Cover Image: Bookish and the Beast

Bookish and the Beast

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Member Reviews

I'm glad that I read the Acknowledgements following this book.  The reason?  Ashley Poston included a statement about how Bookish and the Beast evolved out of a compilation of her absolute favorite tropes and stories.  She explains that this book may not be for everyone but that the perfect book is out there for each of us (of if it's not-maybe we get to writing, eh?).  I applaud Ashley for going for it and basically writing her very own wish fulfillment novel.  The problem that I have with this book is that it basically read as a compilation of tropes and other stories; a franken-story of brooding Byrons and bookish girls who don't even know they're beautiful, with such overt references to Beauty & the Beast that it became cringey.  

Basically, a beautiful nerd meets a mystery man at a fantasy convention and they spend one magical night together (eating waffles and stuff - this book is very PG) never to speak again.  One month later, the beautiful nerd happens to follow a wayward dog to a castle-house in the woods and crosses paths with a bad boy actor who just happens to be playing her ultimate fangirl crush in a movie adaption of her favorite fantasy story.  The bad boy actor has been banished from Hollywood after his latest misadventures.  She destroys a valuable collectable by accident and as payback, works organizing books in the library of the castle-house. 
Spoilers here: the bad boy actor and beautiful nerd realize that they spend the night of the fantasy convention with *gasp* each other!  First of all, it took me so long to figure out that they were both wearing masks at the convention and that's why they didn't immediately recognize each other.  I was bamboozled for quite some time about it.  

That's my main gripe with this book: other than the franken-story-ness, the plot is so contrived and barely explained that I found myself having to backtrack multiple times to check if something was explained or if I was just supposed to be making assumptions.  A pretty light and funny read at times, I just don't think this particular book is the one for me.
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I enjoyed this book. I like romance a lot and felt like I was able to relate to the characters. The heroine seemed nice and I liked the hero.

The book was well written. It seemed to go fairly fast. It was a nice beach read. I find these to be a very good escape. I would recommend it.
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I love this series! Bookish and the Beast is another wonderful addition to Ashley Poston's modern-day twisted fairy tales. It's a lot of fun and will be enjoyed by not only YA readers.
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I loved this book. It was so cute and kept me entertained. I laughed, got goosbumps, and gave audible sighs while I read. Imagine meeting the villian from your favorite fandom in real life! This is the best nerdy geeky enemies to lovers rom com! Quick and easy; I sailed though this in a day beacuse I just couldnt put it down!
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Rosie Thorne is stuck on her college application essay and on that mysterious cosplayer. Most of all, she’s stuck in her grief over her mother’s death. She finds safety and happiness in the Starfield universe: books, movies and TV reruns. On the other hand, Vance Reigns is Hollywood royalty with all the drama and tabloid scandals that come with it. When he's forced to hide out and his path collides with Rosie's, a rare book is accidentally destroyed. This means Rosie, who's already struggling financially with just her dad, has to work to pay the debt.

I expected this to lead to a very easy work together with Vance, but sparks definitely did not fly to start, unless glaring daggers counts, which made this story all the more enjoyable to read. Rosie is a quirky, fun character, and the Poston clearly allowed all of her own loves, sci-fi and fandoms, to come through, which made Rosie's love of these things even more authentic. I also really liked that Rosie has a gender-neutral friend who was in the story without any explanation or background, which made it feel even more accepted. 

Overall, this book was a cute YA love story with a sci-fi lovers' twist.
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Content: profanity, sexual references
16+

Things that I liked: The books. Vance's growth. Rosie's mother. Deep and meaningful friendships. Beauty and the Beast.  Rosie's strength. I couldn't stop reading.

Things I didn't like: The whole non-binary character thing. Maybe it's just not something I'm used to, but it didn't feel organic and the pronouns made reading difficult. 

The story definitely kept me turning pages. But at the end I was just sort of left feeling like I'd eaten nothing but candy all day. Unsatisfied and a little off.  I can't really point to anything specific that made me feel that way. I guess I just didn't find the depth in the story.
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Bookish and the Beast was a Freeing and Redemptive Read 

You guys probably know by now that I love fairy retellings. Yet for some reason I rarely get locked in to Beauty and the Beast retellings- well this was the exception! I’ve been really enjoying the “Once Upon a Con” series so far, for all its wondrous geekiness and cuteness- but this took that love to a whole new level. I was hoping that it would hit the spot right now… and it did! It turned out to be *exactly* what I needed.

