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Queens of Geek Jen Wilde

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Three friends. Two love stories. One convention.

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Full Description

When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever.

Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Jason Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.

While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own.

Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.

Excerpt

“This is it, you guys,” I say as we approach. “Everything we’ve always dreamed about. This is our Holy Grail.”

Charlie, Jamie and I stand before it side by side, tears in our eyes as we admire its indescribable beauty.

“Our Disneyland,” Charlie adds.

Jamie nods. “Our Graceland. I can’t believe we’re actually here.”

We each take in a deep breath.

“Are we truly worthy of so much awesome?” I ask.

Charlie takes a brave step forward. “Yes. We are.”

When we say it, it’s a whisper, like the name itself is to be cherished. “SupaCon.”

We take the final steps towards the building.

Crowds of cosplayers line the entrances.

I smile at those who look my way.

My geeky kindred spirits.

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Purchase Info

Paperback: $10.99
ISBN 9781250111395

E-book: $7.12
ISBN 9781250111388

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Praise

"This is the geeky, queer book of our dreams. ... This fluffy, nerdy book is perfect for cosplayers and convention-lovers." —Seventeen

"Full of irreverent humor and in-jokes, it’s geeky and funny, with a heavy dose of self-discovery and introspection from the main characters, Charlie and Taylor. ... Seeing girls and women uplifting, protecting, and loving each other is extremely powerful especially in the context of fandom. The book deals head on with issues of mental health, body shaming, sexuality, and internet celebrity, handling them with a delicate and skillful touch." —Teen Vogue

"Jen Wilde's book about two best friends—one a bisexual young woman of color, the other a young [autistic] woman . . . dealing with anxiety—will be a favorite of anyone who is a fan of geek culture. . . . This fun book about fierce friendships gives voice to a group of diverse female characters who are so defined by so much more than just their mental health and sexuality." —Bustle

Queens of Geek is an emotional, lively story full of characters that leap off the page and slip their hands into yours, inviting you into a world where the geeks and nerds are royalty and fandom is court. Richly realized and defiantly affirming, Queens of Geek reminds us that adventures and romances aren't limited to archetypes but are, in fact, for all of us.” —Katherine Locke, author of Second Position, moderator of #GayYABookClub

"This celebration of geek culture and fandom promotes diversity and being true to oneself." —School Library Journal

"Queens of Geek is full of book and movie references and is a fun look at the fandom convention phenomena. Taylor's anxiety and experience with Asperger's are treated with sensitivity. ... A fun, quick read that will appeal to romance readers and self-proclaimed geeks." —VOYA

"I had a really long and rough week, and this book was exactly what I needed to escape into on Friday night. It is fun, powerful, geeky, sweet, and cool. This, to me, is truly a book that accurately describes an example of what it is to be living in this time. . . . I encourage your nerdy, awkward, lovable, powerful self to pick it up! #LoveYourWeird" —Book Nerds Across America

"I’m so blown away by how much fun this book was to read. Super adorable romance, really diverse and relatable characters, wonderful writing, this book has it all." —Bibliophile Gathering

“It was a delightful read. … This book, in my opinion, is just so empowering!” —brio, Swoon Reader

“This is the first book I’ve ever read that I see myself in. I felt like Taylor was me. … I wish I could have had this book 20 years ago. One of the best things I’ve read in years.” —Mandy.Valentine, Swoon Reader

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78 comments on "Queens of Geek"

GoodGothGirlReads on Dec. 31, 2015, 11:19 p.m. said:

