Title: The Princess and the Fangirl
Author: Ashley Poston
Publisher: Quirk Books
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review – Thanks, Quirk Books!
Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off from her favorite franchise, Starfield. The problem is, Jessica Stone—the actress who plays Princess Amara—wants nothing more than to leave the intense scrutiny of the fandom behind. If this year’s ExcelsiCon isn’t her last, she’ll consider her career derailed.
When a case of mistaken identity throws look-a-likes Imogen and Jess together, they quickly become enemies. But when the script for the Starfield sequel leaks, and all signs point to Jess, she and Imogen must trade places to find the person responsible. That’s easier said than done when the girls step into each other’s shoes and discover new romantic possibilities, as well as the other side of intense fandom. As these “princesses” race to find the script-leaker, they must rescue themselves from their own expectations, and redefine what it means to live happily ever after.
‘The horizon’s wide and I have a kingdom to rule.’
The Princess and the Fangirl is the sequel to Geekerella, a book that I read back in 2017 and loved. I was a little worried that perhaps The Princess and the Fangirl wouldn’t quite meet up to the standard set by Geekerella, but it was just as good and it was so sweet.
One of the things that I loved about Geekerella when I read it was that it was such a quick and fun story that you can easily just slip into because it doesn’t require a lot of thought when reading it. The Princess and the Fangirl was exactly the same. It was a different story, but quite fun and I enjoyed it. It just made me happy and I love books that give me that feeling.
The Princess and the Fangirl is set over a 4 day period at ExcelsiCon, a convention based on the famous Starfield series/movie. ExcelsiCon is the same convention we attended in Geekerella so it was very nice to return to it but in this book, we see it from a different perspective. In The Princess and the Fangirl, we see it from the perspective of a fan/vendor and from the perspective of an actress. I thought this was quite a nice take because, as a fan, I obviously never get to see conventions in the eyes of an actor/actress, so this was interesting to read about.
This book follows two main characters, Imogen and Jessica. Imogen is the fan and Jessica is the actress, but they easily get mixed up as they look very similar. The Princess and the Fangirl really bounces off their likeness, especially when the new Starfield script gets leaked, and it goes on from there. As the synopsis above mentions, they switch places to find the person responsible for the leaks which exposes them to the sides of fandom that they both don’t get to normally experience.
I liked both Imogen and Jessica’s characters, but I did find Jessica to be a little bit annoying at times with how determined she was to hate conventions and fandom. I preferred Imogen’s character, but I do wonder if it’s because as a character, she’s a fan so I related to her a little bit more.
This book did include m/m and f/f romances which was really great to see. It’s nice to read a book and see diverse characters. Imogen and her brother also have two mums who are vendors, which I really loved.
The Princess and the Fangirl also featured the characters from Geekerella which was a lovely touch to this book. It actually made me feel quite happy as the characters were familiar and it was nice to see where they were a year on from the events of the first book.
The plot of this is fairly fast paced and the writing helps to keep it that way. The book is split into 4 parts based on each day at the convention. What I liked about this is that whilst the story was going on, what was happening in the background wasn’t sacrificed. When it was Saturday at the convention, there was definitely a lot of buzz whereas on the Sunday, you could actually imagine the convention winding down which made me feel quite sad knowing that it was coming to a close. I think Ashley did a really good job of conveying what people feel at conventions through this book.
This book is perfect for anyone who is part of a fandom or anyone who wants to or has attended a convention before. I’ve attended YALC/LFCC for the past two years and will be going again this year. This book brought back so many great memories for me as I thought back to my own convention experiences whilst reading about the convention in this book. I think Ashley really manages to capture the magical element of conventions and it translates onto the page so well.
I’d fully recommend reading The Princess and the Fangirl if you like fairly fast paced books, romance and a book that is just fun. Like I said at the beginning, I really enjoyed being able to fall into this book without having to really think about the story or anything because it is easy to follow. I would argue that it is predictable, but it’s a happy kind of predictable. If I’m totally honest, reading this book made me think of my own convention experiences and has me really looking forward to my next YALC. I love books that make you happy and this is definitely one of those books that does that!