Starting with an extract from the series’ fictional show, Starfield, we’re given a little sampler of the sweet story to come. From the enemies-to-lovers vibes here and the quirky meet cute, I knew I was going to fall hard for this book. With masses of misunderstandings and a low-key Pride and Prejudice feel, I developed a real attachment to the romance.

Part of my love for this stemmed from admiring the main character, Rosie. Not only is her name, Rosie Thorne, basically the best, but I also liked how she handled the difficult hand she was dealt. There were some particularly moving moments about grief that gave the narrative another dimension. I also couldn’t help but relate to her as a massive reader 😉

I also liked how the love interest was both understandable as the Beast-like character- yet is also given room to grow. And the other additions to the cast were greatly appreciated (particularly the Gaston insert). And this even had a fantastic father figure- which you don’t get enough in contemporary.

Oh and of course, this had some cool concepts and detailed layers from the fandom aspect. I always enjoy how each of these books builds on the Starfield universe- I look forward to finding out more about that as much as the new love story!

Throw in some delightfully geeky references, some chuckleworthy scenes, a pang-inducing budding relationship… and you get the kind of book that left me starry eyed. This didn’t just deliver on the “aww” moments- it gave me all the *feels*! It was wonderfully adorable and surprisingly rewarding.

Above all, I could tell that the author cared deeply about this one- it came across in the emotionality and joy of the narrative. It was precisely the escapism I needed right now and my favourite of the collection so far!

Rating: 5/5 bananas
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This was really cute!  I loved the character growth, pop references, and how the author worked in aspects of the original tale.  The non-hetero characters seemed believable and well-written.
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An amazing end to a completely
Charming series. Beyond Poston’s world building within a world with her inclusion of the Starfield mythos, she’s a skilled writer of dialog and, more importantly, the different kinds of relationships that make up a life.
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I really enjoyed this twist on Beauty & the Beast. It was full of interesting characters, and the protagonist was a great nerdy girl. While the plot was predictable, it was still enjoyable to read and see how the characters grew throughout the story. I think that my students would really like this book.
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I received a temporary digital advanced copy of Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston  from NetGalley, Quirk Books, and the author in exchange for an honest review.

Rosie Thorne is a typical American teenager struggling to find a topic to write her college essay on, while juggling family and friend relationships, and work. After chasing a dog into a library and finding a rare collection of her favorite sci-fi space opera novels known as Starfield, she lands herself in a bit of trouble and must organize the library with Vance Reigns, one of the actors in the Starfield movies Rosie loves. Vance and Rosie's relationship turns complicated and Rosie must figure out how to be honest with her feelings amidst balancing her difficult senior year.

The Bookish and the Beast was a fun YA romance read that I found to be a mix of Beauty and the Beast and A Cinderella Story (the Hilary Duff version) with a strong foundation in Starfield. When I first started reading, I was extremely confused as to what Starfield was--had I missed a new sci-fi universe in pop culture, or did the author make Starfield up...? After a bit of  Googling, Starfield is a video game; however, I did not dive deep enough to see if the two are connected. I now realize that this is the third book in the series, and if I had read the previous two, I probably would have gotten more of an introduction to Starfield in those. 

Moving past the confusion in the beginning, the novel is a fast read with elements that all teenagers could relate to. One of my favorite parts of the novel, was Rosie's best friend Quinn, a non-binary teen. I think this is one of the first novels I have read with a non-binary character. I loved Quinn's personality and their confidence. I think the presence of a non-binary character is what really made the novel stand out to other YA romance novels I have read.
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Short Review: I read this in one sitting and it was so freaking cute! I love all the fandom references Ashley Poston throws in like: THE LAST JEDI & GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW? MY LOVES. 

Anyways. This is a Beauty & The Beast retelling so it obviously loosely follows the plot of the original story, but there are some more subtle reference, one which made me almost cry (idk I was in a weird mood reading this so). 

Longer Review (that will be posted to my blog closer to release): This is the third book in the Once Upon a Con series and it is a loose Beauty and the Beast retelling. Geekerella is one of my all-time favorite YA books. I wasn’t as big of a fan of The Princess and The Fangirl, but I still was super excited to read this one. 

