Bookish and the Beast A Once Upon a Con Book Review

Bookish and the Beast A Once Upon a Con Book Review
In this Beauty and the Beast Retelling by Ashley Poston we get a celebrity in disguise and a small town girl eager for adventure in the great wide somewhere. This Disney Teen Book is a perfect read if you’re looking for a little mystery, a little romance and a few life lessons. 

The Once Upon a Con Series by Ashley Poston

As we’re always on the lookout for new Disney books to add to our bookshelf, we were thrilled to discover the Once Upon a Con Series by Ashley Poston. This Young Adult series follows characters resembling a few famous ones we already know of; Beauty and the Beast, The Prince and the Pauper and Cinderella. And if you’re hoping to start some of that Christmas shopping early, you may have just stumbled upon the jackpot. 

Bookish and the Beast Book Review

Ok, so lets just be clear that our general obsession for all things Disney, means we’re usually on the lookout for anything fun that can remind us of our favorite stories. And a good Beauty in the Beast retelling is always welcome. Whether its in the form of the latest Hallmark Christmas flick, or a Disney Channel original, we’ll take it shaken, stirred and with a side of fries. Nothing beats being thrown into a compromising situation, hating it and then loving it. Strange how that works, but we find it always teaches us a thing or two about ourselves and what we can handle, and dare we say, seeing where we were wrong. Well, in classic Beauty and the Beast fashion, that’s exactly what happens with our two main characters, Rosie and Vance in Bookish and the Beast. 
We love that Vance is the bad boy here, who of course is a little misunderstood, and well just a jerk sometimes. And that Rosie is by all means probably shown to us at the worst point in her life so far. Jerk tolerance is no doubt non-existent, so the fact that she can even be grown up enough to deal with Vance is super impressive. But, then this is classic Belle after all. 

Bookish and the Beast Synopsis

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.

What we Love about this Series

  • It’s Told in Alternating Viewpoints. How cool is is this strategy? So cool. Because in real life you just have to guess what other people thinking and pray you are somehow on the right page. As the reader here, you get to see it all from both characters! You get to cringe when you know something bad’s gonna happen and get to squeal when it’s finally going the right way. 
  • We compare it to Disney YA Heaven. Mainly because once you hit a certain age ( as if that matters) your “cool” could take a nosedive if you’re still wearing your Mickey Ears to school. But a book series like this makes an excellent cover! Because you can still get some of your fairytale fix, without the embarrassing points and stares. Bonus!
  • It Teaches you about Yourself. If you’re a teen, or have ever been a teen (?) you know the value of a good wholesome obsession in a television show that will teach you necessary life skills, you don’t seem to be getting at school. That’s what Starfield is to these characters, who are also learning necessary life lessons, so you’re technically getting like twice the lessons here. Chances are you will put yourself in the character’s shoes and walk whatever road they’re on, and emerge on the other side of this book, a little more human than before. 
  • It’s all about Inclusion. The whole series really focuses on the love of fandoms, and coming together. It feels like belonging.
  • It comes in Parts. There is nothing like a good Book 1, Book 2, Book 3 scenario. Check out how Ashley broke out this book. Here’s a sneak peak teaser. 

Once upon a con fairytale series by ashley poston

Once upon a con fairytale series by ashley poston

friend chapter

Once upon a con fairytale series by ashley poston

What Books are in the Once Upon a Con Series?

Ok guys, so far we have three books in this series, Bookish and the Beast, which we’re reviewing in this post ( hopefully you guessed that by now), The Princess and the Fangirl, and Geekerella. Now, we are figuring there more on the way, because, well…there are a lot of fairytales to get through. 
The Princess and the Fangirl : The Prince and the Pauper gets a Geekerella-style makeover in this witty and heartfelt novel for those who believe in the magic of fandom. Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: to save her favorite Starfield character, Princess Amara, from being killed off.
Geekerella : Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.
Disney Books for Teens Once Upon a con

The World of Once Upon a Con

So. we love ourselves some good world building ( Harry Potter anyone?). And in Once Upon a Con you get just that. The books in this series ( so far) center around similar places and an iconic classic sci-fi series of the authors own invention, Starfield. From a reader standpoint, we LOVE this. If she makes up a new language a la Lord of the Rings, we could have a timeless classic on our hands. The details of this Starfield show and the characters alone make us wonder if Netflix can pick it up anytime soon and how it’s going to play in the next book of the series. 

All about Ashley Poston

If you’ve ever geeked out over your favorite show, driven across country to your favorite comic con or sewn your own cosplay gear, the author of the Once Upon a Con Series, Ashley Poston, could easily be your best friend. Especially if you love all things fairytales. Her bio alone hints at knowledge all of us Disney insiders know and love. “Moving Castles”… yes we’ve seen those and Howl too. “Dread Pirates,” who doesn’t love those guys? They give you everything as you wish.

Follow Ashley Everywhere

And if you want even more Ashley Poston she has several other books out as well. Check out The Iron Kingdom Duology; Heart of Iron and Soul of Stars. And if you’re up for a curse, some magic and an annoying fox, you will want to cozy up to her BRAND NEW book called Among the Beasts and Briars coming out soon. Check out all Ashley Poston’s Books on Amazon.

Disney Teen Book Review

If you find yourself buried in a book or on a watch binge of the next season of your favorite show, we highly recommend digging into this series. Need more Disney Teen Books to discover? We’ve collected tons of Disney books for teens over on our amazon shop page. 
Beauty and the Beast Retellings are simply the best. And Bookish and the Beast is right up there with the best of them. This Disney YA novel combines a stuck up a celeb and a small town girl looking for adventure. Check out our review of Ashley Poston's Bookish and the Beast #disneybooks #polkadotpixies

Co-Founder and Director at Polka Dot Pixie Co LLC | Website | + posts

Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.

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