ISBN: 978168369193. June 16th 2020. Quirk Books. With thanks to Jamie-Lee and Stephen for arrange a paperback ARC to be sent my way to read and 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.
Not going to lie, I had high hopes for this book. Having read and loved the previous two in the Once Upon A Con world, I knew I was going to love it. Bookish And The Beast was everything I wanted (and needed) right now. The perfect slice of life/HEA young adult contemporary to distract from the oncoming storm that is the pandemic we are living through right now.
As always, I’m a huge fan of books set in the same world, but only featuring references or the Main Characters from the previous books in passing. This book did exactly as promised. Being a book about a fangirl, there were, of course, a lot of references to popculture in our world. Some of these might not age that well, but aside from a couple of references repeated, I didn’t mind them at all. In fact I really enjoyed them.
The characters were likeable, and realistic, and yet still very true to the classic fairytale character they represent in the retelling. I loved Rosie, she will probably remind many of us book lovers of ourselves to be honest.
This book is exactly what I needed to pull me out if the slump I’d been spiralling into, whilst following the news and everything that was going on in the world. I sat and read this in one go. I am hoping to fit in a reread to binge all three by the end of the year, I can’t wait!
I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.