Rosie Thorne is a bookish geek who had a ~moment~ with a boy in cosplay at the last ExcelisCon and can’t stop thinking about him. Vane Reign was born and raised in Hollywood and after a scandal has been sent to live in a small town to calm down. A mishap that leads to a priceless Starfield book being damaged; Rosie and Vance have to work together catalog the library at the house Vance is staying at. Of course, they don’t get along, but what if there was something there that wasn’t there before?? 

I love Beauty and the Beast retellings. Do I think there are a lot of them? Oh yes, but I usually enjoy them. I love the Disney movie; I wish I knew how many times I watched my old VHS tape of the movie. I

WHAT I LOVED:
It just so CUTE 
I loved the characters Rosie is a bookworm with a heart of gold (and a villain lover) while Vance is a grumpy boy who doesn’t think he 
THE TROPES!! Stuck in the rain! Falling down the stairs! I have to stay at your house with my dad (not clickbait). 
The fandom references. These books are truly an ode to fandom and Ashley mentioned AO3, The Last Jedi, The Great British Bake Off, FANGIRL, & More. 
	“LIKE THE SCENE FROM FANGIRL???” DEAD 
I loved seeing the characters from the other novels in this one. Elle, Darien, and Jess are not really mentioned, but Imogen plays a nice part
Rosie’s friends
	One of them is Nonbinary and the friend group is trying to get them elected as homecoming overlord? We stan. 
I read this in one sitting. Which is something I used to do all the time, but haven’t done in months and I missed it so much. I stayed up until 12:13 am which for me is actually late now
This is a solid retelling. The main plot works with the original story, but there are also some more subtle references which were nice. 
	There was a moment that I literally wanted to cry because I GOT WHAT ASHLEY WAS DOING with a tiny blink and you’ll miss it moment
	I apparently have more emotion tied to the Beauty and the Beast story that I thought 


WHAT I DID NOT LOVE:
I thought everything could have been expanded a bit more, this book is less then 300 pages and there could have been more depth 
Some things seemed slightly inconsistent, like she hurts her ankle and then two chapters later is walking? TBH I could have missed it

Overall, this book brought me so much joy and if you have enjoyed the previous books in the series, I highly recommend this one. If you have not read Geekerella, I recommend picking up that one first!
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Ashley Poston has done it again. This is probably one of my favorite contemporary series and it is truly perfect for summer. I would definitely recommend this book.
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When I first heard that Ashley Poston was writing another story set in the Starfield universe, my inner fangirl was ecstatic! I couldn’t wait to be reimmersed in a sci-fi fairytale modern retelling and transported back to ExcelsiCon. 

However, while I did appreciate the subtle tie-in to the Geekerella universe, Bookish and the Beast lacked the special spark that made the first two books special. Instead, the story itself felt like another YA Beauty and the Beast retelling with a few Starfield references.

Bookish and the Beast is a YA retelling of Beauty and the Beast based in the Once Upon a Con universe. Starfield actor and Hollywood bad-boy, Vance Reigns, has taken time off from his popular show and is hiding away from the paparazzi in his LA mansion. With everything going wrong in his life, things couldn’t seem to get any worse until he unexpectedly runs into high school senior, Rosie Thorne. 

Other than a few offhand comments about events that occurred in Geekerella and The Princess adn the Fangirl, this book didn’t truly feel like it fit in the Starfield world. It lacked that special spark that appealed to my inner fangirl, and perhaps it’s because the setting is a small town rather than a sci-fi convention.

Still, there were many aspects of the story I did enjoy. From the hate-to-love romance of a jaded hero, the casual diversity from all the characters (ft. a gender nonbinary friend and bisexual dad), and many geeky references, this book was filled with fun! 

While this book isn’t my favorite in the Once Upon a Con series, I still enjoyed the little Easter Eggs and Ashley Poston’s interpretation of a classic fairytale. If you enjoyed the other two books, I would recommend checking this one out simply for the nostalgia.
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Another great book from Ashley Poston. A great addition to the bookish series, however I did find it a little predictable at times
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The third addition to the Once Upon a Con series, Bookish and the Beast takes us away from the bright lights of the previous titles to a scene some may call the perfect place for a provincial life. Set in a small town, our beauty is a local nerd who accidentally semi-destroys a priceless book from the Starfield series. In order to avoid paying to replace the book, a fee she and her father cannot afford, Rosie agrees to organize the library in the house instead. Vance Reigns (whom you may remember from Once Upon a Con 2), our beast, at first refuses to help her even at his guardian's insistence and spends his days brooding, sulking, and generally being beastly as small-town nowhere is the last place he wants to be when L.A. is waiting for him. As the weeks pass, however, the iciness and general dislike between our beauty and beast begins to thaw and we are left anticipating and wondering...will they get a happy ending?