GoodGothGirlReads


As a geek who has been to DragonCon several times (in Atlanta, GA in the U.S.) and being a staff member at several anime cons, I was drawn to this book because I know how transformative going to a con can be. The novel nailed the con atmosphere - waiting in line forever and not meeting your favorite author/artist/actor/writer/etc., not eating or sleeping, falling in love, learning about yourself, playing epic games based on your favorite book/graphic novel/movie/TV show, the cosplayers, the sense of being surrounded by your people and making new friends quickly because they GET you and your obsession. Great job with the casual pop-culture references and movie quotes, and the action sequence in the zombie maze was unexpected and a lot of fun! I loved the hours that I spent with the characters. Taylor and Charlie are fully developed, and the supporting characters felt like they genuinely belonged in the story. I liked Charlie, but I was more emotionally invested in Taylor's story. I felt Taylor's pain and cheered for her success. Overall, this is a strong novel, but I did struggle with some details. 1. I agree with other readers that it's difficult to tell the Taylor and Charlie chapters apart. Their stories are different, but their voices are much too similar to make it easy to identify who is who. In other books with two POV that I've read, one character was written in the first person and the second character was written in the third person, which would be an easy way to differentiate Taylor and Charlie. I don't think that Charlie's story needs to be told in the first person to be compelling. Due to Taylor's internal struggle, first person is the best way to tell her story, but Charlie's struggles are external and she has an easy time discussing them. 2. In the middle of the book, I started to feel like Charlie was beating me over the head with the "female empowerment" messages. There's a section, or maybe a couple of chapters, that kept hammering at it. The topics that she addressed are really important, and I'm all for seeing more books out there that spread the word. However, it needs to be done organically and in a way that serves the story. Instead, it felt preachy and heavy-handed. Also, I have no idea how an 18-year-old could have gained 3 million YouTube followers, published a novel, starred in an action movie, gone to school AND become well-versed in discussing "slut shaming," women in fandom and whatever else she gets on her soapbox about. There are real people like this (Taylor Swift, anyone?), but they rarely go to school every day and/or have the opportunity to make friends like Taylor and Jamie. (Unless Charlie and Taylor went to school together for years, but Charlie left high school to work on all of her stuff, and that's when Jamie arrived? That could work. Taylor would introduce Jamie to Charlie, and they could still be BFFs, but I see Charlie off and doing her thing while Taylor and Jamie go to school and see her on weekends and breaks.) I think that Charlie has a lot of interesting elements to her, but they need to make sense with her age and connection to Taylor and Jamie to truly make her half of the novel work. 3. The beginning was a bit abrupt. We were presented with three characters (and it was difficult to sort out who was male or female), and we instantly find out that one of them is a big enough deal to warrant her own handler, but I felt like I didn't have enough information to understand what was happening as they swept into the con. It was a few chapters before we found out who Charlie was, which felt weird. Perhaps the con handler could fangirl all over Charlie and hold a conversation with Charlie, Taylor and Jamie about the con and Charlie's schedule? That would introduce the reader to the setting and the characters before entering the con itself. 4. This was a very non-specific con, and that felt weird. Although DragonCon hosts probably 50 different fandom "tracks," and ComicCon in NYC and San Diego is known for sci fi/fantasy TV, movies and graphic novels, people who go to those cons know what topics are featured. Aside from Charlie's movie and Taylor's fandom, we know nothing else about what's at SupaCon. Is it like DragonCon where you can find costuming, blogging, anime, artists, cosplay, podcasting and sci fi TV, book and movie tracks? Show us more about what kinds of geeks are there. Also, how big is it - how many people are there? (This is key for Taylor's story.) Let Taylor and Jamie look around and describe the fandoms they see represented. For me, this would have helped me integrate SupaCon into the world of cons in the U.S. and told me more about the characters at the same time. (What fandoms you recognize says a lot about your own geekery.) 5. Why don't we get to see Jamie have a geek-out moment for his most favorite fandom? He does a great job of supporting Taylor, and of course that's a big reason that he came, but he's a geek too. He's got to have at least one thing he has to see or experience. This doesn't have to be a big scene, and it could even happen elsewhere and he comes back and tells Taylor all about it, but he needs to have a moment of his own. Pretty much everything we know about him is only in relation to Taylor. OVERALL RATING: The story fed my geeky soul and introduced me to some cool characters who I would love to hang out with IRL. There are a lot of female geeks out there who will see themselves in this novel, and they will love it!

