“Bookish and the Beast” by Ashley Poston – Review

BY: BRITTANY LEWIS


“Bookish and the Beast” by Ashley Poston is the final book (as of writing) in the Once Upon a Con trilogy. For fans of Reading Our Shelves, you’ll remember our first review was for the second book in this trilogy “The Princess and the Fangirl.”

Nisha and I both gave the previous book ☆☆☆. Looking back, I think my main dislike for “Princess and the Fangirl” was my general dislike for the fairytale “Prince and the Pauper” as well as how much time was spent at ExcelsiCon. I do enjoy stories that take place in one central location, but those are for short stories and novellas.

So going into “Bookish and the Beast,” I had higher hopes knowing that it was going to take place in a library over an extended period of time.

As usual I listened to the audiobook and I have to say that I loved that Caitlyn Kelly was one of the two narrators. She is my all time favorite book narrator. Curry Whitimire did a great job as well, so kudos.


Looking back at my previous comments related to “The Princess and the Fangirl” I quickly realized that less ExcelsiCon the better. Ashley Poston might have read my mind because there was just enough of ExcelsiCon to establish the aura that is her Once Upon a Con series aesthetic but not shoving it down your throat.

The opening of the book is the ending of that year’s ExcelsiCon. Starting with the big ball and leading to the meet-cute. Rosie – our “Belle” – isn’t too enthused about this ball. It’s too loud and too many people. So she goes off to find someplace quiet and meets Vance – the “Beast” – and his amazing General Sond cosplay (spoiler it’s the actual movie wardrobe).

I very much enjoyed this meet-cute. It sets up Rosie and Vance as two individual people, not just a fan and actor respectively. Rosie isn’t defined by her love of Starfield which seemed to be more prevalent in the previous two books. Yes, she loves Starfield, but her love is more rooted in the Starfield book series and it’s connection with her recently deceased mother.

Vance on the other hand is a nice and charismatic young man, but as the book goes on he shows how his Hollywood lifestyle has somewhat rotted his brain, making him believe he is the bad boy everyone thinks he is.

I’m not going to spoil the novel in this review, but I will speak now on some of my favorite sections and my thoughts on a couple characters. Ashley Poston did a fantastic job with “Bookish and the Beast” that I encourage all of you to read it,

First off, one of my favorite scenes was when Rosie meets Vance. The real Vance, not the General Sond cosplayer. There’s a dog and a pool and a book. It’s funny and sad at the same time. It made me want to shove Vance in the pool too.

Like with “Geekerella” and “The Princess and the Fangirl,” Ashley Poston adds in scenes from Starfield. These scenes are from the novels based on the TV series. They focus on General Sond, who is believed to be the “Big Bad” who steals Princess Amara from the hero Prince Carmindor. There’s a lot of complexity in the relationship between Amara and Sond, and I hope Poston continues to explore the world of Starfield.

Rosie’s father, aka Space Dad (you’ll understand when you read the book), is my favorite side character. The love he shows his daughter and his “I used to be big into the punk scene in my youth” aura made him unique and lovable.

Overall, I would give “Bookish and the Beast” ☆☆☆☆☆. It is my favorite in the entire Once Upon a Con series. You can tell the passion for the story that Ashley Poston put into it as well as all the Beauty and the Beast tie ins. It’s a love letter to geekdom and booklovers young and old. There’s lots of nerd culture and book culture and sweet YA romance. Everything I enjoy in a book, and more.


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“The Princess and the Fangirl” by Ashley Poston – Review

BY: NISHA GODE & BRITTANY LEWIS

Welcome readers to the inaugural Reading Our Shelves review.

This first review is of Ashley Poston‘s latest book “The Princess and the Fangirl.” It is a companion/sequel to “Geekerella” so this review will have spoilers for both books. Not too many though.

Now, enjoy the review.


Brittany

Nisha, you told me about this book coming out. I read “Geekerella” last year but didnt know “The Princess and the Fangirl” was coming. It totally snuck up on me.

Nisha

Goodreads actually told me about it initially and I had it marked on my calendar. Even then, I hadn’t quite realized it was there because I had been so consumed with the Avengers premiere the week before.

Brittany

Yeah, it did come put around then huh? It was a nice surprise.

Nisha

Which book journey did you like more? The adventures to the con or con itself in the sequel?

Brittany

The first book “Geekerella” had all the world building. Not only the lead up to the con world but Starfield. Its history as a show and the shows canon. I loved the world building it gave enough uniqueness to take away from the Cinderella vibes. Though I still loved those elements too. I’m have a bit of a fairy tale obsession. That’s why I picked up “Geekerella” to begin with.

As for “The Princess and the Fangirl,” it seemed both fast and slow. Some parts were drawn out and others needed more time. My main issue with this story is the pacing. What did you think of the pacing?

Nisha

I agree with you about the pacing. Sometimes I like reading about Imogen and sometimes I really just wanted to get done with Jess already. Her script plot seems to just drag sometimes. Or maybe I just enjoyed Imogen more because of we’re all on that side of life and want to spend time with Darien and Elle.

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