geekerellaby Ashley Poston
First sentence: “The stepmonster is at it again.”
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it now!
Release date: April 4, 2017
Review copy provided by the publisher.
Content: There’s some emotional abuse, and some mild swearing (a couple of s-words). It will be in the YA section (grades 6-8) of the bookstore.

Elle Wittimer’s mother died when she was little, and her father remarried to a woman with two daughters. He died a few years after that, leaving Elle alone with her step-mother and -sisters. She lives for the show that she and her father loved, Starfield (a sci-fi TV show that got canceled). It’s being rebooted into a movie, starring a teen heartthrob (do people even say that anymore?) Darien Freeman, whom Elle doesn’t think is a worthy replacement for the ship commander, Carmindor.

Darien has his own issues: he’s a geek himself, adoring Starfield. But, his acting career (managed by his father), has gone the way of teen soaps, and he’s garnered a legion of screaming, swooning fans. Which, of course, means that that Real Fans of Starfield are suspicious.

It’s not coming through yet, but this is an incredibly clever retelling of Cinderella. There’s no magic, just pure and simple fun. But it’s also incredibly clever the way Poston wove the familiar elements of the tale in. From the vegan taco truck, The Magic Pumpkin, to the glass slippers, it’s all there. Some of the characters are stereotypes, but others are surprising, and I loved the world and the show that Poston created.

It’s such a fun, fun book.



Kill the Boy Band

killtheboybandby Goldy Moldavsky
First sentence: “People have called me crazy.”
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Release date: February 23, 2016
Review copy provided by the publisher.
Content: There’s a LOT of f-bombs, plus an off-screen sex scene. It’ll be in the Teen (grades 9+) section of the bookstore.

You ever finish a book and think “Huh. That was a wild, weird, insane trip”?

Yeah, this is that sort of book.

The premise? Four friends — Samantha, our narrator; Erin; Isabel; and Anna — who are all dedicated fansĀ of The Ruperts (a One Direction-like band) have met up in New York City for The Ruperts’ Thanksgiving show. They’ve managed (thanks to Anna, whose family is loaded) to score a room in the hotel where the boys are staying. Their goal? To score tickets to the show, maybe meet the band.

Or at least that’s what it begins like.

Then, they accidentally sort-of on purpose kidnap the most useless member of the Ruperts, Rupert P., and things kind of go (hilariously) downhill from there.

I’ll admit it: I laughed. I laughed a lot. The premise is so ridiculous, so inane that I had to laugh. The fans are called Strepurs (that’s Rupert’s backwards). The four girls got into ever increasingly weird situations. But, at it’s heart, it’s a dark novel. What is the purpose of a celebrity? How much do they owe their fans? How much should a fan expect? You see this all the time with celebrities, finding a balance between being a private person and appeasing their fans, and Moldavsky just takes it to the extreme. It’s also a musing on the extremes that fans — especially teenage girls, but maybe that’s a stereotype — will go to meet and interact with the object of their affection. It’s a fascinating look — albeit satirical — at the current state of culture.

Did I like it? Yes. Did it scare me? Somewhat. (My boss says it’s because I have teenage girls who are fans of things.) Is it good? Definitely.