Cover Image: Bookish and the Beast

Bookish and the Beast

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Member Reviews

#BookishandtheBeast #NetGalley
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the E-arc copy of this novel.
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I really enjoyed this book. This series is a lot of fun and enjoy seeing the characters from previous books. I stayed up late because I couldn't put it down. This is a great YA series and my library will purchase this book.
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I’ve loved all the books in this series but this one was especially good. It’s sparse on conflict and drama, and hinges a lot on fandom and mutual love of specific genres. The MCs relationship basically is built on that. So if you haven’t ever experience the joy of a true meeting of minds over a show or book you love, you might find this flies past you and you don’t get what they see in each other. (Tbh I honestly think there are worse things to be into someone for in YA romance than a shared love of something!) This was very sweet and undemanding. A cute, convention centric fairy tale rom-com.
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I absolutely love the Once Upon a Con books, and I was thrilled to have a chance to read the latest one early. I read this as an ebook from Netgalley, and some of the formatting was off. This made reading it slightly less enjoyable, but the content itself was fantastic.

I was not sure what to expect from a contemporary retelling of Beauty and the Beast. At times I would forget I was reading a retelling, and then little Easter eggs would pop up to remind me! (By the way, it also took me way too long to realize one of the characters was Gaston. Embarrassingly too long, really).

But anyway, if you're unsure what to expect from a contemporary BATB retelling, I'll give you a couple hints. There's a castle, a moody guy (Vance), a pretty girl who LOVES books (Rosie, of course), an egotistical guy who won't leave said girl alone (GASTON- but his actual name is Garrett), a rose is featured, there's a birthday countdown, a Mrs. Potts, a reference to chapter 3... And so much more! Plus, if you've read the previous 2 books in the series, there's a couple appearances by other characters, which is always fun. You don't HAVE to read these books in order, but honestly they're all adorable and why wouldn't you want to?!

There was one thing that kinda irked me though. Vance's guardian makes tamales one night and there's talk of how he made enough for dinner and he's checking his oven for them (and of course they burn). I know this is a minor thing that does not impact the story in any way, but it really stuck out to me. I feel it is my duty as a Latina to say that tamales are never made in the oven, and also they are SUCH labor intensive work, that you never just make some for dinner. It's a whole day affair and often the entire family gets involved, and then you make like 100 or so and freeze them up so that you can defrost them later on when you want one. 

Aside from that, I loved this book. All the nerdy references were adorable. Space Dad was the absolute best. Rosie's friends were amazing, and that one scene was unexpected and perfect. There were a couple of things that seemed to be missing- a couple times it seemed like some dialogue was skipped, and we were dropped into the middle of a conversation so we just had to fill in the blanks. Also, cat puns were mentioned as having happened, but never actually happened. And I so wanted cat puns. But I'm not certain if that was due to e-arc formatting errors, or if there were a couple things that were left out of this early version of the book. Hopefully the finished copy will include cat puns - and a couple other lines that seem to be missing from the story!
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Wow !! The third Book in the Geekerella Trilogy . Well , I have been dutifully been reading this trilogy and I have been enjoying the books . <b> Geekerella ★★★★★ The Princess and the Fangirl ★★★★★</b>  
And Ashley Poston drops a Beauty and the Beast retelling , I mean who doesn't love the epic classic. The Beast taming and falling in love with girl and having their happily ever after . The book offers this and more and I can't wait to more. 
*Complete review on the release day !! *
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Actual rating 4.25/5 ✨:

A Beauty and the Beast retelling set in the modern world, filled with fandoms and geeks and queer characters - what else do bookworms like me need?

I’ve read quite a few Beauty and the Beast retellings over the years but all of them were either sci fi or fantasy so I was super curious to find out how it would work in a YA contemporary novel - and I loved it! The references were definitely there (the main character’s name is Rosie Thorne after all haha) but they were subtle in a way that didn’t make them seem forced.

Some other things that I absolutely loved:
The cast of characters! I loved the families and friends and the diversity - especially a nonbinary side character just completely stole my heart! But we have several LGBTQ+ characters and I just loved that it was woven into a story in a very natural way. Queer representation in books is so important and we need more books that feature LGBTQ+ characters that aren’t bullied and that aren’t mistreated but really ones that are just living their best life because we deserve to see happy queers in books.
This entire series is super cheesy and fluffy but in the best way and it’s just so cute and these books make me very happy, ok? 
I also just absolutely adore all of the fandom references and how much those make me relate to the characters.

