Thank you to the publisher for gifting me a finished copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Rosie Thorne is feeling stuck, in her small town, her college application essays and on the mysterious General Sond cosplayer she met at ExcelsiCon. Most of all, she is stuck in her grief over her mother’s death. Rosie’s only solace was her late mother’s library of rare Starfield novels, but even they had to disappeared when they sold them to pay off hospital bills.
On the other hand, Vance Reigns has been Hollywood royalty for as long as he remember alongside all the privilege and scrutiny that entails. When a tabloid scandal catches up to him, he is forced to hide out somewhere that the paparazzi would never expect to find him: Small Town USA. At least the house has a library. 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. Whilst most Starfield fans would jump at the chance to work in close proximity to Vance Reigns, Rosie has discovered that Vance is in fact a jerk and she cannot stand him. It would also appear the feeling is mutual.
But as Vance and Rosie begrudgingly get to know each other, their feelings start to change…
A Beauty and the Beast retelling written by Ashley Poston had me beyond excited without even seeing the synopsis. Beauty and the Beast retellings are often hit and miss for me but this one was certainly a hit. I’ve absolutely adored the other books in this series and as Belle is my favourite princess I was even more excited about this one than the previous books in the series.
Bookish and the Beast is the best Once Upon a Con book to date. I absolutely flew through it in a matter of hours and any time I put it down, I immediately wanted to pick it back up again. This novel is incredible. From the central characters to the secondary characters and the retelling overall. Ashley Poston has found a way to bring all the well known characters in Beauty and the Beast into a modern-day retelling and I loved it. It is paced perfectly and kept me turning the page. Also this book has a non-binary side character and a bisexual character which made me very happy!
I absolutely adored Rosie and Vance. Rosie makes the perfect Belle and I loved her and her love for books so much. She is sarcastic and real and wonderful and I am big fan of her. I loved the way that this book tackles the daily struggles that women face with unwanted and unwarrented advances from guys who just won’t take no for an answer, Vance isn’t your usual bad-boy actor character we are so used to seeing. We get to see a deeper side to the ‘beast’ character who is dealing with an awful lot. He is likeable and I found myself rooting for him throughout the book.
Now we get onto the side characters. Garrett, our Gaston is well written and exactly as you’d expect Gaston to be. I adored Quinn and Annie who are Rosie’s best friends. They are wonderful and unique and I adored them both. Also, I really liked the adult characters in this book they just added something to the overall story for me which I enjoyed. As always, there are a few callabacks to the characters from the previous novels and I really enjoyed how these were worked throughout the book.
This book is full of fantastic characters, wonderful story telling and so much more to love. It is packed full of movie and fandom references from almost any fandom you can think of, which I loved. The tension between the two characters is perfect and although certain events are predictable, that is to be expected as it is a retelling!
Overall, if this book and the series it is a part of isn’t on your radar yet, I highly recommend putting it all on your TBR. This retelling is excellent is is one of my favourite books I’ve read this year. Thank you Ashley Poston for this absolute joy of a book.