Review: Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

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Synopsis

When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever.

Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Reese Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.

While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own.

Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.

Title: Queens of Geek
Author: Jen Wilde
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Number of Pages: 288
Publishing Date: Mar. 14th, 2017

Author’s Website  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  Book Depository

This book has diversity, important issues/topics that are addressed, two adorable romances (one of those being a f/f romance), fandoms, and a fandom convention all packed together in one young adult contemporary story that contains witty writing and own voices representation. Honestly, what more is there that I could want from a book? Queens of Geek is definitely one of my favorite novels that I’ve read this year. It was witty, funny, and so relatable. Everything about this book was so well done and I flew through it… in one day… and one of those reading sessions was at 3am because I could not stop reading this book… and I eventually had to force myself to go to sleep so I could wake up and immediately start reading again. Putting that aside, this book was so amazing and I fell in love with it from the very first page.

The rest of this review is spoiler-free.


The plot of this book was so fun and addictive to read! I could barely set the book down because I had grown so attached to the characters and their stories almost immediately after starting the book. The author was able to explore serious issues in a very respectable and well-rounded way whilst simultaneously maintaining a plot that was full of fandoms, adorable romances, and quirky humor.

This book contained some of the most relatable characters that I’ve ever read about. There are three main characters within this novel who are attending SupaCon (a fictional fandom convention) together and I adored each character. Taylor is an Australian mega-fangirl (her fangirl-ness was so on point) and she has autism spectrum disorder and severe anxiety. I definitely related to Taylor the most because the descriptions of the anxiety that she felt were so exact to how anxiety affects me on a daily basis. The way the author described Taylor’s anxiety is how I consistently feel but never know how to actually put into words, and I was stunned at the amount of times I would read a passage and think to myself, “Yes, this is exactly how I feel.” It was so comforting to find a character who openly struggled with her anxiety because (and I know this may sound a bit cliché) it made me feel as if I wasn’t alone. I cannot put into words how much the author perfectly described the different emotions that I feel and the struggles that I and so many others go through with anxiety. I am so grateful that books like Queens of Geek exist because featuring such important topics truly does provide a sense of belonging and solace to readers like myself.

Everything feels like I’m on a stage, spotlight on me, all eyes on me, watching, judging. Like I’m one second away from total disaster. It’s invisible, it’s irrational, it’s never-ending.

And then we have Charlie who is another amazing character within this novel. Charlie is a bisexual Chinese-Australian vlogger and actress and, GAH, her character was so great. The romance between Charlie and Alyssa was insanely adorable and I loved the development of their relationship so much! I also really appreciated the fact that biphobia and bi-erasure were factors within this story and those microagressions were shut down so quickly and so brilliantly. To state it simply — Charlie is a badass and I love her character dearly.

“But how could you possibly know you’re bi? Have you ever been with a girl?”
I remember seeing the frustration written all over Charlie’s face, and I spoke up. “How did you know you were straight before you were with a girl, Reese?”

“He’s all for equality, but he doesn’t even believe bisexuality exists.” She rubbed her fingers over the space between her eyebrows like she had a headache. “You can’t pick and choose whose equality you support. That’s not equality.”

Can we please talk about Jamie? Because Jamie is one of my new book boyfriends. He’s a Latinx-American character and I think the author did such an amazing job in regards to how his character was written. I honestly loved every single aspect about Jamie; he was so supportive of Taylor and Charlie, he shut down a certain (very annoying) character’s toxic masculinity, and he was everything I could ever want in a male fictional character. I just really need a Jamie in my life, okay?

The friendships amongst these characters (especially the friendship between Taylor and Charlie) were so refreshing and the romances were absolutely adorable. I want to keep this review spoiler-free so all I’m going to say is I loved both of the couples within this novel so much and I fangirled over them… a lot. The romances were each so fluffy and cute and UGH, I cannot contain my adoration for the couples within this novel.

There are so many issues addressed perfectly in this book. Biphobia/bi-erasure, sexism, fat shaming/fatphobia, toxic relationships, and microaggressions are each touched on within this novel and I was blown away by how well the author was able to include, address, and challenge these topics so seamlessly within this story.

The only critique I have with this book is the writing style. I think that the characters were each written so well and the passages that revolved around social issues and topics were written passionately and beautifully. However, there were a few instances of dialogue and plot points that were fairly cheesy or predictable. I usually have a fairly high tolerance for those things (let’s be real, every young adult contemporary is cheesy or predictable at one point), but at times it was a bit too much for my taste. Putting that critique aside, I really couldn’t find anything else that I didn’t absolutely love about this novel and when evaluating the novel as a whole I think that the writing style was executed really well.

Overall, I really loved this novel. It was a quick read that contained topics that aren’t discussed enough in YA books, an immense amount of well-written diverse characters, and a plot that delivered themes of friendship, romance, and a lot of nerdiness. This was such a fluffy and adorable contemporary read and I cannot wait to read any future YA contemporaries that Jen Wilde writes in the future!


4.5 Stars


So, have you read Queens of Geek? What did you think about it? Comment below and let me know what your thoughts are regarding this novel!

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