The Top Three: Geek Romance Books
I suspect you may be looking at this blog post title in puzzlement, exclaiming in your head, “But Hannah, what even IS a geek romance book? There’s no such thing you silly woman!”
Au contraire, dear reader. There are some absolutely perfect novels that would classify as a geek romance. And here’s why.
The stories that I have chosen focus on a particular section of fan culture, delving deep into the activity and detailing the nitty gritty of these nerdy pastimes, whilst weaving in a relationship for the protagonist. Each of my three chosen books also create their own fictional fandoms within the story, detailing an original book series/TV show to the readers. Although a lot of the reasoning behind this is for copyright reasons, I find it a whole other skill for authors to create meta-worlds inside their novels.
SO without further ado, here are my top three picks for a good geeky romance book...
One of the most famous geek romance books on market, Fangirl delves into the life of Cath Avery, a fanfiction writer who has just started at university (or college, if you’re a US reader!). I first stumbled across this book in a well-known chain (that may rhyme with 'shautermones') and the title grabbed my attention, as it was a topic that I’d never seen written about before.
Fanfiction is a massive part of online nerdy culture. For many, it’s a way for authors to expand on a franchise's universe, to tell their own stories for fellow fans who wish to hear it. This story captured that sentiment beautifully, detailing the truths of how fanfiction authors balance their personal lives, and showing how insecure writers can feel about their work. Cath struggles to tell others about her online life, despite it being of massive importance to her, which results in a strain of the relationships around her. The love interest in this book is also a rather slow burn. It feels more raw and realistic to read, as sometimes in life, it’s not always love at first sight.
The world that Rainbow creates for Cath’s fandom is also absolutely mind-blowing. Carry On is the part of a fictional fandom, Simon Snow, which appears to take inspiration from the Harry Potter franchise (and if I’m correct, the main pairing which she ships is based off of “Drarry”, if you know what that is…)
The author has included the tiniest of details in the Simon Snow series, down to secondary characters, famous plot points, and even school subjects. Readers were so enraptured by Rainbow’s fantasy world, that there was a demand for Carry On to be released as a standalone novel. So if you’re planning on purchasing Fangirl, then make the follow-up book the next one on your list.
This novel is just a bundle of absurd fun and comedy. A take on the fairytale Cinderella, this book follows Elle Wittimer, a geeky girl who is desperate to make it to her version of the ‘ball’, a convention for her favourite cult television show, Starfield (seemingly influenced by Star Trek). There are also fun twists on elements of the story, such as Cinderella's famous carriage being a food truck called the “pumpkin”, and the fairy godmother being a punk fashionista.
The story brings attention to fan forums and blogs, and the value that they are given within fandoms. Our main character owns a blog about Starfield, and many of her posts become major plot points within the story. Her blog is a way of escaping the struggles of her difficult home life, and she describes how her fandom allows her to express herself.
Our Prince Charming in this story, Darien Freeman, is the lead actor in reboot of Elle’s favourite TV series. His character was interesting to study, as he struggled with the PR aspects of being a celebrity, being coerced into faking aspects of his personal life for career gain. This shined a spotlight on the lack of control that some celebrities may have, something that I believe we should be more aware of.
Although the story carries fairytale elements, some of the emotion and drama within this piece is very raw and real. The traditional villains of the story make a mockery of what fandoms mean to Elle, and I have no doubt that some readers may emphasise with the humiliation that she feels in these parts. All in all, this story is the perfect balance of surreal and fantasy.
As someone with events management experience, I can completely empathise with the struggles that the main character, Lexi Angelo, faces. Unconventional examines conventions from the other side, as Lexi works under her father as a con organiser. It goes into the nitty gritty issues that must be dealt with at events such as these. (Such as A-list actresses losing their precious dogs in the hotel. Teehee)
I also immensely enjoy the flaws in Lexi’s personality. Micro-management issues, a slight temper and boats of awkwardness made her thought process a hilarious thing to read. It also makes the interactions with the love interest frustrating at times, as he often provides many opportunities to flirt, but Lexi can’t seem to quite grasp the bait. But it’s worth the wait.
The book centres heavily on the theme of ‘family’, both in a literal sense and a metaphorical one. On one side we examine Lexi’s complex relationship with her dad and soon-to-be stepmum. On the other we experience how Lexi views the conventions as her home. Her descriptions reflect the thoughts of many con-goers, as these events are one of the few where nerd and geek culture is celebrated proudly and freely, outside of the so-called ‘everyday’ expected social norms.
The fictional series in this tale is the world of Peacekeepers, a book series that love interest Aiden writes about. Combining paintings and magic, it certainly sounds like an original and innovative concept. Maggie included a small snippet of the book at the end of Unconventional, and I’m ready to start a rally to get a full book in the works!
So folks, there you have it. Three books that are perfect for those long autumn nights, where you can curl up with a blanket and a hot drink and lose yourself in the world of geeky fiction. If any of these stories take your fancy, give the links a click and get a copy for your own library!
What I want to know now, is if anyone knows of any other geek romance novels that I need to try? If so, leave a comment with your recommendations.
Or, just leave a comment anyway to say hi! That is equally as lovely.