Cover Image: Bookish and the Beast

Bookish and the Beast

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Member Reviews

2.5 Stars
While I think this series may be losing its steam, especially compared to the success of the preceding novels. - fans of "Geekerella" and "The Princess and the Fangirl" can still enjoy being reunited with some of their favorite characters.
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Thank you so much for the advanced copy of Bookish and The Beast!  I thoroughly enjoyed it; word by word.  I love how Rosie looks up to Amara in so many ways, making my favourite line of the book "Amara up, Rosebud."  I also love how Rosie has a strong connection with her deceased mother through the love of the Starship series; it is nice to read about a powerful mother-daughter connection.  Also, a romance between a hated actor and an ordinary girl is a story uncalled for.  It makes the story one of a kind, because I have never witnessed a romance like this before.  Written very passionately, and I will definitely recommend this to all my bookworms.
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I have a difficult relationship with retellings.

Usually, I love them. If there is a book about a mythological retelling I am getting my hands on it, and I always fall head over heels in love, but when the retellings focus of fairytales that’s when my love for them diminish. And Beauty and the Beast is one retelling I have many issues with. 

For one, it’s so well known and so well loved that any deviation from the source material can dramatically change the story. Beauty and the Beast is perfect as it is. You can’t top it. You can try, but it will be a mammoth task, but nothing will live up to it.

However, again, it just didn’t work with Bookish and the Beast, either.

Ashley Poston has written two other fairytale retellings, which I haven’t read, but are very well loved, and this is the third in the collection. They are modern retellings, with teen characters. I can see why people would like them. They’re short, fluffy little reads you don’t take too seriously. I’m a little older than the target audience, but I do enjoy YA fiction.

If I had to describe this book, it would have to be distracting.

It’s distracted by the Beauty and the Beast plot points it has to meet, but worse of all I was distracted by the pop culture references.

So. Many. Pop. Culture. References.

I couldn’t get past a sentence or two that didn’t mention Star Wars, or Star Trek, or any other pop culture things — it even mentioned Tom Holland’s lip sync challenge. The book seemed to focus more referencing things teens might recognise, then writing an interesting story. The romance wasn’t compelling, neither were the characters themselves, and this is when I feel like the fact it’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling saves it from being forgettable. I’ve already forgotten most of the plot already.

Also, I’m not a fan of pop culture references in YA in general. It feels like a lazy shorthand to connect with teenagers, which feels very hollow, but they age very quickly. If someone read this in two years time some of the references are going to go straight over their heads and spend more time wondering what the reference is even referring to.

In the end, I didn’t enjoy this. If you’re looking for an easy but shallow read, then this is for you, but if you can’t stand an over abundance of pop culture then avoid this one.
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I was mostly bored in this book. I didn't really get attached to the character and not as much as her last 2 books. I felt like there is nothing that meet my exceptation. I was about to DNF the book but I keep continuing and even if I'm a trash for beauty and the beast retelling this one wasn't for me.

Thank you again for the chance that I got to read the book before the publishing date.
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It's a twist on Beauty and the Beast but set in the author's traditional geeky realm of high school, cosplay, and cons. The back and forth perspectives do make it a bit difficult to invest in each character's journey because it bounces between the two so suddenly, at the end of each short chapter. That being said, it is a very very very cute and predictable YA romance, and it was absolutely adorable. It reads very quickly, and was a cute, fast read.
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An adorable third entry with several of my favorite things, plus small updates to previous protagonists of the series. I'm a sucker for a good Beauty and the Beast retelling, and this one hit all the right notes and continued the series beautifully.
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This book is adorable! Given, Beauty and the Beast is already one of my favorite fairy tales so I'm predisposed to like retellings of it - but in the Once Upon the Con series, this is definitely one of my favorites!

Overall, this is a cute, fun read. It has some shortcomings - Rosie isn't very distinct as a main character, and other characters' actions and reactions often seem to come out of nowhere or to be incredibly melodramatic. There are some strange plotholes surrounding Rosie's phone (it goes missing, it reappears, it goes missing again) and some other plot devices that are thrown in for one scene and then magically resolve with no comment, and I would have liked a bit more character development for not only Rosie but also her friends and family. Other than that, it's a nerdy and sweet retelling that actually works, which is hard to do with contemporary Beauty and the Beast stories.
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I love fairytale re-tellings, and Ashley Poston does a great job of them, Geekerella, the first book in this series, was one of my favourites. This is the third book in her Once Upon a Con series, and the fairytale she uses is Beauty and the Beast, told through the characters of Vance and Rosie.