Even though I am not a huge comic-con fan, I absolutely adore this series and cannot wait to add Bookish and the Beast to my shelf. I was greatly saddened to learn the publishing date was pushed back to August 4th, but with all the things going on with the coronavirus I totally understand--it'll just be that much sweeter when I finally get my copy! Although I feel like this book did not as strongly follow its sister novels, there are always several things I love about this series and Bookish is no exception. As always, I love the LGBTQIA inclusion. It's becoming more critical than ever for books to be written that have these characters in them, and I feel like Poston does this seamlessly without it seeming like these characters are forced into the story line as a "token" character. Finally, I love the sense of belonging this offers those of us who are a little more fictionally inclined. Even though I am not all about comic-cons, this series speaks to me as a reader and reminds all who read it that there is a place for us in this world beyond the pages of the books we love or the seconds of the films we cherish. This series truly is a love letter to nerds, and so I finish with...Look to the stars. Aim. Ignite.
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Thanks to the publisher for giving me a free digital galley of this book in exchange for feedback.

I've read and liked the first two "Once Upon a Con" romances, and I've been looking forward to "Bookish and the Beast," so I was excited to get an ARC of it before its formal release.

This one is about Rosie Thorne, high school fangirl, and Vince Reigns, the actor who plays the villain in her favorite science fiction series.  Vince is kind of a jerk, and he has been exiled to Rosie's tiny town after his high-profile jerkery got him into TMZ once too often.  Rosie accidentally damages something expensive, and has to pay off her debt by cataloging the huge collection of media tie-in novels in his house.

It's Beauty and the Beast, the Disney version with the huge library, but set in the world of fandom.

This one wasn't quite as engaging for me as the first two, and it's hard for me to put my finger on why - there were chapters I really enjoyed, and chapters I felt like I didn't connect with at all.  I liked it well enough to keep reading, though, and I really enjoyed the details of her love for media tie-ins, because as a young nerd, my drug of choice was Star Trek tie-in novels, which very few people remember as fondly as I do.
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I haven't read the other books in this series but Beauty and the Beast is my absolute favorite stories so I had to read Bookish and the Beast. This was such a great retelling of the classic disney story. Love that it didn't follow it so closely that you lose interest while still staying in the world. 

Love how diverse and inclusive the cast is. I just want to be friends with them all. And obviously the romance portion of the book was spot on. 

I am absolutely reading the other two books in the Once Upon a Con series after finishing this!
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I have a small confession to make: While I’ve read the first in Ashley Poston’s Once Upon a Con series, I still haven’t gotten around to the second title. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy Geekerella. In fact, I thought it a delightful  YA rom-com, perfect for fans of Meg Cabot and Jenny Han. But the TBR pile grows continuously, and some books just never seem to get read.

However, when I saw Bookish and the Beast available on NetGalley, I HAD to have it! Beauty and the Beast is my absolute favorite tale - I will listen to none of your arguments re: Stockholm Syndrome, thank you very much - and Ashley Poston didn’t disappoint. Vance was an extremely lovable bad boy; he definitely had his moments, but I think his obvious struggles with mental wellness will be very relatable for teen readers. Rosie is of course absolutely endearing, as any good Beauty character should be, and has the very best cast of friends imaginable. (Quinn is probably my ultimate favorite; we need more non-binary characters in juv and YA lit STAT!)

My only qualm was with the way Garrett’s character is handled. Other than the fight that breaks out at the Homecoming dance, there are real no repercussions for his blatant ignorance regarding consent. I feel like Poston could have taken more of a stand without coming off as too preachy, especially after the way other girls in the school react to what they perceive as Rosie “stringing Garrett along.”

Otherwise, this was a fun, flirty tale fans of rom-com are sure to enjoy.
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Such a fun and cute read for YA readers. I loved the illusion of having a Star Wars like nerdy love story. This book is of course a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast trope, but it's modern and has a fun remix to it.  A fresh new way of presenting this story.
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