Review: Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

“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.
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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.”tumblr_nmkaqfvmsw1qdxd3qo2_400

6. Girls supporting girls. Girls standing up for girls. Girls loving girls. Girls, girls, girls!!!
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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

5/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Queens of Geek, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

Review: Why We March: Signs of Protest and Hope by Artisan Press

On January 21, 2017, millions of people gathered worldwide for the Women’s March, one of the largest demonstrations in political history. Together they raised their voices in hope, protest, and solidarity.
This inspiring collection features hundreds of the most eloquent, provocative, uplifting, clever, and creative signs from across the United States and around the world. Each is a powerful reminder of why we march.

Why We March was the perfect read to satisfy my need for more after having followed the Women’s March all over social media. As the blurb states, the signs featured in here will evoke all kids of emotions–from laughing to contemplating to clutching your heart, this collection will make you feel it all. Real talk, I ended up in tears I couldn’t hold back so many times it got alarming.

It was also a very quick read that I tried to saver, but found to be quite impossible when the following page is RIGHT THERE!! I kept turning to the next page and the next and next, until I unexpectedly reached the last one and was left bewildered as to why I completed it so quickly…

On that note, here are the many, many signs I loved in this collection:

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Without a shadow of a doubt, Why We March is a read I’ll come back to time and again, especially when in need for something uplifting, heartening and gripping. Oh, and quick warning: if you’re reading this before bed, like I did, be prepared for a thumping heart, pumping with adrenaline, and the sudden need to fight someone… that is to say: I LOVED it!! And I can’t stress enough how grateful I am that it exists.

ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Expected publication: March 7th, 2017

5/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Why We March, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

Review: Keeping the Distance by Clarisse David

Keeping the Distance is a YA romance set it in the Philippines, exploring one of my favorite tropes: hate to love. And it seems that the books in this genre just keep getting better and better. This one in particular had me giddy till the last page.

Set around Lance Ordonez and Melissa Ortiz falling in love in their senior year, this story is a lot more than meets the eye. Consequently, I’ve prepared a list of things that made me almost shriek with happiness:

  • A richly layered story of love, friendship, and a healthy dose of teenage obsession.
  • The usage of cheesy pickup lines on one another:

“They still had five minutes before the torture known as their Physics class started, so he pulled his chair closer to hers. “If you’re good in Algebra, can you substitute my X without asking Y?”
It was cheesy and completely ripped off some site he found online, but it was the best he could do on short notice.”

  • Lance reminded me quite a bit of William from Skam, which meant that at first I had no warm feelings whatsoever… and kept thinking of this epic scene with Noora:

tumblr_ointhe0inl1rcivf4o2_250tumblr_ointhe0inl1rcivf4o1_2501tumblr_ointhe0inl1rcivf4o3_r1_250Mel even had a similar comeback:

“Now, why would I do that?”
“Because you obviously weren’t hugged enough as a child.”
He smirked. “You can hug me all you want to make up for it.”

But I gradually came to appreciate Lance when he got some needed character development. Or as he likes to put it:

“He wasn’t a bad guy.
Really.
He was—how should he put this?—a work-in-progress. ”

  • So if you love Noora and William, you’ll for sure love Melissa with Lance. It’s Noora x William with the addition of pranking each other in the most hilarious way.
  • THEIR PRANKS!! This part of the book made me crack up laughing. I mean, I ended up in literal tears when Mel superglued Lance to his seat:

“I’d love to, Mr. Rodriguez, but I can’t.” Lance tried to keep his voice even. He watched Melissa’s grip tighten on her pen, her knuckles turning white with exertion.
“And why not? Can’t you grace us mere mortals with your presence?” Mr. Rodriguez raised his bushy eyebrows.
“Melissa’s beauty is binding me to my seat.”
It wasn’t that far from the truth.
Under other circumstances and with any other teacher, the class would’ve tittered with laughter by that point, but their Physics teacher was like some dark, pulsating thing that sucked joy out of the atmosphere.
No one even dared to smile.
“I’m not kidding.” Mr. Rodriguez said, narrowing his eyes. “Come here and answer this problem before I make you.”
He shook his head. “I can’t.”
“Well, then, I don’t have a choice, Mr. Ordonez.” Mr. Rodriguez’s face hardened, a line forming between his eyebrows. “Get out of my classroom.”
He scratched the back of his head, looking at his teacher in exasperation. “I can’t do that, either.”

I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face for hours…

  • “Against her will, Melissa’s eyes focused on his lips. They were the kind that made you wonder what it would be like to kiss them.
    Not that she ever wondered about that.”
    I LOVE it when a character is like, “not that I cared… obvi..”
  • this book made me listen to cheesy pop songs I hadn’t heard in ages because it was just SO DAMN CUTE.
  • It’s also similar to Skam in that both had a character play “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz on the guitar/ ukulele.
  • At this point, I needed to chill the fuck out because I was almost jumping with excitement.
  • The repeated lectures Mel got from her principal dad kind of reminded me of this one hilarious scene from The Edge of Seventeen:

Fun fact: this book actually inspired me to finally watch the above film because they’re both set in high school and perfectly capture the joy and awkwardness of being seventeen.

  • I appreciated this romance a lot for being straightforward and not messing about with the “does s/he like me or not.”
  • kind of random, but I also adored it when the characters went to the beach. That’s how a book wins over my heart in a second.
  • Speaking of winning over ones heart, these two are so fucking adorable it actually hurts.

“She stared at him the whole time, a little smile playing on her lips. Upon catching her, he placed the spoon he’d been using on his empty plate and caressed her lower lip with his thumb. Because he could. Her lower lip felt soft and warm. He wanted to kiss it for the foreseeable future.
Her smile grew wider. “I like looking at you.”

I’m trying to contain a smile of my own.
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  • female friendships. I’m really hoping the next book will focus more on her camera loving best friend, Camille Velasco. Side note: Cam, as she gets called, loves photography, which now I realize is a pun. (Cam…camera, right?)
  • I would also love to know more about Lance’s best friend, Jace Hernandez. He’s quite the mystery that I’m more than eager to unravel!!

All in all: though the book had some low points at the start, the more I got swept into Mel and Lance’s love, the more I grew to appreciate their story. I’m so glad I took a leap with Keeping the Distance. And I can’t wait to read more of Clarisse David’s writing in the future!!

4/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Keeping the Distance, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!