Why it didn’t quite reach 5 ✨ from me:
I really liked the main characters and I thought they were cute together but I wanted to see more dialogue between them. They fall in love - and of course it’s predictable and cheesy but I’m not complaining about that - and I would’ve preferred if the author had shown us how they grew to like each other so much (so their conversations) instead of being told that they had a great time together. Because of that the pacing felt a bit off. It simultaneously felt like nothing was happening and things were moving too fast. 
And another thing that bugged me a bit is that some things were just unlikely. I get that this story isn’t supposed to be realistic (famous actor moves to the small town a girl he talked to once lives and they meet again etc.) and I love that it’s so whimsical buuut there really were just some plot holes that could’ve been avoided. One character first sprains their ankle and has to go to the ER and then they suddenly say it’s broken and they have to use crutches but then two days later they can run around again like nothing happened? Yeah, no. These are the kind of things that will hopefully be changed by another round of edits before the book is actually published though.

To wrap it up:
I really enjoyed Bookish and the Beast and it was such a fun read buuut I guess it’s my least favorite in the series so far. I still highly recommend checking it out though!

Thank you to NetGalley and Quirk Books for providing an ARC!
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Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange of an honest review!

5/5 sparkling stars✨ 

Should you read this book? YES.
I’ve heard so, so much about Ashley Poston’s books, but I never came around to actually picking up one of them. So yeah, Bookish and the Beast is my first read from the Once Upon a Con series. I understood that there’s gonna be small references and stuff from the previous two books soon after I read the first few pages, but the writing is so, so much fun and enchanting that I couldn’t stop myself!
So, definitely going to go and read the previous two now.

Did I mention that I read this book literally in one sitting? This is such a page turner. I loved, loved the characters, especially our main female protagonist (YOU GO GIRL!) I’d like to thank Ashley Poston for writing such a strong, well developed female protagonist. 

There’s so much funny banter in this book. And they’re my weak points. I loved every retort and remark, Space Dad and Elias. Did I not mention Sansa?  
I loved, loved the involvement of a library in the book. This book lifted my bookworm spirits to cloud nine. And the writing is so...heart warming. This book is HEART WARMING. AAAAA.

The whole plot was so much fun to read. It’s the kind of a light read that instantly lifts up your mood. There may be some unrealistic things, but believe me, they’re a GOOD sort of unrealistic. 

Overall, I will recommend this book to everyone. I suggest to go and read the previous two though, and from the samples that I’ve read, they’re hopefully just as stunning as this!
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Bookish and the beast is a fun twist on the classic story of Beauty and the Beast. Having read Ashley's other stories in this series I felt this was a fun retelling. Rosie is an adorable nerd who you'll love from the start. Vance is the bad boy villain you can't help but fall for. So, of course these two make the greatest couple and you'll be flying through this story to find out the end.
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This book feels like when you curl up with an AO3 link and spend the afternoon reading 40,000 words of fluffy, feel-good story that doesn't really have a lot of surprises or angst, but you don't care because the point is that everyone is going to be happy and in love at the end.

In short, delightful. It's a Beauty and the Beast retelling, so we all know the major tropes and plot points going on. However, the characters are fun to read about and the supporting cast is just as great. You don't really need to have read the first two books to get what's happening, but the cameos are so fun that it certainly helps.

One thing that made the tone of this book so different from the other two in the series is the removal of the convention setting. Part of why I liked the first two so fiercely is because they brought back all the positive feelings about the convention atmosphere and how it feels like you're utterly removed from actual life and magic can happen. In this book, you start at the magic at the convention, but the main story happens in the aftermath when you return to life and the usual life issues.
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3.25 / 5 stars

Thank you so much Quirk Books for providing me this eARC through Netgalley.

Bookish in the Beast is Ashley Poston’s third companion novel set in the Starfield fandom world. This installment follows a bookish girl named Rosie who must pay off her debt when something of high value is accidentally destroyed. Rosie must be in close proximity with the frustrating Vance Reigns as she pays off her debut by cleaning and organizing a library.

This book contains two things I adore; fandoms and libraries full of books. I love how Rosie discusses the meaning of reading and how books can play such an important role in one’s life. Her expression of books as an escape was so refreshing to read about. I appreciated the strength and maturity of this character. She spoke so sincerely and directly.

I really liked the idea of this being a hate-to-love romance, but it just did not have as great of an impact in that regard as I wanted it to. I feel like we barely get to know Vance through the entire novel. We did a few glimpses here and there, but ultimately it felt like we just got to know another layer under his mask of indifference. Vance was okay, but he just was not as fleshed out as he should have been.

