Cosplay All the Way

For those who aren’t in the know, I am a huge geek.  This weekend is the release of Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness and to say I’ve been waiting years for this is an understatement.  I was raised on a healthy diet of Star Wars, Star Trek, X-Files, Musicals, PBS, British sci-fi…you get the idea.  I am a geek.  

Some of my favorite things to do are to attend fan run conventions and to cosplay.  My talents are basic, and I’ve learned the fine are of upcycling cosplays.  So when I see these people out here, like Jay Justice and Yaya Han, creating their own elaborate cosplays out of fabric and foam and bits, I am blown away because that is a talent I do not possess, and their costumes are phenomenal. If you don’t know who these cosplayers are, look them up with the links.  I guarantee you won’t regret it.  

When The Love Con by Seressia Glass was chosen for one of my reading groups, I was excited.  I love reading romances with geeky main characters, especially ones where they are not forced or coerced to change all for the love of the other MC.   

The story revolves around Kenya Davenport, a full-sized black woman who loves anime, gaming and cosplay and her best friend Cameron Lassiter, a buff white man who Kenya refers to more than once as a younger Thor.  Cam and Kenya run a build shop for costuming pieces and Kenya tries her hand at a reality show competition Cosplay or No Way. For her final challenge, she must return home to Cam and build a couple’s costume to show off at the finale. With one of the judges being subvertly hostile towards her, not only because she’s black but also because of her size, Kenya had to not only prove to the judges and the viewing public, but also her STEM parents who want her to quit her “hobby” and take up a job in her field of engineering, that she has what it takes to win this competition.  

On top of everything, since the final design is intended for two people, Kenya announces to the world that she is dating her best friend, Cameron.  And in walks in possibly my favorite trope: fake dating. Let the fun begin!  

This story is a whirlwind of costuming, fake dating, mutual pining, supportive friends, and those villains you just want to get their due.  One of the issues Glass touches on in her story is the myth of the “angry black woman”.  Throughout the story, Kenya is being filmed almost 90 % of the time and around Jane, a production aide sent in by the one horrible judge to try to get proof that Kenya is lying about her relationship with Cameron and to try to get some good footage of Kenya losing her cool.  Throughout the entire story how Kenya struggles to keep her cool even during the created drama the production crew creates as a “gotcha” moment. While the men around her including Cameron can yell and shout back at everyone, Kenya is a calm stream.  And still, they create the film pieces to make her look angry.  By the end of the story, I wanted to tell people surrounding Kenya, the judges, the reality show producers, her parents, to go kick rocks because Kenya more than deserved her happy ending.  And while she didn’t get the one expected from the story, her happy ending was so much better.   

I truly enjoyed this story.  I love nerds in love and that’s what Cameron and Kenya were. Nobody had to change, nobody had to “grow up” Cosplay and creating a studio that becomes known for costuming pieces is a real job, as real as engineering or a desk job.  And I love that the theme stayed in the story.  

If you want a book that has nerds, cosplay, nerdy girls taking no shit from anyone, your HEA, fake dating, here’s your book.  I would highly recommend this as a perfect weekend read.   

That’s it for this week my friends, enjoy the latest Marvel movie, have a good weekend if you have good weather and as always, remember to take time out for yourself and settle in your favorite spot with a good book.  

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