Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Jessica Stone thought her role as Princess Amara on Starfield would be a one off to pad her film resume and the toxic response from the fandom on her performance has her wanting to run to her next project. Imogen Lovelace is sick of being invisible, stuck in her brother’s shadow but when she’s pushed onto the stage thinking she’s Jessica Stone, the two girls fates are intertwined by a twist of fate and mistaken identity and neither will be the same again.
I’ve quickly realized that this type of story, filled with pop culture references that shows the good and bad side of fandom with love and respect, is like candy to me. I can’t get enough. It’s like someone plucked my heart out and smashed it into a book. Ok, that was kind of a gross image, but in a good way. My heart is a marshmallow. I’m stopping.
Both Imogen and Jessica are amazing characters. Jessica shows an ambitious young woman with her sights laser trained on stardom. A long career that she has unwillingly shortened by jumping into the business quickly. Then there’s Imogen, a shy nerdy girl with a lot of heart wishing to be seen and wanted. When they swap places it’s perfect because Jessica gets her chance to be herself, albeit with a different name and Imogen gets to feel like she’s important and special. She sees the glamour and not the pain.
What I really love about Ashley Poston’s work is that she includes lots of LGBT+ rep. This is the second book I’ve read from her and everything is completely normalized. There’s no discrimination or undertones, it’s all very light and sugary sweet. A perfect world, a modern day fairy tale which these are and they read very much like.
They’re lyrical in their attainability, the way that you can see yourself reflected in the page and learn to love a part of you or learn to change. It’s a really great message to women, young and old to be yourself and stop hiding behind the mask that society has placed upon you.
With each book there is a fairly decently sized romance plot and so far they have been perfect. Not too much, not too fast just very balanced and they add the right amount of conflict and growth for the characters.
There isn’t much more I can really say about this series. I do feel that this book was a bit stronger than her first, it flowed a lot better but the story had so much going for it that I can see how it would be easier to tell than a Cinderella story. I also love that Natalia Ford was pretty much Carrie Fisher, I mean in this universe Carrie Fisher would exist or have existed, Rest In Peace my Princess and General, but you can clearly see that she has a bit of Carrie mixed in with other revolutionary female actresses in the sci-fi genre. Potentially a little Lucille Ball as well.
I’m really glad I picked this up and I’m ready for the third book in the series. Bring it on!