Queens of Geek
by Jen Wilde
THIS BOOK WAS GREAT. It was a fun, quick read, but it involved three BFFs, one of which is autistic with social anxiety, and her friends know this and are incredibly supportive. The second girl is openly bisexual. The third friend, the boy, is Hispanic. The three of them take an epic trip to a big Comicon in LA; the bisexual girl (Charlie) co-starred in a zombie movie, and is a popular Youtuber, so when she’s invited to the Con she drags her two BFFs with her. Once there, she meets an idol of hers, another Youtuber, and discovers that her idol has a crush on her! So while dealing with her douchebag ex (her co-star from the movie), the other Youtuber asks Charlie out, and the two girls start a romance.
Meanwhile, the autistic girl (Taylor) and the Hispanic boy (Jamie) have loved each other for ages but been too afraid to admit how they feel. Largely left on their own, because Charlie’s manager couldn’t get them VIP passes, they explore the Con, geeking out over things and meeting another autistic woman, a comic book artist who gives Taylor some amazing advice about being afraid but doing things anyway.
I really really loved this book. I loved seeing autistic characters treated by their peers as just regular people with quirks, like everyone has. Taylor’s friends support her when her brain freaks out, and make allowances for her needs, but don’t treat her like she’s disabled or fragile. I loved seeing how tight the bonds of friendship were between the three teens, and how excited for each other they were, even when good things happening meant less time to spend with each other.
This was just a really lovely, feel-good book with lots of minority representation, by an autistic author who knows what she’s talking about. This is one more book off my Autism Reading List, and my pick for a book about friendship from the Litsy Booked 2018 Challenge.
From the cover of Queens of Geek:
Charlie likes to stand out. She’s a vlogger and actress promoting her first movie at SupaCon, and this is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star Reese Ryan. When internet-famous cool-girl actress Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.
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 her best guy friend Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about a fan contest for her favorite fandom, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.