My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a magical Cinderella retelling, with wicked stepmothers, bratty stepsisters, a pumpkin that serves as transportation, and even losing a plastic slipper. A die hard Starbound fan, her father the creator of ExcelsiCon is going to give everyone that she has to win a cosplay event to get the tickets and transportation to Atlanta, where this is hosted.
“I'm half of my father. Half of my hero. And I am half of my mother. Half soft sighs and half sharp edges. And if they can be Carmindor and Amara--then somewhere in my blood and bones I can be too. I'm the lost princess. I'm the villain of my story, and the hero. Part of my mom and part of my dad. I am a fact of the universe. The Possible and the Impossible. I am not no one. I am my parents' daughter, and then I realize--I realize that in this universe they're alive too. They're alive through me. Fashioning my hands into a pistol, I point it at the ceiling, lifting my chin, raising my eyes against the blinding stage lights, and I ignite the stars.”
A perfect description of who Elle is. If you are at all familiar with the popculture and story of Cinderella, you would know that she’s an orphan. Here the author can spin that element of her personality, and shine her dead parents’ character through it. The way that Poston describes stars and the night sky blows my mind. There’s an element of pure wonder, coming from both of your narrators that make the readers feel as if they’re staring at the night sky right then. If you love romance that feature enemies-to-lover, anonymous text messages, and cons, than this is the book for you.
“I know fans are the worst sometimes. The best, but also the worst. And you are a fan. So you’re going to be the worst to yourself. You’re going to judge yourself the harshest.”
I adore seeing fangirls and fanboys active within the fandom be represented in YA novels. All throughout this story, I felt like I could really relate to Elle’s obsessions and her determined fangirl girl that shines through against all odds. Also, I really enjoy taking a deep dive into teenager celebrities lives, and what it’s like for them to be new on the scene of Hollywood. Darien, our Carmindor, is the most beloved character of the show that he’s watched since he was seven.
The author isn’t afraid to explore the dark side of fandom, the fans that go too far and ruthlessly criticize newer reruns that are happening. The author includes diverse characters, like Elle’s best friend is gay and Darien is Indian I believe. Elle is such an adorable geek, such an adorable nerd, and I loved her all the more for it. There’s nothing that she wouldn’t do for her fandom and for the show that got her through her childhood, even through her stepmother’s opposition.
**Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.**
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