The princess and the fangirl by Ashley Poston
Quirk Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781683691105.
(Age: 12+) Recommended. Romance. If you are not a fan of Comicons, you might struggle at first with this latest Geekerella title by Ashley Poston. Set at the 25th annual EcelsiCon in Atlanta, the jargon and language is disorientating at first but is soon internalized - certainly a lot quicker than grasping an entirely new world, typical of your average high fantasy novel.
Alternating both main characters' perspectives helps unpack the strange world of the EcelsiCon Convention through the eyes of newbie Jess and Imogen, the veteran. Based on the storyline of The Prince and the Pauper, celebrity Jessica Stone switches places with her fangirl doppelganger (Imogen) in order to find freedom from the commitment and from relentless social media trolls, who erode her self-worth.
Imogen ironically wants to save Jessica, AKA Princess Amara, from being written out of the film franchise. A case of mistaken identity brings the disillusioned actress and the naive but genuine fan, into conflict. Jessica wants nothing to do with saving her character and blames the role of Amara for stunting her acting career. When someone leaks the script of the next sequel on social media, Imogen agrees to switch places, to help identify the person before Jessica gets the blame.
As in the original fairytale, the grass only seems greener on the other side. Numerous complications alter the perceptions each has of the other's life. On the bright side, being someone they are not, has an unexpected effect on their social lives. Both girls fall deeply in love, with a boy and a girl who help them see that they are not imposters as they fear - but amazing and talented and capable of making a real difference to the world. Now that's a message worth internalizing.
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