Posted in Book Review, Interests, Weekend Fun

Once Upon A Con

The only other fairy tale re-telling I have read is Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles. Ashley Poston’s take on the beloved fairy tales is more rom-comy and very adorable.

All three books in the series revolve around ExcelsiCon – a convention for sci-fi shows – and the fictional world of Starfield. As a fangirl of many fantasy shows myself, I was truly drawn into the allure.

In the Con series, Starfield is this cult famous tv show based on a book, that is now getting a movie re-boot. As readers, we are getting introduced to the Starfield franchise as a novice but every time the author spoke about it– the Prospero streaking across the never ending expanse of an universe spangled with stars and planets, Princess Amara in a gown swirling like the nebula with stardust softly falling of it, the look on Prince Carmindor’s face as Amara sacrifices herself into the Black Nebula – I strangely felt like I have experienced it and I am one of its life-long-die-hard-fan too.

There are many references to shows and movies that we all have watched and loved and fangirled all over – there’s Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Twilight – even my favorite Nathan Fillion is mentioned. And the fandom is depicted so well – the merchandise, the fan-fiction and this craze or obsession that we fans tend to have. Absolutely, delightfully, relatable!!

The first book is a very cute modern-day version of Cinderella. I am just smitten by Elle and Darien!!

Elle Wittimer lives with her step-mother and twin step-sisters. Elle and her father are passionate lovers of Starfield and her father even founded the ExcelsiCon. After her father’s death, however, Elle is reduced to being at the beck and call of the step-monsters. When a Cosplay contest is announced for the new Starfield movie, Elle is determined to enter and win it – for herself and her parents.

Darien Freeman is the actor playing Prince Carmindor (in a too blue uniform) in the movie. Even though he grew up as a fan of the show, his PR advises him to act otherwise and he is getting a lot of backlash on his casting.

Cinderella is one of my favorite fairy tales and all its dreamy elements are all there – the evil step-mother, the step-sisters, how the step-sisters ruin her dream of entering the contest, the clock striking midnight, the Prince fitting the glass slipper to her foot and best of all – the very vegan Magic Pumpkin foodtruck which an amusing take on the pumpkin carriage.

In the second book, Jessica Stone, the actress who plays Amara in the movie, wants nothing more than to leave Princess Amara forever squished in the Black Nebula so she can finally be free of her Starfield contract. Meanwhile, her look-alike, Imogen Lovelace has started a #SaveAmara campaign to get her Princess back in the sequel.

A case of mistaken identity leads to Jess and Imogen crossing paths and now they both must exchange their lives for the con weekend à la The Prince and the Pauper style, to stop the script of the sequel from being leaked online.

I have not read The Prince and the Pauper but I get the moral of the story and I loved reading about how Jess finds Imogen’s life “normal” and how Imogen is drawn to the glamour of Jess’s life.

Every good story has a villain – Starfield’s is General Ambrose Sond. And the actor who plays him, Vance Reigns, is akin to his character. He is the bad boy who destroys everything he touches. When his parents “exile” him in a town out of nowhere, he meets Rosie, the Beauty who tears off his Beast mask and sees him as he is.

I have never read Beauty and the Beast either but I watched Emma Watson’s movie. And the one thing I remember from it is the library. And I liked how the library is described by Rosie. Many people ask me why I love to read, well, Rosie’s answer to that is the exact reply to why I do it – “I love words and how they’re strung together into stories. How books are not really just books at all but portals into places I’ve never been and people I’ll never be. In them, I am not a simple going nowhere girl.”

I love how Rosie and Elle both draw strength from Princess Amara and how Rosie also uses her role model to push herself up. (Amara Up!!)

This series is so feel good and lovely. Just a world of possibilities and dreams and love!!

About the Author

Ashley Poston is a part-time author and a full-time fangirl. When she’s not inventing new recipes with peanut butter or having dance-offs with her cat, Pepper, she writes books. She lives in small-town South Carolina, where you can see the stars impossibly well.

Posted in Book Review, Interests

Popular Books that Everyone (but me) Love

Sometimes a book creates a lot of hype and I jump the bandwagon genuinely thinking it must be worth it. But at some point midway, I realise that this is just not what I read.

Of course, what I like to read may not be something that you love to read and so also vice versa. Hence, the Popular Books that everyone (but me) love.

📚 Book #1 Great Expectations

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I think I didn’t feel a connect with the story because of the style of writing. I do not like classics in general and it’s not for lack of trying. I read this book till the end but the process was too slow and forced. I find the language really weighing me down. Also, the issues that they had at that time just aren’t relevant anymore and maybe that’s why I just couldn’t relate to the way that era is described.

📚 Book #2 The Alchemist

This book is a motivation for many people. In fact, when I couldn’t wrap my head around this book, I gave it to a friend and he returned it saying it was a great read for him. It just didn’t work for me , maybe because I am more used to reading non fictional self help books. I half-read this book 5 years ago. It did not elevate my life then. Maybe if I had to read it now, that I’m a little bit grownup (hopefully 😝), it would have made sense?!

📚 Book #3 The Vampire Diaries

I have listed the series but I have only ever read the first book – The Awakening – and I did not like it. At that time, I was hugely obsessed with The Vampire Diaries tv series and I thought the books would be great too but it just lacked that magic touch. And, I have sworn off reading about other kinds of vampires (The Twilight Series) because I don’t want anything ruining my eternal love for the TVD series ( and for Ian Somerhalder).

📚 Book #4 A Court of Thorns and Roses

I have made an attempt to read this book twice. And I’m still stuck in second gear. The mystical characters aren’t interesting enough for me. I was just skimming through chapters and reading only the dialogues because the descriptive part did not build up an image in my mind.

📚 Book #5 The Time Traveller’s Wife

Usually, I love time travel. There is suspense, confusion and always a surprise of where you would land. But the whole age warp angle of this book ruined the experience for me. It was difficult to follow what age he was when and to, you know, go back and realise that ah, this was what was happening then.

Posted in Book Review, Interests, Short Story, Thoughts

Love & Gelato

This story is about a girl, Lina (short for Carolina) who lives with her mother. Her mother has cancer and her last dying wish is that Lina go to Italy and live with this man called Howard, who is supposedly her father.

Lina does not want to leave America. She definitely does not want to go to a foreign country and live with a father who wasn’t even there in her life for 16 years. But to honor her mother’s last wish, she goes to Tuscany.

She starts living in Howard’s house and gets her mom’s journal over there – a journal that her mom had maintained when she was living in Italy.

As Lina reads the journal, she realises that her young mother was totally different from the woman she knew, she learns about her mother’s journey, she experiences Italy through the eyes of her mother and makes memories of her own and falls in love as well.

There is a nice line in this book, that goes summerised like this –

“People come to Italy for many reasons but they stay back for the same two reasons – Love and Gelato.”