Book Review (ARC): Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston (ft. My Annotations)

When I first heard that Ashley Poston was writing another story set in the Starfield universe, my inner fangirl was ecstatic! I couldn’t wait to be reimmersed in a sci-fi fairytale modern retelling and transported back to ExcelsiCon. 💫

However, while I did appreciate the subtle tie-in to the Geekerella universe, Bookish and the Beast lacked the special spark that made the first two books special. 😕 Instead, the story itself felt like another YA Beauty and the Beast retelling with a few Starfield references.

BOOKISH & THE BEAST (ONCE UPON A CON #3)  by Ashley Poston

PUBLISHED BY Quirk Books on August 4th 2020

GENRES: ContemporaryRetelling

PAGES: 288


Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!

In the third book in Ashley Poston’s Once Upon a Con series, Beauty and the Beast is retold in the beloved Starfield universe.

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.

Bookish and the Beast is a YA retelling of Beauty and the Beast based in the Once Upon a Con universe. 🥀 Starfield actor and Hollywood bad-boy, Vance Reigns, has taken time off from his popular show and is hiding away from the paparazzi in his LA mansion. With everything going wrong in his life, things couldn’t seem to get any worse until he unexpectedly runs into high school senior, Rosie Thorne. 

“I scan my math teacher’s box of jumbo condoms at the Food Lion where I work. I try not to make eye contact as I read off the total and he pays, also avoiding making eye contact.W Minimum wage will never pay for the years of therapy I’ll need after this.”

Other than a few offhand comments about events that occurred in Geekerella and The Princess and the Fangirl, this book didn’t truly feel like it fit in the Starfield world. It lacked that special spark that appealed to my inner fangirl, and perhaps it’s because the setting is a small town rather than a sci-fi convention.

Still, there were many aspects of the story I did enjoy. 💛 From the hate-to-love romance of a jaded hero, the casual diversity from all the characters (ft. a gender nonbinary friend and bisexual dad), and many geeky references, this book was filled with fun! 

“I love how books are not really just books at all, but doorways. They are portals into places I’ve never been and people I’ll never be, and in them I have lived a thousand lives and seen a thousand different worlds.”

While this book isn’t my favorite in the Once Upon a Con series, I still enjoyed the little Easter Eggs and Ashley Poston’s interpretation of a classic fairytale. If you enjoyed the other two books, I would recommend checking this one out simply for the nostalgia. 😌

My Annotations 📝

I originally started off by annotating within my book, but eventually, I started jotting down my thoughts on my iPhone notes app. I didn’t manage to get every random thought written down but here are some of my annotations!


Have you read Bookish and the Beast?

What were your thoughts?

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20 thoughts on “Book Review (ARC): Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston (ft. My Annotations)

  1. Ohhh I do need to read this!!
    I loved geekerella so much, Im still thinking about their « oblena/ Oblen » 😍

    My library sadly doesnt have tome 2 & 3 yet :/ and when I went to my local bookstore, With the intent of buying geekerella and see if they had the second one, I couldnt find it at all 😓


    1. Aww I hope you get the chance to read the 2nd and 3rd soon because it really completes the series 💖


    1. I can’t wait for you to read it!! I think it doesn’t entirely fit in the series, but it still was great as a standalone ❤️


  2. I’m sorry that you didn’t enjoy this as much as you were expecting! I’m planning to read this very soon and have been worried that I won’t enjoy it as much as it doesn’t sound like it really involves ExcelsiCon which is part of the fun of the first two!


    1. I can’t wait for you to read it! I think it works really well as a standalone, and even though I didn’t love it as much as the other two, it was still really enjoyable 🥰


  3. Ahaha I love that you included your annotations! That’s such a fun addition to the post 🙂 I haven’t read any of the author’s books, but I have seen them floating around for a while now- I should definitely pick them up soon! I’m sorry that this one didn’t live up to those same expectations, though! That’s always a bummer :/


    1. Haha I’m glad that you enjoyed them!! I think the Geekerella series is super fun and relatable to us readers (I imagine the Excelicon which is the sci-fi convention reminds me of bookcon) 🥰


  4. Oh no, it makes me sad to hear that Beauty and the Bookish didn’t live up to your expectations. I was really looking forward to it but I’m thinking I might wait for a couple more reviews before I decide whether or not to pick it up. Lovely post ❤️


    1. 😭😭😭 It was okay but not as spectacular as the other two books so I think it’s still worth a read!


    1. Princess and the Fangirl was so good!! I really hope that you enjoy it and get the chance to pick this one up too 💖


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