The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
Maddie is a popular, cheerleading, quarterback-dating girl with a dark secret. She likes comics, a lot. She hides her true, comic-loving self in fear of losing her popularity which she cultivated over the years. However, she is forced to slowly show her true face and accept who she really is with the help of the boy she’d been secretly pining after for years. Book includes comic book talk, LARPing, a guy called Logan and words such as adorkable.
I cannot seem to get a break. This time break was not given by The Summer I Became a Nerd. I was not expecting to be amazed at the magnificence of its literary merit, but I was expecting…. What in the world was I expecting when I picked this one up?
The Summer I Became a Nerd is something of a book, although not really. It’s more like a rough draft that could have been a book, a fun book at that. There’s just so much missing from it. I feel overwhelmed just thinking about making a list.
So I won’t.
The one important thing this book lacks is soul. Fact is, even the crappiest of books can have a soul. The Summer I Became a Nerd has these words, and stuff happens. Some stuff is cute, some mildly entertaining.
But in the end, it’s just meh. Read it. Don’t read it. In the end it’s really all the same.
Featured Image by gelopsychedelico.deviantart.com
I find myself lost for nice words (jaded?). I mean, I really enjoyed Lock and Key, and here I am struggling to write down the reasons I liked it, with a prepared list of things that were poorly executed in the book.
The positive aspects, which made me read the book in three days and have a hissy fit for having forgotten my Kindle at work one day, are just too damn ethereal. It’s not about the characters. It’s not about the plot. It’s about that general feeling that seems to encompass you when you’re reading a worthy book. It infuses every minute of your day and makes it different.
Lock and Key made my days somehow softer. It made me calmer and more serene. The story goes pretty much as Goodreads says it goes. It’s not very original nor is it exactly ground-breaking in character development. It even has one of my least favourite things – first-person narrator. But it worked for me, even though throughout the whole book I was painfully aware of all the things that could have been done better.
What sealed the deal at four stars is a quote which made me realize I need to stop bitching and feeling sorry for myself.
Needing was so easy: it came naturally, like breathing. Being needed by someone else, though, that was the hard part.
Yeah, I knoooow. It’s lame, second-grade stuff, but sometimes you need someone to remind you of that lame second-grade stuff you forget along the line. They don’t stop being true, we just dismiss them, thinking we’ve outgrown them.
I’m pleased that my new vague blog category has not been a complete failure, because this books fall easily into the Maximum Coze category. I guess it wasn’t a fluke after all.
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles is a tepid book about a rich girl and a poor gang member who end up doing everything together except the chemistry assignment that brings them together. It is readable. I hate describing a book as readable, because it’s the worst sort of insult to a writer. It translates into: “This book made me feel absolutely nothing.” I feel no need to read any of the 40 pages I got left. I read most of the book in one sitting and if I had not been sleepy I would have probably finished it, but I have no interest to go back and find out what happens. However, you might find Perfect chemistry to be a nice piece of YA literature, however. It’s not badly written, and maybe you’ll find something that appeals to you.
Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman is about Natalie who disguises herself as a boy to answer idiotic questions about what boys really want/think. Halfway through, I was unable to continue reading BIB. My sincere apologies to Jody Gehrman and all the people on Goodreads who rated this book with more than one star. I really tried to find a redeeming quality, but was unable to. I mean, honestly, 50% of this books consists of Natalie putting on make up to look like a boy, being anxious in various situations, screaming like a girl and looking at Emilio’s glistening moonlit muscles. It reads like a really bad daydream of a 12-year-old girl.
The DUFF (Designated Fat Ugly Friend) by Kody Keplinger is a fun, refreshing book about Bianca, a cynical high school senior who finds that hooking up with a guy she despises is a good way to run away from problems. Doing due diligence, I found that a lot of people think that Bianca hooking up with a boy she hates is disgusting and/or terrible. It never even crossed my mind because I got the impression that she doesn’t hate Wesley, she “hates” him. Haven’t you ever “hated” a guy? I have. I “hated” the hell out of a certain boy with a generic name. Hating him was easier because I thought there was no chance he would notice me, because he always picked the girls who were hot (i.e. not me), and because it was original (girls were either indifferent or obsessed with him) which was extremely important to me in my formative years. The book was written in first person, which is why Bianca doesn’t put quotation marks when she says she hates Wesley. She doesn’t know she “hates” him, the book is a process of her adding quotation marks.
What The DUFF lacks the most is attention span. Conflicts and problems are solved too quickly – parent problem, boy problem, friend problem – it all goes away in a whirlwind of cynicism and good will of other characters. Lackadaisical approach to sex could be considered a bit problematic, I guess. But it’s fiction, right? We should have some faith that kids today can tell the difference between fiction and advice. When I was sixteen if I read in some book which said that casual approach to sex is ok if you don’t get pregnant, I still wouldn’t have exclaimed in jubilee: “Yay, I’m gonna buy a ton of condoms, get on the pill and start screwing around!” The DUFF might not be among the best. It did not make me giddy, it did not make me fall in love with the male protagonist (didn’t make me feel anything about him, actually), but it was worth the time and it served it’s purpose – it entertained me.