YA Book Review: Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

YA Book Review: Queens of Geek by Jen WildeQueens of Geek by Jen Wilde
Published by Swoon Reads on March 14th 2017
Goodreads
five-stars

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.

Queens of Geek is an adorable, diverse and incredibly perfect read. It centers on a group of friends attending SupaCon (sort of like ComicCon…or BEA/BookCon) for the first time. The author captured the chaos and overall craziness of a big convention really well, and made the characters’ excitement palpable.

The story is told through the POV of Charlie (a Chinese-Australian bi girl with pink hair) and Taylor (fangirl extraordinaire who is autistic). The third member of the group is Jamie who is ever so swoon-worthy, sweet, kind and totally worthy of being anyone’s “book-boyfriend”. Even the supporting characters (with the exception of Reese…who I loathe) were totally awesome.

If you love pop culture, multiple fandoms, and cosplay you will LOVE this book. It is brimming over with pop cultural reference from Vampire Diaries to Felicia Day to even the GodFather. I wanted to jump into its pages and join in on all the fun of the story.

One of the great things about Queens of Geek is that Charlie’s sexuality isn’t just hinted at. The author actually writes about it, and makes it known. Charlie and Alyssa relationship is super cute. It is obvious how perfect they are for one another. It might seem a bit INSTA-LOVE, but I didn’t mind it one bit. Besides their adorable/awkward flirting, they are both very supportive to each other and I thought that was great.

Charlie and Taylor’s friendship is also another fabulous thing about this book. They each have their own issues and problems to deal with, but they are always there for one another no matter what. We need more books about girls being supportive of each other and standing up for one another.

Another favorite part of this book is watching the absurdly cute awkwardness between Jamie and Taylor as they discover how to go from friends to something more (and still remain friends).

Though this story is light, fun and super geeky, there are some major topics addressed (and addressed beautifully) in this book, such as positive body image, bisexuality, anxiety, sexism, friendship. When you finish reading Queens of Geek you are left with a sense of empowerment. It might even open your eyes about a few things and teach you something. All of this is done without sounding “preachy” or forced.

 

 “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.”

“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.”

 

Queens of Geek is a fun, and quirky read.  From beginning to end, this book was able to capture all the awesome, nerdy, geeky things I love into one fabulous story. I could not help falling in love with the story, characters and pretty much everything about it (especially that gorgeous cover).

Jen Wilde is on my list of new authors I love, and I’m looking forward to her next book. Make sure to pick up a copy of Queens of Geek, make some tea and find a comfy place to read this charming book in one sitting.

 

Thank you SwoonReads for providing me with and ARC in exchange for an honest review.

 

five-stars

YA Book Review: You Don’t Know My Name (The Black Angel Chronicles #1) by Kristen Orlando

YA Book Review: You Don’t Know My Name (The Black Angel Chronicles #1) by Kristen OrlandoYou Don't Know My Name (The Black Angel Chronicles #1) by Kristen Orlando
Published by Swoon Reads on January 10th 2017
Goodreads
four-stars

Fighter. Faker. Student. Spy.
Seventeen-year-old Reagan Elizabeth Hillis is used to changing identities overnight, lying to every friend she’s ever had, and pushing away anyone who gets too close. Trained in mortal combat and weaponry her entire life, Reagan is expected to follow in her parents’ footsteps and join the ranks of the most powerful top-secret agency in the world, the Black Angels. Falling in love with the boy next door was never part of the plan. Now Reagan must decide: Will she use her incredible talents and lead the dangerous life she was born into, or throw it all away to follow her heart and embrace the normal life she’s always wanted? And does she even have a choice?

You Don’t Know My Name is an intense and thrilling story that brings us right to the action from the start. The story begins as Reagan’s family home is being invaded by an assassin. That’s definitely one way to catch the attention of your reader!

 

I love Reagan as a character. She is fierce, brave, smart and strong. Reagan’s parents belong to a secret spy agency called The Black Angels, and Reagan is expected to become one too. Even though she is training to become a Black Angel, the reader can still relate to her. She’s vulnerable and questioning what she really wants to do with her life. The constant stress of having a new identity, and constantly moving is starting to become too much for Reagan.

 

When Regan’s parents are kidnapped, Reagan has to decide how much she is willing to risk and sacrifice in order to save them. There are some crushing moments in this story, and I wanted to reach into the book and comfort Reagan. The relationship between Reagan and her parents is a big focus of this story. They expect her to follow in their footsteps and become a Black Angel. However, Reagan is torn between doing her duty or following her heart

 

Though I normally shy away from anything with anything that seems like it could be INSTA-LOVE, I really enjoyed Reagan and Luke’s budding romance. It is actually quite swoon-worthy. I like that Luke can stand on his own as a character, even without the romance. Luke is sweet, adorable and completely accepting of Reagan “just as she is”. Luke’s support for Reagan is one of my favorite things about them as a couple/team. Also, I didn’t feel like their relationship was rushed or that it was INSTA-LOVE, which made me happy.

 

You Don’t Know My Name has some fantastic pulse-pounding action scenes, it keeps you entertained and turning the pages. The author does a great job keeping you hooked and guessing what will happen next. There are so many twists and turns that I truly couldn’t guess what would happen next.I love the suspenseful mood the author creates and the detail she put into the world of the Black Angels. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves spy stories, suspense, and books that completely absorb the reader into the intrigue of the story.

 

**Thank you to Swoon Reads for providing me with an advance copy of You Don’t Know My Name in return for an honest review. **

four-stars