Review: Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston

Bookish and the Beast
(Once Upon a Con #3)
by Ashley Poston
Publisher: Quirk Books
Publication date: Aug. 4, 2020
Genre: Young Adult Romance

Rosie Thorne is feeling stuck—on her college application essays, in her small town, and on that mysterious General Sond cosplayer she met at ExcelsiCon. Most of all, she’s stuck in her grief over her mother’s death. Her only solace was her late mother’s library of rare Starfield novels, but even that disappeared when they sold it to pay off hospital bills.

On the other hand, Vance Reigns has been Hollywood royalty for as long as he can remember—with all the privilege and scrutiny that entails. When a tabloid scandal catches up to him, he’s forced to hide out somewhere the paparazzi would never expect to find him: Small Town USA. At least there’s a library in the house. Too bad he doesn’t read.

When Rosie and Vance’s paths collide and a rare book is accidentally destroyed, Rosie finds herself working to repay the debt. And while most Starfield superfans would jump at the chance to work in close proximity to the Vance Reigns, Rosie has discovered something about Vance: he’s a jerk, and she can’t stand him. The feeling is mutual.

But as Vance and Rosie begrudgingly get to know each other, their careful masks come off—and they may just find that there’s more risk in shutting each other out than in opening their hearts.




When a dog runs out in front of Rosie’s car, she immediately tries to locate the dog so that she can make sure it’s okay and find it’s owner. However, when the owner turns out to be none other than Vance Reigns, the bad boy of Hollywood, her world gets flipped upside down.

I loved the fact that these two characters have history with each other without realizing it. During a masquerade ball for the big comic convention, Rosie met a boy who was sweet and charming, and they spent the night getting to know each other, without actually getting to know who the other person was. Both parties have thought about that night, but figured they’d never see that other person again. However, when Rosie is forced to pay off her debt by organizing a library in the house that Vance is staying at, they soon realize who the other person is. Having these two have that secret history really helped add another layer to the story.

While this story doesn’t revolve around the convention like the other ones do, I did like Vance’s character. He’s sort of built this bad boy persona for himself and it’s not really who he is. However, everyone just assumes he’s a screw-up and he’s just learned to don the mask and play the part. So when he meets Rosie for the second time, he’s prepared to play his part and keep his distance. Except, when he realizes who Rosie is, feels unworthy of her due to how he’s perceived in the media. I was really glad we got Rosie and Vance’s POV, because I think without his POV, we wouldn’t have gotten that internal battle he fights every day.

Unlike the previous books in the series, this one also sort of ran a little slow for me. Maybe it was because it took place in a normal setting and not at a huge convention. Whereas with the other books, I was unable to put the books down because I was so wrapped up in the stories, this book I found that I had to make myself pick up the book. It’s not that it wasn’t interesting or well-written, but I just didn’t really have that same connection with the characters.



Previous reviews from Once Upon a Con
The Princess and the Fangirl




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