*I got this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
What is it about?
Rosie Thorne is feeling stuck—on her college application essays, in her small town, and on that mysterious General Sond cosplayer she met at ExcelsiCon. Most of all, she’s stuck in her grief over her mother’s death. Her only solace was her late mother’s library of rare Starfield novels, but even that disappeared when they sold it to pay off hospital bills.
On the other hand, Vance Reigns has been Hollywood royalty for as long as he can remember—with all the privilege and scrutiny that entails. When a tabloid scandal catches up to him, he’s forced to hide out somewhere the paparazzi would never expect to find him: Small Town USA. At least there’s a library in the house. Too bad he doesn’t read.
When Rosie and Vance’s paths collide and a rare book is accidentally destroyed, Rosie finds herself working to repay the debt. And while most Starfield superfans would jump at the chance to work in close proximity to the Vance Reigns, Rosie has discovered something about Vance: he’s a jerk, and she can’t stand him. The feeling is mutual.
But as Vance and Rosie begrudgingly get to know each other, their careful masks come off—and they may just find that there’s more risk in shutting each other out than in opening their hearts. (goodreads)
Book: Bookish and the Beast | Series: Once upon a con #3 | Author: Ashley Poston | Publisher: Quirk Books | Release Date: 4th August | Pages: 320 | Rep: bi, nonbinary, queer | TW: loss of loved one
What did I think?
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.