A modern retelling of a retelling of a brutal and bloody story involving a girl, twin stepsisters and an evil stepmother. If you hadn’t already guessed by the name of the novel and my brilliant introduction (how could you not?) this is the tale of Cinderella and how she met her Prince Charming in the form of Federation Prince Carmindor from the show Starfield.
Cinderella’s name has been shortened to Elle for this retelling and has a job working in ‘The Magic Pumpkin,’ a fast food vendor on wheels (can you guess her form of transport yet?). When she’s not working she’s at home completing chores around the house and trying to live a quiet live until she the house is turned over to her at the age of 18 from her stepmother. That is until her life comes crashing down around her as she enters in a Cosplay competition at the con that her late father founded after seeing the announcement for who will be playing Carmindor in a reboot of her favourite rite show. Phew, that was a long sentence.
Cue the meeting between Elle and Darien.
Darien is the actor that has been chosen to play Carmindor, not even out of his teens he faces pressures not only from a highly devout following, his father and his own fan base but, also from himself. A fellow geek he loves Starfield and wants to do the part justice for himself and the fans. When he has second thoughts about appearing at the Con he contacts an old number on the website to try and cancel, lo and behold it is Elle whom he contacts and there begins the start of their friendship. Because that’s all it is at the start,a person to talk to, a person to share the fears and doubts that can’t be shared with anyone else. Simply having a friend.
The book is split between Elle’s and Darien’s narrative, showing the reader a complete view of their life’s. It shows that the Prince Charming in the story isn’t perfect and has the same fears and doubts as anyone else. It shows the isolation and how difficult it is to reach out and trust, whether you are a teen actor or not.
I loved Elle and how she embraced her geek even if she had no one to share it with in her day to day life. Of course she has friends online who she communicates with through forums and her blog but nobody to talk to. At the Con we finally see Elle come into her own as she embraces herself, one of the best character awakenings I’ve read. This may be because I felt a kindred spirit when I felt I could finally embrace my geek. The meeting between Elle and Darien isn’t what they were both hoping for but when they had no idea who the other person was, it could have been a lot worse. After dealing with her troubles and chores in silence and when she finally does stand up to her step mother it is met with stony resolve.
The novel ends on a high with both Darien and Elle embracing who they are and what they want from their lives. It’s not all sunshine and roses leading up to the conclusion and ending is far from ideal for a teenager but, it is the most realistic happy ending that Elle could have.
This book is a must read for everybody. A retelling that stays true to the original story while exploring many of the problems that teens face today and incorporating new levels of depth.
Geekerella is due to be published 4th April 2017.