This book is a modern version of THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER, ComicCon-style. Two identical teenagers–one (Jessica Stone) an Oscar-nominated star of a wildly popular sci-fi series called “Starfield” and the other (Imogen Lovelace) a series devotee pushing a campaign for Jessica’s killed-off character to be restored in the sequel. Both come face to face at ExcelsiCon, but each has competing ideas about what should happen with Jess’s character Amara. Jess has theatrical aspirations that reach higher than being a character in a popular sci-fi show, and she does not want to continue in the series. Imogen sees Amara as an inspirational and integral part of “Starfield” who should be retained. Due to a crazy mixup, Imogen ends up on a conference panel pretending to be Jess and says things that Jess would never have said. This predictably makes Jess irate.
Things change when, after throwing her advance copy of the script in the garbage, Jess is horrified as details of the sequel are leaked conference-wide via Twitter. Thinking that someone retrieved her script from the garbage and that the director is going to hold her responsible (and thereby destroy her career), Jess comes up with a hare-brained idea to switch places with Imogen so that she can be free to track down the thief while Imogen pretends to be her at scheduled panels, signings and photo sessions with fans. This switch in identities leads to conflicts and misunderstandings with friends, family members and romantic matchups. As they navigate each other’s very different lives, Jess and Imogen learn to appreciate what each other has.
This is a pretty predictable but highly readable story that ComicCon fans especially will enjoy. Offensive language includes the usual YA vocabulary of bullshit, asshole, douche, etc. There are sexual references both hetero and gay. Jess falls in love with Imogen’s online gal friend, Imogen’s brother is in a gay relationship, Imogen’s two mothers oversee activities at ExcelsiCon from their sales booth in the exhibit hall, and Imogen herself falls in love with Jess’s assistant, Ethan. These issues may or may not raise flags with your constituency, so be forewarned.
Categories: Art, Body Acceptance, Bullying, Controversial YA Topics, Diversity, Fashion, LGBTQIA, Offensive Language in YA Literature, Peer Relationships, Science Fiction, Social Media, Theatre & Film