I enjoyed the plot fairly well, but things were kind of repetitive and slow. I like how this novel incorporated Poston’s Starfield world, but due to the lack of a con it felt a little underwhelming to me in regard to the fandom that has been built in the first two installments. 

Overall, this was an average read for me. I enjoyed my time with it, but it is not a new favorite for me. Those who have enjoyed the first two books should enjoy this one as well if the plot sounds intriguing to them. I would not quite expect to feel the fandom feels as strongly though.
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One of my coworkers is obsessed with Poston's work and has been telling me to read her stuff for a long time! I hadn't read the first two in the series, but it didn't stop me from understanding what was going on and thoroughly enjoying the book. BOOKISH was sweet, fun, and I was unable to put it down! I can't wait for it to come out.
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The Once Upon a Con series is SO charming. I wish the first one weren't called Geekerella because I just think that title sounds so much worse than the book itself is, but anyway, I'm glad I eventually picked it up. I love that Ashley Poston just unapologetically knows what tropes she likes and is here to deliver them. The premise here I think is a bit weaker than the previous two books but the book is just too much fun to think too hard about the exact string of events leading to Rosie having to work off her debt to a mysterious homeowner for chasing a dog and knocking a valuable book into a pool. 

Also, it's fun to read all of these and see the references to characters from other books, but they all really stand alone.
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The Once Upon a Con series is one of my favorites of all time. The way it so accurately explains fandom culture and have such realistic and relatable characters is so fun and I don't think its ever taken me more than 2 days to fly through any of them. Bookish and the Beast was no different. This time showing the more bookish side of fandom culture, which sometimes gets overlooked in real life. We follow Rosie, who's a complete bookworm and the perfect embodiment of Belle, and Vance Reigns, bad boy super star and basically picture him as a human version of the Beast in the recent live action Beauty and the Beast. (I'm pretty sure Evermore is his theme song)
I related to Rosie almost as much as I did to Elle from Geekerella, short, stubborn and completely absorbed in her books. Vance was quite sad at times but I liked how we never got the seductive bad boy. He's a "bad boy" because he's made really bad decisions in the past that havre landed him in some awful and stupid situations. It wasn't romanticized and I really respect that. I also loved the use of Garrett, aka Gaston. The classic won't take no for an answer type guy, who finally gets what's coming to him.
The Beauty and the Beast elements were very clear but never felt forced to me. One of the things I so love about this series is the subtle following of these classic fairytales but giving them the modern fandom twist. The ending was also super cute and satisfying. Sure the situations are rather unrealistic, but its FUN! 
 I'm not sure if this is the last in the series but if any more come out I'll definitely be reading them. Even if every time I go to a con now I'm looking for the next Prince Charming.
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Unfortunately, the latest installment in this fandom-and-nerdy-love-explosion just.. really missed the mark. The third book in the series, centering around the revival and cult-following of a tv-series-turned-movie-adaptation relies heavily on the previous fairytale-esque romances set in and around the fandom and conventions and, unfortunately, fails to live up to anything that came before. Added to the mix was an attempted Beauty and the Beast retelling that didn't remotely land.

So what did work in this one's favour? It's diverse. Literally, that's it. 

I couldn't get behind the lead characters or their blink and you miss it transition from strangers in reluctant proximity to star-crossed lovers who make out. I couldn't get behind the random other-guy plot and all (and I mean all) the drama that ensued from that (also, hey, where those consequences at? how is this never ever addressed?). I tried to appreciate and respect the thread of grief woven through the story, our MC having lost her mother the year before, but for every time she says she never wants to talk about it, all she's doing is thinking about it, or thinking she's defined by it, when it seems no one actually looks at her as 'the girl who lost her mother'. Only she does. Which I mean, fine, valid, but. It was confusing. The friend group was cute, I liked Rosie's two buds, but overall this felt haphazard and messy and just slapped together.

This was a definite miss and though book one was just a like for me, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed book two, so that adds an extra layer of sad for this one which didn't work at all.

