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.

Book Unhaul

My father suggested donating some novels to his friend’s library. I know that Bookworms are supposed to find it difficult to part ways with thier treasure, but I found it quite easy to give some books the boot.

I keep my books in boxes,

though it is my dream to someday have a mini-library of my own, at home. I ceremoniously unpacked all the books and cherry-picked the ones I will be saying good-bye to.

Book Unhaul Criteria

  • Do not give away my childhood books even if it is the battered copy of Sleeping Beauty or the Community Living books coz these books shaped my reading habit.
  • Do not give away gifts.
  • Do not give away the books “borrowed” from my sister coz technically there are hers and I have no right to give them away, even if I won’t be returning them back to her. 😝
  • Do not give away unread books.

Give a book away if:

  • I do not like it anymore!

These are the books that I picked:

Normally, I keep a Sidney Sheldon. But the first part of this book was too tedious to read.

I had wanted to keep the Nora Roberts book initially since I don’t own any other book from the author. But I am not going to like it even if I keep it.

A Vintage Affair was a good book when the dresses are described. But once Phoebe tries to chase down the story of a little blue coat, I became detached.

The tagline of Keeping Mum made no sense coz this book isn’t about the mom at all!

To all the Bridget Jones fans, I’m sorry, I found this book to be “the confused ramblings of a pissed thirty-something.” Hey, I didn’t say that – it’s on the back cover of the book.

I bought The Year I Met You 7 years ago and didn’t read it then. Some years later I attempted again but I just couldn’t get past the first few pages. So, I am making an exception to the rule and giving this away – coz I don’t want to see it again.

I must say I was disappointed in Spa Wars. I had picked it thinking it would be a good chick-lit but it progressively turned blah.

We are packed and ready for a trip to the library!!

Books or Their Movies??

Part I) Popular Books that were better than their Movies

Harry Potter Series


Harry Potter is what defined my childhood and made me what I am. When I read the books, my imagination soared, they brought me so much happiness.


Well, I’m not saying the movies were bad. In fact, the initial movies were really good but they started twisting the plot to fit the screenplay and the latter movies were just so bleak you know.

I was emotionally invested into the books, which is why, even after reading them n times, I still cry over Dobby, feel that numbness when Dumbledore is thrown off the tower and oh I feel so bad for Snape!

To complete my book collection, I saved money and hunted for the books wherever I could. But with the movies, even though they are on TV every other day, I don’t feel like watching them.


The Da Vinci Code

Well, in fairness, with hugely descriptive books such as these, it’s difficult to fit everything into a 2 hour movie. The author has put ample amount of research into the book and crafted it well to trigger intrigue. The movie tries quite well but just doesn’t hold a candle to the book.

da vinci

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Lisbeth Salander blew me off! I couldn’t stop till I finished all three books. This is a character that has intrigued me and annoyed me in equal measure. I have read many characters in many novels but Salander is a character which is complex as well as really easy to understand at the same time.


While, the movie is stylish enough, it doesn’t dive deep into the minds of the characters. We can see their actions but we can’t hear their thoughts.

Part II) Popular Series/Movies that were better than their Books

Game of Thrones

*Trying not to think about the finale here*

But this series was simply outstanding. It’s something that doesn’t need my justification because it will always stay legendary.



Hence, when I came to it’s books –

  • First off, I think MBBS students also do not read such fat and fine print books.
  • Secondly, I get being descriptive but describing a person travelling over 5 pages is exhausting to read. And, I used to stay up in the night to read these books dutifully. There are so many sections that needed a trim.
  • Thirdly, I don’t know if I will live long enough till the last book comes out.

The Vampire Diaries

I am a fan of this series. It’s my love, my passion, my foray into a new world of supernatural obsession. It’s where I met my fictional love, Damon Salvatore. It’s when I unintentionally started binge-watching 😝

the vampire diaries

I made an attempt to read the first book and I found it pretty basic. It didn’t stir the craze and hence I couldn’t truly move forward and read it completely.


Gone Girl

I vaguely remember reading the book but I remember the movie characters pretty well. So I guess I can safely say the movie made a much bigger impact on me than the book.

gone girl

I read that the endings in the movie and the book are different but I can’t seem to remember the book ending. Which could only mean I was sufficiently satisfied with the movie version.

Part III) Popular Books that were as good as their Movies

Devil Wears Prada

The glitz , the glamour, the arrogance, the style – matched up every bit to the book.


The Girl on the Train

The performances in this movie did justice to bringing the book alive.

girl on the train

The suspense, the revelation, the ending was all like I remembered it and wanted it to be.

P.S. I Love You

Oh, I loveee this book. It makes me cry, feel warm within and just makes me feel so grateful for my life.


And the movie brought out the same deep ache and mushiness.


I love them both!!