Monday, August 3, 2020

#AmReading: Bookish and the Beast - Ashley Poston

Bookish and the Beast

Ashley Poston
Series: Once Upon a Con, #3
Age/Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Quirk Books
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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.
While trying to do a good deed, Rosie accidentally destroys a very valuable book. As penance, she is sentenced to assist in organizing the owner's home library, and it seems she will be assisting none other than notorious bad boy, Vance Reigns. Needless to say, they got off to quite a rocky start, but with each book that was shelved, the connection they didn't realize they needed grew. 

I am such a huge fan of this series, and though the majority of this book didn't take place at ExcelsiCon, Poston did a great job packing in all the nerdy goodness I have grown to love. 


This tale is being billed as a "loose retelling" of Beauty and the Beast, but it was easy to find all the key elements from the original. A book loving heroine? Check. A spoiled, grumpy hero? Check. An overbearing meathead? Check. A punishment? Check. For me, the major elements were there, and I loved the way Poston chose to interpret them in her version. 


Though Rosie was still mourning the loss of her mother, she was lucky to have some incredible people in her life. He dad, aka "Space Dad", was a former punk rocker and currently a librarian. He was so sweet and loving, and I simply adored him. Rosie was also part of a fantastic trio. She had two bosom friends, who supported her and provided some of their own fantastic moments in this story. 


I enjoyed watching Vance and Rosie chip away at each other's barriers. Vance suffered from what many "famous" people do. He had been betrayed by many, and therefore, had trust issues. It was difficult for him to form real relationships, because he was never sure if the person's motives were pure. He wanted to be seen as Vance the person, not Vance the star, and it was wonderful he was finally able to find that in Rosie. 

Rosie was still swimming in her grief over losing her mom. Her love of Starfield came from her mother, and she enjoyed delving into that world as a way to connect and maintain her mother's memory. She found it difficult to share this side of her life with many, but eventually found Vance was a good candidate. 

I loved when these two finally got together, but I wish there had been more of those gooey moments between them. I will admit, I came for the romance and expected a little more. Regardless, I loved all the romantic bits I did get. 


I always say this when I talk about companion novels, but it's so fabulous to catch up with old friends. We got cameos and mentions, and one character from a previous book actually got quite a bit of page time. Obviously, I was delighted by this, but I was even more delighted by the big reunion that occurred. At one point, almost all the MCs from this series were in one place, and it was fun to get to spend time with them as a group. 

I am not sure how many other books Poston has planned for this universe, but I do hope there will be more, because I enjoyed each and every moment in this world. 

**ARC received in exchange an honest review. 

Fairytale retellings are among my favorites. I don't tend to read a lot of them any longer, since I am mostly reading contemporaries, but I have enjoyed many in the past and still have a few I want to read. While I was looking through my shelves, I found I did not read too many B&B retellings, but here are few I have either read or still believe I will read. 
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas - For me, this was a rather loose retelling, but I guess I can see who Beauty and the Beast are. Regardless, I enjoyed this series.
  • Making Faces by Amy Harmon - As I expected with an Amy Harmon book - utterly heartbreaking. But also really beautiful and touching. 
  • Beastly by Alex Flinn - Confession: I didn't read the book (I saw the movie). It is a book I own though, so I am not counting it out. 
  •  In Bed with the Beast by Tara Sivec - Part of an adult contemporary romance series, these books are on the raunchier side, but quite hilarious. If you are looking for a more irreverent retelling, look no further. 
  • Hunted by Meagan Spooner - Another unread book, but I like Spooner and am still interested in reading this. 
  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer - I am leaning towards reading this one too, because I adore Kemmerer's contemporaries, and I have heard great things about this book. I could very well have this one read by the end of the year. 

Have you read any Beauty and the Beast retellings?
Let us know in the comments!

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