I've seen a couple people mention that the fandom/pop cultural references threw them off, but I've really enjoyed the nerdy "con" world that Poston has created, and her Starfield references remind me a lot of the HP universe & reading fanfiction in middle school.

I love a good enemies to lovers trope, (and the "stuck in the rain scene" too!) and Vance's growth as the "beast" of the story really made the book.

This plus the library setting made it the perfect YA love story for me.

Thanks to NetGalley and Quirk Books for the opportunity to review this book!
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I have read Ashley Poston's other two books in this series. After reading, Bookish and the Beast. Geekerella was a stand-out as my favorite. I think it is the only one of the books in this series that makes sense as a stand=alone book. If I had not read the other two in the series, I would not have understood what was going on in Bookish and the Beast. There is a lot of dependence on the other two novels for comprehension to be full while reading this one.
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It’s generally not fun to do this - write a list just tearing into a book. I get that this is someone’s art. Their creation. And how easy for me to sit here and critique. But it isn’t easy. Sometimes I don’t mind writing a review about how terrible a book is. (On rare occasions I’m gleeful at the prospect.) But this isn’t that. 

I thought for a moment about being glib. Entire review “at least it was short.” Or “you know what sucks? This book.” And that kind of felt like a shitty moment for me. 

So let me tell you I saw the heart in this one. I saw the try. I didn’t see what the characters saw in one another. (I don’t think a dude being tall and handing me a book I can’t reach is a basis for admiration. But I’m almost 6’0 tall. So “reaching things” isn’t on my love list.) I didn’t see the characters staying together Bc I didn’t see them as a couple. I saw too many weird space show references and barely any dialogue (what was there was weirdly cliched.) I saw a messy, disorganized book that needs badly to be weeded through and restructured to let the heart and sweetness shine. 

Oh to be seventeen again and naive enough to believe that any of this foolishness comes close to equaling love. 

*as always thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to offer my unbiased review*


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I couldn't have loved this edition of fairy tale/ modern fandom mishmash more. Between the easter eggs hinting at Disney's cartoon version of Beauty and The Beast and the fact that this is an entirely stand-alone title within a series- it is the perfect package. Rosie and Vance are Beauty and The Beast. They clash so much that you aren't sure if they will get together or not. My geeky heart loves this series.
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Plot

This is by far the best instalment in this series. I think it might be the last, but I’m hoping there will be more. There’s always Calvin to pair up with a love interest, right? RIGHT? 

I absolutely love the interpretation of the Beauty and the Beast story to fit the romance between Rosie and Vance.  

There are a few parts that require a suspension of disbelief, but these are easily forgiven, because if it’s destined to happen, maybe these aren’t eyeball-rolling coincidences and are actually the fates working their magic.  After reading the first two in this series, I’d already jumped on the bandwagon of believing that ExcelsiCon has some sort of sorcery that makes the cast of Starfield fall in love with mere commoners. I guess I just took each of these silly little “coincidences” in stride.

Characters

Vance is my favourite of the love interests in the Once Upon a Con series. He's a ladies' man, a child actor born into the business, and he has a lot of well-concealed self-loathing.  We met him in The Princess and the Fangirl, albeit briefly, and he was presented as quite the a**hat.  I was surprised to learn that he would be in the third book in the series, based on the way he was presented.  But then I realized that this was incredibly exciting, allowing for the opportunity for an compelling redemption arc, just like his character General Sond in the Starfield universe.

Rosie is my favourite type of protagonist. I love that she's the bookworm type who also sometimes gets attention from boys - which is evident in the case that Garrett (essentially Gaston from Beauty and the Beast) won't take no for an answer when he repeatedly asks her to Homecoming. In books like these, I like to see that the protagonist has seen some interest from boys but turns them down, because then when Vance falls for her, we don't think that she's falling for him back because she's never had someone interested in her before.  If that makes sense?  She loves him for him, not because of the attention he's giving her (despite the fact that the attention he gives her is a lot sweeter and more romantic than that douche Garrett--but that really adds to the humour of the entire situation).

