My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: April 2nd, 2019
Publisher: Quirk Books
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, LGBTQIA+. Retelling, Fandom, Celebrity
This is a contemporary, fandom-centered retelling of The Prince and the Pauper and it is almost as adorable as a puppy sniffing old books. It’s also exactly what I needed—the equivalent of comfort food—since I’m supposed to be in Romania right now but there was a problem with my ticket so I have to wait longer to see my grandparents. I felt really discouraged when I heard the news, but luckily I had a few books I was excited to read that helped improve my mood.
This is a companion novel to Geekerella and many references are made to that story and the characters in it—some are even featured in this continuation!—so I recommend taking the time to read that one even if, like me, Cinderella is your *least* favourite fairy tale. This is much more exciting because it’s probably the dream of every fangirl/boy: for a weekend, peasant Imogen becomes Princess Amara, a character played by actress Jessica Stone who is forced to mingle with ordinary people.
Watching someone who is used to having people around her to help her on and off set and make her wishes come true be stripped of her celebrity status for a weekend feels satisfying. But I was surprised to actually connect with Jessica Stone, particularly regarding the online bullying she deals with. It’s pretty much impossible to be a book reviewer who writes honest (positive and negative) reviews and not be insulted at least once a week… Once every hour if you write a negative review for a beloved book. But you learn to recognize your own value and disassociate from negativity thrown at you. Jessica has to learn that, too.
I especially enjoyed the tone—it’s realistic, despite the many unrealistic scenes this book contains. The romance also surprised me. It’s not what I anticipated: the protagonists fall for characters I did not expect in the beginning and it is LOVELY. I’m excited for the third and final book!
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