Rummanah Aasi
Description: 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.

Review: The Princess and the Fangirl is a loose retelling of The Prince and the Pauper where a celebrity wants to be recognized as an acclaimed actress and a person and a fan just wants to be somebody. Having played Princess Amara in the movie reboot of cult sci-fi show Starfield, Jessica Stone has been battling the crazy Starfield fandom who has trolled, bullied, and even sexually harassed her. She is thankful that her character has died at the end of the movie and she can now move on to more serious roles and be recognized as an actress with a capital "A". Fangirl and self-proclaimed nobody Imogen Lovelace idolizes the independent space princess and is campaigning to #SaveAmara.
  When the look-alikes collide at the annual ExcelsiCon and switch places each gains a new perspective on fandom. I liked this novel but it was slow going for me. I had a really hard time warming up to Jess. I understood her dislike and confusion to the importance of Starfield, but she comes across so mean and abrasive. Of course her prickly personality is come with her experience of being a young actress who is constantly needs to be on the alert for exploitation, trolling, sexual harassment among other things. Once Jess's walls come down a bit as she revels in normality and hesitantly explores romance with Imogen’s online friend, Harper Hart, she becomes relatable. I really enjoyed Imogen's chapters with her bubbly personality and her desire to be in the limelight and spars and sparks with Jess’ personal assistant, overly serious Ethan Tanaka.
  I liked how this book addresses the toxicity of fandom, which we have seen in many popular fandoms. Diversity is heavy highlighted as interracial and same-sex relationships are central—Jess and Imogen are white, Harper is black and female, Ethan is Japanese-American, and Imogen has two moms and a gay brother, but this inclusion feels natural and doesn't come across as the author checking boxes off. I also liked the gender-bending aspects of fandom, cosplay, and cons. The very unlucky situation is acknowledged and entertainingly explored. Readers who have read Geekerella will smile at some of the returning characters. A cute and breezy read. 

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: There is some minor language, instances of sexual harassment and cyber-bullying, and a scene of underage drinking. Recommended for Grade 8 and up.

If you like this book try: The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash
4 Responses
  1. Oh I was wondering if the diversity felt natural. Okay, I'm a bit more interested. The Prince and the Pauper isn't my fave faerie tale.

  2. Kindlemom Says:

    I've some reviews for this similar to yours, mostly that this was an okay read. Nothing too standout-ish but cute and good for a weekend escape read. Glad you did like it!

  3. What a shame that this didn't work out as the basic premise is a good one.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Saved as a favorite, I like your blog!

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