Worldbuilding

The parallels between the world of Starfield and what is happening in the novel are just as pronounced in this book as they are in the previous instalments. However, as mentioned in my review of The Princess and the Fangirl, if you haven't read Geekerella, the world of Starfield might be somewhat confusing and harder to appreciate in this book.  We don't learn as much about the original television series, but this novel focuses more on the series/ book adaptations, which allows for General Sond to have a redemption arc and far more screentime than the original series.

I recommend this book to any nerd at heart who is looking for a sweet and funny romantic retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

*This review will be posted to https://powerlibrarian.wordpress.com/ on June 5, 2020*
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Usually, I don’t like writing reviews for books I absolutely loved. Mostly because I can’t think of the right words because my mind goes „you loved it! You loved everything! I don’t know what you loved, but it definitely was everything.“

With this book, though, I might find the right words. Because it was like coming home. The whole series makes me feel that way. And with this third book, it was no different. I didn’t even need time to get into it, I read the first words and it just happened. The thing about coming home is that you instantly know where to find what, how to get comfortable. You’re in a space that feels like yourself. That’s exactly what Bookish and the Beast did to me. It transported me to a happy place immediately.

Contrary to the second book, this one does not take place at ExcelsiCon, but in a town in the middle of nowhere. None of the stress and the bustling and constant spotlight. It was a quieter atmosphere, hot late-summer days but wonderfully mixed with bright characters and the kind of good rush you get from being in a fandom.

One of my favourite things about the series is how absolutely and unapologetically geeky it is. I love having pop culture references in books and there are so many in this one! Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Twilight,… to name the geeky ones. „yeet“ to name something entirely different. I never thought I’d read that word in a book and I actually cackled. And most importantly, there’s Starfield. Which is not even a real thing, but it sure feels real. It feel like I personally watched Starfield even though I know I haven’t. It’s coming alive through the characters and the story. I wish it was real though, because you can bet anything I’d watch and read the hell out of it.

And the characters? God, I loved them. Especially Rosie and her two best friends, Quinn and Annie. There’s so much love between them. The jokes, the laughter, how they help each other out. I loved each of them, but also the three of them together are a force and I loved them so much! Generally, the relationships in this book were beautiful. Rosie and her dad are both parent-and-daughter as well as friends and I enjoyed that so much. They have each others‘ backs at any time, and there wasn’t a single moment where they had any kind of drama between them. They are wholesome and I loved reading about them!

Rosie herself was wonderful as well. She felt so real, her feelings having ups and downs. She mourns her mother, but also tries to focus on the here and now and the future. She’s a generally happy, upbeat person but she also doesn’t take shit from anyone and will give a good piece of her mind if necessary. Rosie especially doesn’t take shit from Vance.
Vance was an idiot. Don’t get me wrong. I love him, but he did have to go through some things and develop quite a bit. But he definitely grew on me, all angry and brooding exterior but soft and a bit anxious inside.

I’m a sucker for Beauty and the Beast retellings and this one is probably one of my favourites. It was such a happy book for me, upbeat and full of things I liked. It felt very 2019 internet, so basically it felt like my life. This was exactly the book I needed in my life and I loved every second of it.
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I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This is the third book in the Once Upon a Con series. A science fiction convention makes an apt setting for a fairy tale retelling. However, while the initial meeting of this couple takes place at the convention, the main story does not. I mean, how could you re-tell Beauty and the Beast without a library? The author does a good job with her fictional sci-fi show within which these convention couples act. While it may not exist, it has the earmarks of what could believably draw (especially YA) fans--doomed romance, empowered female characters and misunderstood villains with a heart of gold. Rainbow Rowell does something similar with the Simon series, and I could see a possible spin-off from Poston of a Starfield book. I also like how the author takes the fairy tale elements and transforms them into relatable, real-world situations. They are handled in a way that fulfills the conventions of the fairy tale genre without feeling slavish or forced.
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This is not my final review; however, please pass feedback on to the publisher.

I love this story, it was gorgeous and fantastic in a way that only Ashley Poston can write. I loved the characters, and I love that we got to see glimpses of our previous favourites. I even love that although this one wasn't see at the Con, it still had a glimpse of it.

