Review: The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston

The Princess and the Fangirl
(Once Upon a Con #2)
by Ashley Poston
Publisher: Quirk Books
Publication date: April 2, 2019
Genre: Young Adult

The Prince and the Pauper gets a modern makeover in this adorable, witty, and heartwarming young adult novel set in the Geekerella universe by national bestselling author Ashley Poston.

Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off from her favorite franchise, Starfield. The problem is, Jessica Stone—the actress who plays Princess Amara—wants nothing more than to leave the intense scrutiny of the fandom behind. If this year’s ExcelsiCon isn’t her last, she’ll consider her career derailed.

When a case of mistaken identity throws look-a-likes Imogen and Jess together, they quickly become enemies. But when the script for the Starfield sequel leaks, and all signs point to Jess, she and Imogen must trade places to find the person responsible. That’s easier said than done when the girls step into each other’s shoes and discover new romantic possibilities, as well as the other side of intense fandom. As these “princesses” race to find the script-leaker, they must rescue themselves from their own expectations, and redefine what it means to live happily ever after.





I have to be honest, I have never read, nor am I familiar with The Prince and the Pauper. However, I am familiar with the identity swap story, and as far as those go, this was pretty good. I just love that these stories revolve around a comic convention setting. Due to Covid-19, Comic-Con San Diego was cancelled this year (the first time ever in it’s 50 years) and I have been pretty bummed about not being able to go. So, reading these books made me feel like I was out there on the convention floor with the masses.

Jess is a character that we met in the previous book. She’s a young starlet that is a bit aloof and prickly. She was hoping her role in Starfield would boost her career, but instead it looks like it typecasted her into a box. The one where the only roll she will be known as is Amara. Not to mention the fandom for Starfield is intense and when one of your beloved shows, books, comics gets a remake… well, let’s just say the fans can be a bit harsh about the casting. In the first book Jess doesn’t seem fazed by it all, but in this story you learn that she’s not as thick skinned as she portrays. Getting inside her head really put into perspective just how much pressure she is under, and just how hurtful peoples words can be.

I really liked that we got a behind the scenes look at what it’s like to be an actress at a convention. How much work it is, as well as how people might react to you or your portrayal as a role. So, seeing that play out in Imogen‘s eyes, someone who is just a fan but pretending to be an actress, you really got the full innocent look at it all. Between the fans not liking you, other actors maybe not respecting you, other actors take advantage of your stardom in order to boost their popularity, it’s easy to see why Jess isn’t the biggest fan of her latest role and the position it’s put her in.

While there may be romance in this story, I won’t go into too much detail about it, other than I thought it was super sweet and I am happy with the way the author wrote it. It wasn’t forced or cheesy.

I could go on and on about how much fun it was to read this story. I am new to this author (with only having read Geekerella yesterday), but I can see why so many people loved Geekerella and this fandom the author created. I honestly cannot wait to see how the next story turns out. Especially since the main character is a bit of a sleezeball.


Favorite part

“I extend my hand cordially. Minerva taught me this move for jerks like him. Extend the hand first, act like the bigger person, grip tightly, and then punch your fist through his sternum-no, wait. That’s a Mortal Kombat move.”




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