When best friends Charlie, Taylor, and Jamie travel from Australia to California for SuperCon, a geeky convention they are so excited to be at after wanting to attend for so long. Charlie is a YouTube star and actress who is doing press work for her new movie with her co-star and ex boyfriend Reese Ryan. Charlie has to deal with fans still being hung up on their relationship (which ended six months ago) while trying to figure out how to start a new relationship. Taylor is at SuperCon despite her anxiety and she is determined to push through and have a good time. She wants to meet new people and meet Skylar Atkins, the writer of the book series that Taylor credits to helping shape her into the person she is today. She also secretly wants things to become more with Jamie, her best friend who is an geeky as she is and has always been there to support her. Jamie has always been a comfort to Taylor, and he helps her step out of her comfort zone.
I really loved this story so much. There's honestly so much to say I'm not sure where to start.
Let's start with the characters. I loved the friendship between our three main characters and I felt their friendship the moment the story starts. The story is a span of about three days, but it was like we knew them previously.
First, we have Charlie who I thought was really strong ad fun to read about. I liked that she was a YouTuber, and I honestly would have liked to see more of that side to her. It felt more like she was a actress than a YouTuber, especially with some of the mistakes that happen in the story. I think the YouTube aspect could have been more believable, but otherwise it was really nice to see a character have a profession that is so new and relatable. I liked her relationship with her love interest Alyssa Huntington. They were super adorable together and I liked that both characters were openly gay. Not that I have a problem with characters discovering and coming to terms with their sexualities (or genders) but it's also nice to start a story after that has happened. Their relationship seemed pretty sweet. Secondly, we have Taylor. I really loved Taylor because she was who I mostly related to. She had the most accurate descriptions of anxiety that I have read, and I couldn't realize how much I related to her. From having anxiety over crowds. to having issues spontaneously changing plans because she has a certain plan set in her head. Her anxiety attacks and her descriptions of them are so realistic that I wouldn't be surprised if the author had them. Taylor is also Autistic, which is something I do not have so I cannot comment on the accurate representation, but from the reviews I've read of Queens of Geek it is being positively praised as an accurate representation of Asperger's. Third, we have Jamie, who had the least amount of time with the reader because we are either in Charlie or Taylor's heads. Because we do not get a lot of Jamie time, we don't really get to know him as much. However, from what we got to know I enjoyed his character. I thought he was sweet with Taylor and you could tell he cared for her.
Although I enjoyed all three of the main characters, there are moments where everyone seems perfect. It sometimes came off cheesy because of how perfect everyone seemed to be. Most of the time things felt natural but not always. Especially the way Taylor's Tumblr posts were written, it felt too perfect, and not something a real human would write. It felt artificial. My other issue is that although I loved seeing all the geeky talk in one book, it felt to be too much at times. There was so much of geeky dialogue that it felt more like "look how geeky they are!" thing and less like a natural conversation. However, I'd have to say, like the accurate descriptions of anxiety, there are accurate descriptions of geeky culture. The way the con is described and what the books mean to Taylor remind me of the way Harry Potter means to me (which I assume was the goal). So although the dialogue felt a bit heavy on the geeky talk, the overall feel of the story felt authentic when it came to nerdy or geeky culture.
Like I mentioned earlier, there is so much amazing representation and diversity in this book. Charlie is a Chinese-Australian bisexual woman, Taylor is a plus sized woman with Asperger's and a anxiety disorder, and Jamie is a Hispanic love interest. There's a lot of important issues that are tackled in this book like fatshaming, bi-phobia, bi-erasure, toxic relationships, sexism (especially in the media), and Charlie feels the responsibility to make her fans happy. All this rep in a 262 page book is honestly pretty amazing, and I am happy to see so much diversity in books lately.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in a fun light read that includes a lot of important topics that I think everyone should read more about. If you're someone who has gone to geeky or fan based conventions (or wants to), this book is for you. If you're a huge fan of nerdy culture in general, this is for you. If you want to read more diverse books, this is for you. I am so excited that there have been so many more books in young adult literature tackling such important themes. This book was so easy to fly through and consume. I had so much fun reading it.