book for review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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  • Sara (A Gingerly Review)
    January 1, 1970
    Nobody talk to me for a bit. I'll just be quietly sobbing and picking up my feels.
  • laurel [suspected bibliophile]
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars, rounded upWell this was super cute. Lots of queer rep (bi dad! bi male lead! nonbinary BFF!), and so many B&B Easter eggs. The ending faltered a bit, but it was definitely a fun read. I'm just happy to see my favorite fictional fandom back in action.Full RTCI received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review 3.5 stars, rounded upWell this was super cute. Lots of queer rep (bi dad! bi male lead! nonbinary BFF!), and so many B&B Easter eggs. The ending faltered a bit, but it was definitely a fun read. I'm just happy to see my favorite fictional fandom back in action.Full RTCI received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review
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  • Julia
    January 1, 1970
    You loved Geekerella? Then you need to read this book in the series.BUT be aware, the pop culture references blur the actual story. There is little to no back story. Who needs a back story when we've got a hot sexy villain, right? And the female MC has no sense of self-preservation.Also, the dog may destroy the rose bushes and whatnot, but a book (don't get me wrong, I treasure books) - a book - is the lever to get this Beauty and the Beast retelling rolling?
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  • Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
    January 1, 1970
    LOVE this series 🖤
  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: A sweet and funny story filled with friendship, family and a little romance. And plenty of sci-fi pop culture name dropping!Bookish and the Beast is another fun entry into Ashley Poston’s lively Once Upon a Con series, where each book takes on a traditional fairy tale and spins it into a modern retelling, complete with plenty I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: A sweet and funny story filled with friendship, family and a little romance. And plenty of sci-fi pop culture name dropping!Bookish and the Beast is another fun entry into Ashley Poston’s lively Once Upon a Con series, where each book takes on a traditional fairy tale and spins it into a modern retelling, complete with plenty of pop culture references. The stories revolve around a yearly comic convention called ExcelsiCon and star the actors in a sci-fi movie franchise called Starfield. Each book so far has dealt with one of the main actors in the movies, and this time it’s Vance Reign’s turn.One night at ExcelsiCon, Rosie Thorne finds herself on a balcony, taking a break from the crowded convention room floor. There she meets a masked boy dressed in a General Sond costume and strikes up a conversation with him. The two hit it off and spend all night wandering the city and getting to know each other. In short, Rosie considers it the best night of her life, but she knows she’ll probably never see the mysterious Sond cosplayer again. Fast forward a few months later. Vance Reigns is a famous actor, best known for his role as the villainous General Sond in the popular Starfield movies. When the story opens, Vance has gotten himself into a bit of trouble with the media, having drawn some negative attention after crashing his Tesla while driving with the girlfriend of one of his fellow actors. His parents have had it with his bad boy attitude and want him to lie low for a while until things blow over, and so they send him to a small town in North Carolina called Haven’s Hollow, where the director of Starfield: Resonance has a secluded and empty house.Rosie Thorne is a high school senior and has lived in the quiet town of Haven’s Hollow her entire life. A year ago, Rosie and her father lost their mother to cancer, and they’re still trying to deal with the emotional and financial aftermath. Luckily, Rosie has two best friends who she can rely on for emotional support, Annie and Quinn. All three share a love of the Starfield universe and go to ExcelsiCon every year. Rosie’s quiet life is upended, though, when one day, chasing a stray dog, she winds up in the “castle” house at the edge of town, only to come face to face with her idol, Vance Reigns. A comedy of errors results in Rosie agreeing to organize and catalog the owner’s immense library of rare sci-fi paperback books, and Vance’s guardian Elias, who is staying with him, insists that Vance help her out.But Vance wants nothing to do with Rosie, especially when he realizes she’s the girl on the balcony at ExcelsiCon. Vance isn’t really that sweet, attentive guy from that magical night, or is he? Bookish and the Beast is a fairly short book and a very quick read, and it was exactly what I needed, lots of light, fluffy fun with a cast of characters who quickly won me over. I happen to be a fan of books that revolve around pop culture, and if you enjoy stories like that too, where the characters play Pokemon and other popular video games, watch movies, and go to fan conventions, then you will have fun spotting the Easter eggs Poston has sprinkled throughout her story. What’s different about this book, though, is that it isn’t set at ExcelsiCon like the previous books, Geekerella and The Princess and the Fan Girl . At first I missed that setting, but I soon grew to love Poston’s portrayal of small town high school life, watching Rosie and her friends get ready for the Homecoming game and dance, worry about college admissions, and basically act like high school kids who will soon leave their familiar lives behind them.And of course, the fact that books figure prominently in this story doesn’t hurt either. I loved Poston’s descriptions of a dusty library full of old pulp paperbacks and her proclamations about the importance of books and stories in our lives. Rosie is a true book lover, having been raised by a mother who loved books as well, and I thought it was a great idea to show how Rosie’s mom is still firmly in her life, as their common love of books and reading keeps her alive. There's also a cool coincidence later in the story that involves the library and Rosie's mother, and I thought it was a nice touch. The library is the only real Beauty and the Beast element in the story that I could see, but ultimately that really didn’t matter. (Although there's also Rosie's name, which hearkens to the rose in the original tale.)I did love the slowly developing friendship and romance between Rosie and Vance, which has some very sweet, swoon-worthy moments, but by far my favorite relationships were the friendships in this story. Rosie, Quinn and Annie are true best friends, watch each other’s backs, and basically act as emotional support systems for each other. Rosie’s dad was one of my favorite characters, believe it or not. He’s a librarian—extra points for that!