Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Review: Don't Cosplay With My Heart by Cecil Castellucci

I have to admit, I picked this book up purely because of the title. I liked the idea of a YA romance that used geek culture as a backdrop. Edan Kupferman is in for a terrible summer. Her father may have to go to jail, her best friend is away in Japan and nothing feels quite right. That is, unless she is dressed as her favourite superhero, Gargantua. Edan attends a local comic con and there she discovers Cosplay. She learns to create her own costumes, and meets two boys in the process, the seemingly friendly Yuri (whose two best friends are the living definition of the sexism that exists within geek culture,) and Kirk, who is kind but strangely distant. Edan knows which boy she likes, but only one of them likes her back. What follows is a year in which she learns some harsh life lessons about friendship, sexism and honesty amid the backdrop of various cons.

This is an enjoyable read, one that has a lot to say about the amount of sexism that goes on in geek culture. Aimed at the very young end of the YA spectrum, the chapters are short and the prose is accessible. I especially liked the bits in between chapters about Team Tomorrow and Gargantua, the fictional superhero franchise of which Edan is a fan. More seasoned readers may find some of the plot twists a bit predictable, along with some of the characters. I also found it a bit bothersome that the way she breaks up with Yuri is never addressed. Yes, he was a jerk. But it was also a jerk move of Edan's to break up with him while they were on an outing that he had paid for, especially as she had made up her mind days before that she was going to break up with him. The whole thing reeks of selfishness and the author does not address this well.

The author could have easily dropped the age of the characters to about fourteen, especially as the romance itself is fairly clean. That said, it's nice to get something that's set firmly within the world of geek culture, rather than it being reduced to a side plot.

Recommended.