1.5 stars
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This is now my favorite book in the Once Upon a Con series! I am so impressed with how Poston was able to adapt so much of the original Beauty and the Beast story into a realistic/contemporary setting, maintaining the magical feeling it provides. Rosie and Vance are the cutest sunshiney heroine/grumpy hero combo, and there were a lot of other beloved tropes incorporated (celebrity falling for a normal person, mistaken identity of sorts, etc) without it feeling like too much. I love the world of the Starfield fandom and getting to see this side of it outside Excelsicon, which was the focus of the first two books. Bookish and the Beast is a delightful rom-com with a lovable cast and just the right amount of drama before the happily ever after, and I'm so glad I got the chance to read it!
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ABSOLUTELY fantastic! As much as I love the others in this series, this one is by far my favorite! I love a really good Beauty and the Beast retelling, and this one is just... *chefs kiss*. The way it’s modernized was so great, and it worked so well. The characters were amazing, and I was so happy to see them grow through the story. Highly recommend!!
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What happens at Excelsicon, doesn't always stay at Excelsicon. But for bookish, Starfield-loving Rosie Thorne, she thinks that the one night she spent wandering the empty halls with a mysterious Sond cosplayer would be one thing that stayed with her. The one thing she thought of upon returning home, where her mother's death hangs over her like a dark cloud. Then, after a disastrous night at work, her life ends up changing when she follows a German Shepherd dog into the castle-like home...

Vance Reigns is Hollywood's bad boy, and currently doing time in small town nowhere after he accidentally crashes into a pond, with his co-star's girlfriend in the passenger seat. Escaping the paparazzi, his disappointed step-father, and generally in a horrible mood about everything, the one bright spot in Vance's life is his godfather/warden, his dog Sansa, and the memory of the night of Excelsicon he spent completely incognito as his Starfield character, Son, with another masked cosplayer.

When fate brings them together, Rosie begins cataloging the massive Starfield novel collection within the house, forcing Vance and Rosie into close proximity. But when they learn who the other truly is, will it shatter the memories of that perfect night... or lead to something beautiful?

"Bookish and the Beast" is fantastic for a number of reasons. One, we return to the wonderful world of  Excelsicon and Starfield, meaning we get to see cameos from favorite characters from the previous books. Two, it's Beauty and the Beast!!! With a bunch of books!!! And nerdy references!!!! (You will die laughing at the recreated "Howl's Moving Castle" scene, folks!) Third, Ashley Poston continues to astound and wow readers with her characters, her wit, and the drama. So much drama... Even for a book series that features a whole bunch of movie stars.

Also, major kudos for Poston writing a contemporary Beauty and the Beast! As she acknowledged via Twitter, this is a hard fairy tale to recreate without magic, but this tale as old as time is retold perfectly in modern time. As you will discover, there is still plenty of magic, woven into every word, every scene, every glance between Rosie and Vance. Whether you have read and loved "Geekerella" and "The Princess and the Fangirl", or are brand new to this world, "Bookish and the Beast" will delight readers from beginning to end!
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I hadn’t read the previous books in the series and so didn’t know what to expect, but this was a surprisingly good read. For a nerdy, book-loving, sci-fi fan this book hits all the marks. Now I need to read the others!
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I love Ashley! I love everything she writes. This was lived up to my expectations. I love how inclusive she is and her writing style. I cannot wait until it comes out, it needs to sit on my shelf.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this read, but there were a few things that made this not quite as good as the other two volumes in the series.  Namely, there were too many nerd references.  As a nerd, I approve of fandoms and nerding out.  But I also want it as realistic.  There were parts in this, especially in the beginning, where things Rosie, her friends, or her dad would say would feel forced.  Rosie tells her dad 
"I love you 3000" as she runs out the door, and merely sentences before there was another reference to a whole other fandom.  There was even a super unsubtle nod to Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass series in the form of a "giant gold tome" that was described as "trashy fantasy."  The amount of time spent on this one inconsequential thing made all of the other moments before it ridiculous.  Near the middle, the story tones it down and focuses less on homages to every nerd thing ever and instead the plot.

Rosie is a likable character.  She's suffering a lose, and yet it doesn't define her.  It's a part of her, but it's not her whole character, unlike what characters like Garrett assume.  She's funny and quirky and has a good heart, even if she feels generic YA protagonist at times.

Her friends were so supportive--the boom box scene was straight from every romcom ever, but I loved it to bits--and they also provided immense comic relief.

Vance was a mess.  My favorite part about this story was how both he, Rosie, and the reader never once is led on to the "oh he's a bad boy but he has a rough past" idea.  He was a bad boy because he did it himself, and despite being a pain in the rear to Rosie, both Rosie and Imogen (from Fangirl) taught him what friendship was as well as the fact people could like you for who you are despite your fame.  He grew in this, not that it was a shock to anyone, but it was a good progression and showcased how much he understood he had been awful to people, and himself, in the past.

The plot was cute, and I loved how everything tied in at the end.  I knew it would happen because these are nerdy fluff books, but it's so satisfying when it does happen.  I genuinely don't know how Aashley Poston does this because I can't stand contemporary, but here I am obsessed with this series.  It's a cute continuation to Once Upon a Con, and it's perfectly comedic and heartfelt.
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