Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston | Book Review
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Bookish and the Beast is a geeky retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I picked this up to take a break from the heavier themed books I’ve been reading. This is a light-hearted, easy-to-read young adult novel. And the geekiness Once Upon a Con is known for, shines just as bright in this latest installment.
Rosie’s life inexplicably changed when her mother passed away. College looms over her head as high school days are swiftly coming to an end, but she doesn’t know what to do. She feels lost, drifting through each day. Until an accident leaves her face to face with Vance Reigns, the actor for General Sond in the newest Starfield movie. And while it might have once been her dream to meet him, the reality is he is a jerk.
Once Upon a Con does such a wonderful job portraying how fandom brings people together and helps them through life’s hardest times. Rosie loves Starfield and the memories it brings of her mother. And true to style, it also shows the flip side of the fandom. This time readers will witness how the tabloids can bring an actor down. Vance deals with the pressures of gossip and poor choices made public.
I wouldn’t say this is the best retelling, but Vance’s behavior towards Rosie can certainly be described as beastly. Some may say he was too harsh, but Vance is in a difficult spot and angry at the world. I thought his part to play as the beast was great. However, I did expect more of a gradual decline in his behavior as the two began to know one another. It seemed rather abrupt when he went from the beast to realizing his mistakes and trying to be better.
I was not entirely comfortable with the portrayal of Gaston. Garret constantly pursues Rosie about homecoming despite her telling him no multiple times. While she stood her ground, there were moments where she felt she had to go with him. Why? If she doesn’t want to go, and she has made it clear to the boy and her friends it is a no, why internalize saying yes? It was a mixed message that left me unsettled.
I have enjoyed the Once Upon a Con series, despite some of its downfalls. And I hope Ashley Poston will release a new one to continue the series.
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Interested in my thoughts on the rest of the series? Check out the book reviews!