—and he’s a favorite of Annie and Quinn as well, who call him “Space Dad” for some reason. Add in some queer diversity—Quinn is non binary and both Elias and Rosie's dad are bi—and you have an interesting, well-rounded cast of characters.The best part of Rosie and Vance’s relationship is that moment when they both realize who the other is, and they can start being themselves. Poston does a great job of showing the emotional lives of her characters, which felt honest and real to me: Rosie trying to deal with the tragic loss of her mother a year later, Vance’s struggles to separate himself from the cold persona of the character he plays on screen, Rosie’s determination to get into NYU and make her mother proud, etc. As for negatives, I thought the plot itself was the weakest part of the story. The whole set-up with Rosie organizing the library was really a stretch, and in my opinion was Poston’s way of trying shoehorn in some Beauty and the Beast elements to make this more of a retelling—which it really isn’t. There are lots of scenes that felt contrived and awkward, like that scene where Poston needs to get Rosie upstairs to Vance’s private bathroom so that thing can happen. Or that scene where Rosie accidentally destroys the rare first edition of The Starless Throne so she has a reason to be in the library with Vance. Or that time when Rosie’s dad sets fire to their kitchen (he’s a terrible cook!) so they have an excuse to spend the weekend with Vance and Elias. You get the idea. It didn’t always make sense, but I forgave the author for these missteps because the outcomes were so much fun.Overall, this was a delight to read, and I do hope there will be more books in the series. Despite its tenuous connection to Beauty and the Beast , I recommend this book to readers who love stories with lots of pop culture references, sweet romance and strong themes of friendship and family relationships.Big thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy.This review originally appeared on Books, Bones & Buffy
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  • Dani St-Onge (Literary Lion)
    January 1, 1970
    For more reviews and bookish content: http://literarylion.ca/// I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. //Poston really has a winning series here. It reminds me of the Anna and the French Kiss trilogy, only I like the execution here much better. The mix of stories all focused on the central fandom Starfield, and the fact that they’re all retellings of faerie tales really makes them feel well meshed together. It’s a satisfying ending, but open enough that Po For more reviews and bookish content: http://literarylion.ca/// I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. //Poston really has a winning series here. It reminds me of the Anna and the French Kiss trilogy, only I like the execution here much better. The mix of stories all focused on the central fandom Starfield, and the fact that they’re all retellings of faerie tales really makes them feel well meshed together. It’s a satisfying ending, but open enough that Poston could continue and I hope she does.I think this book is perhaps the best connected to its faerie tale, and Poston admits herself that she truly adores Beauty and the Beast. There are so many clever scenes that draw from various retellings. Quotes from the Disney songs twisted to suit the story. Little easter eggs like the diner waitress being called Ms. Potts. If you love Beauty and the Beast this is a perfect amalgamation of all the good parts of it. Poston manages to make the retelling more self-aware, while still pulling everything that made the story beloved into it. Miraculously she also makes it her own.Vance is perhaps my favourite romantic lead from the series so far. I love how he’s so imperfect and that the romance isn’t as fluffy and easy as the ones in the previous books. Vance has serious issues, and he’s also super hot so that helps. I liked that the POVs were back to alternating sides of the romance again, unlike in The Princess and the Fangirl where they followed two different romances. It worked for that book but this was definitely a better choice here.We do get plenty of cameos from the characters we love. Imogen and Ethan are back, although we don’t see Jessica at all. Darien and Elle are around but there’s a frustrating vagueness around their story. They’re rumoured to break up but in the end they’re together? It feels like there are threads for an Elle focused follow-up.However, at only three stars this book didn’t hit the same levels as its predecessor for me. There are two main reasons for that.1. The homecoming “overlord” plot. While I think Garrett did a fine job in his role as Gaston, I didn’t see a point in the Quinn challenging them plot. It didn’t go anywhere and it felt like a waste of time. It felt like Quinn and Annie just needed something to do. It didn’t mesh with Beauty and the Beast or the fandom aspects of the story.2. Not enough fandom – no ExcelsiCon. The other two books were fandom heavy and I think that’s where Poston thrives. We don’t get any scenes at ExcelsiCon this book outside of flashbacks. The references to other fandoms are also super minimal which leaves it feeling less relatable.This is still a good book in a good series. I will read the next book in the series if there is one. I think Poston has something here. Despite how strongly she wrote the Beauty and the Beast retelling I think this book falls short on my expectations for the series. I really hope this isn’t the end.
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