This novel doesn't remind me of anything else that's out there - which is why I like it so much!

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Jen Wilde on Jan. 1, 2016, 5:56 p.m. said:

Jen Wilde


Wow, thank you so much for leaving such a thoughtful, in-depth comment, GoodGothGirlReads (cool username, by the way!). I'm glad you liked it, and I totally get what you mean about how transformative cons can be. I've experienced that myself and it's part of why I wanted to write this story. And thanks for pointing out those issues, I wasn't aware it was hard to differentiate between Charlie and Taylor but now that you've mentioned it I can see it. And I'd definitely like to spend some more time on the con itself and also on Jamie and his geekiness. With the con, I imagined it being at something like SDCC, but as I live in Australia I've only been to the cons we have here, which are significantly smaller, so I'll try to be clearer on it's size and the fandoms involved too when I go back for edits. I wrote this story really fast to meet the Swoon Reads submission deadline so I guess I rushed some parts that could have been more fleshed out. And I did wonder if Charlie was being too preachy in some parts, I definitely don't want that so I'll see where I can lighten it up a bit. Thanks again for reading and commenting, you've given me a lot to work with to make this story better and I really appreciate that! :D

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GoodGothGirlReads on Jan. 1, 2016, 7:27 p.m. said:

GoodGothGirlReads


I'm so glad that you found my comments helpful! I really love this book and I'm VERY excited that it's going to be published! If you're going for a SDCC-alike con, I think you convey that very well in the dialogue that compares SupaCon to Graceland and Disneyland - that was what I expected it to be like. Maybe you need to go to SDCC for "research" in 2016? :)

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Mattea Hernandez on Dec. 31, 2015, 9:41 p.m. said:

Mattea Hernandez


Personally I'm pan and seeing a bi character in a book like this is really cool because I think I've only read 2 books with bi characters. Seeing any book with LGBT characters is really hard, I think I've read most of the ones in my school library so it was fun for me to read.

There's really nothing like this that I've read especially with all the diverse characters.

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Jen Wilde on Jan. 1, 2016, 5:47 p.m. said:

Jen Wilde


That makes me so happy to hear, Mattea! I totally agree, it can be hard to find books with LGBT characters, especially with bi characters. But thanks to publishers like Swoon Reads this is all changing! I'm so happy you enjoyed my story. Thank you so much for reading and commenting! :D

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JennT on Dec. 30, 2015, 4:44 p.m. said:

JennT


I liked the unique characters and the feminist point of view. No makeover scene! A huge plus!

Not sure.

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Jen Wilde on Jan. 1, 2016, 5:44 p.m. said:

Jen Wilde


Thank you so much, Jenn!

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Laura Lynn on Dec. 23, 2015, 6:42 p.m. said:

Laura Lynn


Liked that it was about young people coming to terms with themselves as they are. Some good positive reinforcement throughout. Good style, good grammar, pretty good pacing. I wasn't surprised by anything that happened. It wasn't exactly thrilling, but it wasn't intended as a thriller, was it? The romance part was handled well. The only thing I would change would be to tighten up some of the expositions. All in all, a good read.

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Jen Wilde on Jan. 1, 2016, 5:44 p.m. said:

Jen Wilde


Thanks, Laura! Glad you enjoyed it! You're right, it's not a thriller at all, just intended as a fun, inclusive, geeky read :) I'm sure a lot of it will be tightened up during the editing process. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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Mollie Ficarella on Dec. 23, 2015, 4:04 p.m. said:

Mollie Ficarella


The bisexual heroine, a story about someone on the Autism spectrum, a true look at a con- I absolutely adored this book. Probably some editing is needed but I could not day where since it sucked me right in and gave my geeky little heart joy.

I can't, it is too unique and wonderful.

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