“You’ve never been in anyone’s shadow. You are your own light source.”
Twelve reasons why I became totally smitten with Queens of Geek:
1. Set around SupaCon, we follow three lively best friends attending the convention: Charlie Liang, a Chinese-Australian actor with gorgeous pink hair. Pro fangirl Taylor who has autism spectrum disorder and deals with anxiety. And “Flirty McFlirtersons” Jamie who’s one of the kindest and also “got the whole Peter Parker thing down to a tee, right down to the camera hanging around his neck.”
I love me some Peter Parker.
2. I nearly passed out from joy at all the pop culture references thrown in here… IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES. From video games and comics to Felicia Day to Youtubers to the cast of The Vampire Diaries (my past self was over the moon at that last one), this book had it all.
3. I was so lost into this book that I barely noticed what was going on around me. My eyes were practically glued to the pages, so the above gif is a pretty accurate portrayal of what I looked like throughout.
4. A f/f love story. Charlie and Alyssa (my intersectional feminist queen!!!), two of the most smart, compassionate, and outspoken characters I’ve read as of late, we’re seamlessly perfect together.
“It feels good to talk to someone who’s in a position similar to mine, who’s finding herself more and more in the public eye, and who’s being herself in a world that tells her not to.”
5. Charlie’s bisexuality is talked about on the page and not just hinted at!!!
“I love everything about crushes. The butterflies, the possibilities, the giddy wonder of it all. But this is the first time I’ve liked a girl who might actually like me back. The moment I first realized I’m into more than one gender was a quiet one. It was sudden and almost anticlimactic, so it’s not a particularly exciting story.
I was fourteen, and by that time I’d had more than one crush on a girl, mostly movie stars. But I never interpreted my feelings as a crush; I just thought I admired them a whole lot. It didn’t occur to me that those feelings were similar to the way I felt about guys I liked.
I saw a post on Tumblr with the title “You Won’t Believe These Actresses Are Bisexual” or something stupid like that. I didn’t really know what that meant at the time, so I googled it. It didn’t take long to recognize myself in many of the articles I found.”
And not only that, but the book also took the time to talk about bi-phobia and bi-erasure, AND I’M SO THANKFUL!!
“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?”
That was exactly my response to his ignorant question. Side note: I hate Reese with the fire of a thousand suns.
“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.”
6. Girls supporting girls. Girls standing up for girls. Girls loving girls. Girls, girls, girls!!!
7. As mentioned before, anxiety is also greatly discussed and represented.
“Most people think of anxiety as panic attacks. That’s not entirely accurate.
I haven’t had a panic attack in years. I started to recognize the signs and learned what I needed to do to stop it spiraling. I learned how to internalize it to avoid public embarrassment. Anxiety isn’t an attack that explodes out of me; it’s not a volcano that lies dormant until it’s triggered by an earth-shattering event. It’s a constant companion. Like a blow fly that gets into the house in the middle of summer, flying around and around. You can hear it buzzing, but you can’t see it, can’t capture it, can’t let it out.”
8. Sexism in the acting world is addressed, which, YES PLEASE:
“This is the third interviewer in a row who’s asked Reese an in-depth question about his job as an actor, and then asked me about my workout and diet regimen. I want to tell this guy to ask me something else, but I don’t want to look like a bitch or get in trouble with the studio, so I grin and bear it yet again.”
9. I loved when Taylor talked about her love for her literary hero, Queen Firestone. And the dedication it took to perfect her cosplay for SupaCon.
“I thought about buying one, but the ones I found online were too small to fit me comfortably, and the crown on the back wasn’t right, so I decided to make my own. I became so engrossed in it that some nights I sewed until sunrise without realizing, even forgetting to eat. Luckily my mum and sister were there to pull me out of my trance or I would have starved.”
Also, same about being so engrossed with things
(reading) that you barely notice time flying by.
10. The discussions of fandoms and how heavy & intense it can get really reminded me of how similarly Radio Silence tackled these issues.
11. On a completely opposite note, this book made me laugh giddily multiple times throughout. The one scene I remember being most starry-eyed about was when Charlie and Alyssa where shooting their first collab. It was so damn fun to read; it was like getting to watch behind-the-scenes footage.
“I was thinking we could do a Q and A tag? Where we have about ten questions and we take turns answering them?”
Alyssa sits on the couch and crosses her legs. “Awesome.”
“Those videos are always pretty popular, plus they’re a lot of fun.”
Plus, it’s a great way for me to get to know Alyssa better, without it being too obvious that I’m interested in her.”
This part was all awkward and cute and achingly real. And it was just the perfect blend of romantic and fun… I was rooting for them with all my heart.
12. This was truly one of the funnest books I’ve read so far. From running through zombie mazes to filming collabs and participating in SupaFan contests… it was hard not to fall in love with my Queens of Geek.
And with all the fun and games, this read still took the time to address vitally important topics such as body-positivity, friendship, love, change, shaming others, coming-of-age, accepting yourself… And it got to a point where I was dreading for the book to end. (Update: I loved the ending, even if it felt a bit rushed at certain points.)
All in all: though it took me a couple of chapters to really get into the story – because of how meta it felt – I eventually came to embrace the vibrant SupaCon energy and everything that tagged along with it. Queens of Geek left left me on such a high that the only thing that could bring me down was watching the recently released episode of Grey’s Anatomy. And if one things remains for sure, it’s that I’ll be on the lookout for any future works by the author.
ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Expected publication: March 14th, 2017