Screen Queens by Lori Goldstein | Feminism in the Tech World

Seeing Screen Queens pitched as The Bold Type meets The Social Network, I was ALL IN. The Bold Type is one of my absolute favorite shows and I enjoyed The Social Network years ago when I watched it. Combine the two and you have what is sure to be an interesting and fun book. I was thrilled to be accepted as part of the blog tour for this one and I’m even more thrilled now that I’ve read this book and can tell you it completely lives up to every expectation I had for it.

The Book

My review for this is going to be kind of a boring one, to be honest, because my thoughts can best be summed up with “this book was super fun and great and I loved it.” Yes, really.

The Bold Type meets The Social Network when three girls vying for prestigious summer internships through a startup incubator program uncover the truth about what it means to succeed in the male-dominated world of tech.

This summer Silicon Valley is a girls’ club.

Three thousand applicants. An acceptance rate of two percent. A dream internship for the winning team. ValleyStart is the most prestigious high school tech incubator competition in the country. Lucy Katz, Maddie Li, and Delia Meyer have secured their spots. And they’ve come to win.

Meet the Screen Queens.

Lucy Katz was born and raised in Palo Alto, so tech, well, it runs in her blood. A social butterfly and CEO in-the-making, Lucy is ready to win and party.

East Coast designer, Maddie Li left her home and small business behind for a summer at ValleyStart. Maddie thinks she’s only there to bolster her graphic design portfolio, not to make friends.

Delia Meyer taught herself how to code on a hand-me-down computer in her tiny Midwestern town. Now, it’s time for the big leagues–ValleyStart–but super shy Delia isn’t sure if she can hack it (pun intended).

When the competition kicks off, Lucy, Maddie, and Delia realize just how challenging the next five weeks will be. As if there wasn’t enough pressure already, the girls learn that they would be the only all-female team to win ever. Add in one first love, a two-faced mentor, and an ex-boyfriend turned nemesis and things get…complicated.

Filled with humor, heart, and a whole lot of girl power, Screen Queens is perfect for fans of Morgan Matson, Jenny Han, and The Bold Type.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Book Depository | Kobo | Google Books

The Review

My review for this is going to be kind of a boring one, to be honest, because my thoughts can best be summed up with “this book was super fun and great and I loved it.” Yes, really.

Like I already mentioned, I became interested in this mostly because of it being pitched as The Bold Type meets The Social Network. And that’s a pretty spot on description for Screen Queens. The book centers on Maddie, Lucy, and Delia who are put on a team together in a tech competition to create the best app and win an internship with Pulse, a major social network that kind of dictates everything. The three of them get off to a rocky start but as they progress through the competition, they become closer and closer to the point they all view each other as family by the end of the novel. As I was reading this, I could not help but root for these girls – not just to win the competition, but to grow as individuals and to become friends. All 3 of them are really great characters and Goldstein did a fantastic job of bringing the 3 to life. It’s also worth noting for those of you who enjoy reading books with diverse characters that Maddie is Asian and Lucy is Jewish.

My *only* complaint about the book is that sometimes it did feel like their friendship progressed kind of suddenly, especially in the beginning of the book. There would be times where they suddenly felt a lot closer than they had only a couple of pages earlier without there having been anything that actually happened to cause that growth in their relationships. This was a small thing in the grand scheme of things though and not something that had a big impact on my enjoyment of the story as a whole.

The tech aspects of this book are honestly great. I know absolutely nothing about coding or developing an app, but after reading this I kind of want to learn. I’m not joking – I’m considering teaching myself coding if/when I have the time now. And while the book obviously centers around this tech competition, it’s never discussed in a way that would be alienating to readers who don’t know anything about the subject. Goldstein does a great job of introducing aspects of the tech world without being overwhelming but also without over-simplifying things.

Of course, I have to also mention the phenomenal girl power that is present in Screen Queens. There were so many moments where I literally wanted to holler in support of what these girls were doing. It’s likely no surprise to anyone that the tech world is dominated by men. Lucy, Maddie, and Delia are the only all-girl team in the competition and that fuels so much ambition in them and it is GREAT. They face their fair share of sexism and bullsh*t, but rather than giving up, they let it fuel them and they just go harder and harder. I loved it. Goldstein doesn’t shy away from serious issues either – at some point or another, Screen Queens dealt with everything from sleazy boyfriends to sexual assault, covering tons of issues that face women in our society.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure how much I’d enjoy Screen Queens but Goldstein did such an absolutely fantastic job of bringing these girls to life and of making this tech competition fascinating, relatable, and inspiring that this book kind of stole my heart. Hats off to Goldstein for writing a wonderful story filled with girl power and for inspiring girls to get into tech – because I have no doubt in my mind that there will be other readers who are inspired to delve into it like I am.


Who would I recommend to? Readers who are interested in a story set in the tech world or who are looking for feminist stories with awesome female friendships.

Who should stay away? …no one? I genuinely am at a loss here – this book is great!

Favorite Quotes

“I dressed up, I went to dinner, I drank champagne with him. I wore crop tops and I danced at the club and I flirted and I used Pulse to make our beta test a success. Even you can see how it looks. What’s true matters far less than what people want to believe.” If this got out… what would her mom say? What would Stanford think?

Because family wasn’t just the one you were born to. It was the one you made for yourself.

Imagine being told the substance of your pitch is irrelevant because you’re hot. Being asked to show pictures from your beach vacations – and not of the sunsets. Being sent a link to a sexy costumes site at Halloween. Being told that your very hiring, especially as a woman of color, was due to a lowering of the bar.

The Author

Author of SCREEN QUEENS, coming from Razorbill, June 11, 2019, and available for preorder now (AmazonBarnes and Noble, and IndieBound) about three teen girls who attend a startup incubator in Silicon Valley and learn what it means to compete in the male-dominated world of tech.

My Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy series Becoming Jinn and Circle of Jinn is a modern spin on the traditional tale of wish-granting genies (Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan).

Obsessed with books, beach, and Game of Thrones.

Find me at @loriagoldstein and follow my blog and sign up for my newsletter at www.lorigoldsteinbooks.com, my Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/lorigoldstei… and my Tumblr at http://lorigoldsteinbooks.tumblr.com.

Like my author page on Facebook for fun book-related photos, tidbits, and happenings as well as news on upcoming releases.

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