Monday, May 20, 2013

Review: The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

The Summer I Became a Nerd
On the outside, seventeen-year-old Madelyne Summers looks like your typical blond cheerleader—perky, popular, and dating the star quarterback. But inside, Maddie spends more time agonizing over what will happen in the next issue of her favorite comic book than planning pep rallies with her squad. That she’s a nerd hiding in a popular girl's body isn’t just unknown, it's anti-known. And she needs to keep it that way.

Summer is the only time Maddie lets her real self out to play, but when she slips up and the adorkable guy behind the local comic shop’s counter uncovers her secret, she’s busted. Before she can shake a pom-pom, Maddie’s whisked into Logan’s world of comic conventions, live-action role-playing, and first-person-shooter video games. And she loves it. But the more she denies who she really is, the deeper her lies become…and the more she risks losing Logan forever.
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Kat's Review
I wanted to read this book from the second I saw the title.  I'll admit, I've never been into comics, or gaming, or live-action-role-playing, but I can identify with having nerd tendencies that not all my friends understood when I was in high school.  This book sounded like the perfect fun summer read, and it is. 
Maddie has spent years cultivating her reputation as pretty, popular cheerleader, but risks it all to purchase the latest comic book she's been waiting for when her delivery is on back order.  Despite her disguise, Logan, the boy behind the counter who also attends her high school, recognizes her.  As summer begins, Logan and Maddie begin spending time together participating in nerd-worthy pursuits.  Their feelings get stronger, but Maddie's fear of losing her friends and her status if she were to be exposed as a full-out nerd hold her back from moving forward with a relationship with Logan.  Drama ensues. 
This book was fun.  The writing is witty and Maddie's inner thoughts sometimes made me laugh out loud.  It may seem a bit ridiculous at times the lengths to which she tries to hide her true self, but having taught teenagers, it's spot on.  The pressure to conform is strong in high school, and it's a thin line between what's acceptable and what's not.  Maddie's middle school experience taught her that being different causes her to lose friends, so she cultivates the image she thinks will bring her the most popularity.  Dating a nerd boy, reading comics and role playing  as a warrior elf don't fit in with that image.
I'm sure there are things I could criticize, but I don't want to.  I enjoyed the whole book, even the predictable message about being yourself, and really liked Maddie and Logan.  Maddie could be immature at times, and was definitely insecure, but she owned up to her faults.  Perhaps the surprise character for me was Dan, nerd extraordinaire and Logan's best friend.  He had no filter and always spoke what was on his mind, but he was fiercely loyal, saw things the way they were, and wasn't afraid to call Maddie on her ridiculous behaviour.  He made me happier than any one foul-mouthed socially awkward teenage character should. 
Finally, there's Logan.  Cute, confident, sporty, but also unabashedly geeky, Logan is the good guy that every girl says they want, but then overlooks for the unattainable bad boy, and he knows it.  He treats Maddie well, is respectful, and never apologizes for being who he is, but gets frustrated when Maddie is reluctant to make things official.  When he finally has enough, Maddie has to decide if she's willing to lose him forever.
Rating: All Consuming
This is a feel good summer read that might just brighten the day of a nerdy chick looking for confirmation that it's okay to be yourself.  It's lighthearted with a good message behind it, and funny enough to make even decidedly non-nerds laugh and root for Maddie and Logan.
I was provided a complimentary copy of this title from Entangled Teen in return for an honest review.
Purchase:  AMAZON

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a great summer read!!! Love your review!!


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