However, there were a lot of inconsistencies in the copy I reviewed. There were changes in timelines and whole paragraphs were repeated, although slightly differently, in the same chapter. I am hoping that an editor will have one more read through to fix some of this prior to the final copy being published – because this was the only downside of this book for me. I am happy to be contacted directly if required to provide specific examples.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a copy to review. However, I might wait until the final book is published before rating on my blog, so as not to hinder ratings on Goodreads, etc. as I believe this series is great.
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Bookish and the Beast follows Rosie Thorne, a Starfield fan who lives in a small town, and Vance Reigns, a Starfield actor who is only seen as a bad boy by all gossip and news sources. Rosie and Vance’s lives are thrust together once Vance is basically exiled to her town by his stepfather and the two have a very unexpected run in.
Bookish and the Beast is the third book in the Once Upon a Con series, but they are all companions to each other so you technically do not have to read them in order. Having read them all myself, I do recommend reading them in publishing order because the characters from each book make appearances in the rest and it is exciting to see them and know their backgrounds. 
The whole Once Upon a Con series centers around the Starfield fandom and the new movies and actors in them. In the past books I have LOVED seeing the con in the stories because it brings this heightened level of fandom that I feel many people can relate to. Bookish and the Beast is the one book out of the series that has the least to do with the con, but I did not feel at a loss without it. I say this because we still get to see the love for the fandom through Rosie as she is working in a library where she is surrounded by Starfield books.
Onto the romance, Rosie and Vance are two people who come together with their own pasts and baggage. Vance is only seen as a bad boy and doesn’t feel the need to be seen as anything else. Rosie is dealing with the loss of her mom and she is also trying her best to get into college. With these characters being forced to be together, they slowly begin to show their real selves and it leads to a beautiful yet interesting friendship/relationship.
The books in the Once Upon a Con series are retelling of classic fairytales and I feel that this book was the one that most reflected the original story and it was truly a delight! These books are such joys to read and I highly recommend them to anyone, but especially to those who are part of any fandom.
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I am really thankful for being approved for a copy of this book, I was so excited to read it as I love ANYTHING Beauty and the beast retelling! I really struggled to like any of the main characters and the plot was almost ridiculous for me. I felt like it was forced to fit the mold for Beauty and the beast without being it's own thing. Too many infuriating moment between the start and the finish stood in the way of my enjoyment for this books which makes me very very sad.
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Thank you to Quirk and Netgalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A cute and geeky romance featuring a library and a cute dog:? Sign me up!

This is the first book I've read in this series, and thankfully I didn't have to read the others to understand the world because it features new characters. I'm definitely going to pick up the other two, because I enjoyed this one.

Bookish and the Beast nods one of my favorite Disney films, Beauty and the Beast in the perfect charming, small-town way. Rose is the Belle of the story, while Vince is definitely the beast. The story is told from both of their POV's, keeping the story refreshing since both characters have completely different voices and lifestyles.

Overall, this is one of those fast YA contemporary romance novels you can devour in one or two sittings. The writing is fast-paced, and it's a very feel-good story..Plus, it has LGBTQ+ representation!

I recommend this if you love Disney, without a doubt!
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A charming, if predictable, addition to the Once Upon a Con series. While this universe is a little far-fetched-- I mean how many celebrity meet-cutes is one too many-- it is enjoyable brain candy. As a denizen of AO3, I love all of the fandom nods. It's a fun read for anyone who is okay that it is predictable. But maybe that's also part of its appeal. Fairy tales are familiar, and that is a comfort.
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This was a really fun story.

It honestly felt like a love letter to Beauty and the Beast fanatics and fangirls/boys/persons. There’s a lot of B&B and fandom nods throughout the entire story and I would giggle when I came across every single one. (The Howl’s Moving Castle one was easily the best)

I love that each of the books in the Once Upon a Con series can read like standalones. Yes, you’ll obviously get far more enjoyment out of cameos if you read them all in release order, but if you only want to read one of the books or only have access to a specific one, you can completely go ahead and read it.

If you’re a fan of retellings in general or a big giant nerd like myself, you’ll love this series. These books are MADE for us.
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