Happy Monday! If you are having a blah day and you need something fun to pick you up, I have a sweet summery read for you. It seems this is the summer for books with nerds and geeks as romantic interests and also the summer of books with legs on the covers. Last Monday, I reviewed How My Summer Went Up in Flames, and today I have for you The Summer I Became a Nerd. Both are easy, breezy reads with protagonists who undergo a big metamorphisis. The love interests are sweet and unexpectedly adorkable. I recommend checking out both books as I had a great time with each of them. Here is my review:
The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
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.
ebook, 276 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by Entangled Teen
Source: Publisher in exchange for an unbiased review
Maddie is a popular cheerleader dating the handsome quarterback. On the outside she is what you expect a popular cheerleader to be, but no one knows the true Maddie. Maddie has a secret......she is a nerd at heart, and she absolutely loves comic books. After a horrible experience in junior high, Maddie decided to hide her obsession with comics from everyone but her brother. Now she is headed into the summer before her senior year and she is expecting lots of afternoons with her friends, but what she doesn't expect is to lose her heart to the geeky boy, whom she has been crushing on, and who just so happens to run the local comic book store. What follows is a summer that involves finding one's true self and a sweet romance. Can Maddie finally be comfortable in her own skin?
What I Liked:
- The Summer I Became a Nerd is one of those perfect sweet summer romances that will totally capture your heart. This book has an amazing, slow blooming, believable, butterflies in your tummy romances that will leave you feeling giddy. It is without love triangles and angst, it is just pure and fun. If you are looking for a feel good romance for a sunny afternoon read, look no further get this one! I finished it with a big smile on my face.
- I totally appreciated that this book covers a young teenage girl's struggle to fit in. While Maddie may be popular and pretty, she is not comfortable in her own skin. She feels like she can't reveal to anyone that she loves comics because she expects to be ridiculed and labeled a nerd. Instead she puts on a facade and pretends to like what her friends like, and she follows the herd. Maddie dates the quarterback for appearance purposes, even thought he doesn't make her heart flutter and she considers him to be like a handbag, something to hang on her arm to make her look good. As they story progresses, Maddie begins to lose her heart to Logan, the adorable geeky comic book lover. They speak the same language when it comes to comic books. Maddie has harbored a secret crush on Logan for some time, but never acted on it for fear of ruining her reputation. Once she experiences those amazing butterfly feelings of love, she is in deep trouble. Maddie begins lying to everyone in order to protect her identity, and you know that leads to trouble. In the end, she finally comes to terms with who she is and isn't afraid to show her true colors. I loved following her journey as it is a reminder that we are all different and no one can easily fit into stereotypes and labels. The bottom line is that you must be true to yourself and comfortable in your own skin in order to be happy. I loved the positive messages in this one for teenagers!
- Let's talk about Logan the love interest. Logan is shy, sweet, kind and big hearted. He is comfortable with his identity and doesn't mind being labeled a geek. He wears comic book shirts, participates in Role Playing Games and he enjoys life on his terms. I loved how he looks out of his sister and how close he is with his family. He is just adorable. I am sure he will win over many hearts.
- Dan, Logan's best friend, ended up surprising me. For the first part of the book, I got the impression that he was going to be the nerdy sidekick to Logan. I was wrong! As the story moves along and Maddie continues to inadvertently hurt Logan, Dan steps in and confronts Maddie. He is all about ensuring Logan's best interests. I couldn't help but fall in love a little with Dan as he swooped in and came to the rescue numerous times. I would totally love to see a spin off book featuring Dan as the main character.
- I loved that this was a sweet satisfying stand alone. Everything ties off with a lovely happily ever after vibe and you leave with a big goofy grin. I would certainly love to see the author perhaps write a companion novel so we can catch up with Logan, Maddie and Dan down the road.
- This is a clean read perfect for teens of all ages. There is nothing inappropriate for younger readers so pick this up and hand it to your teenage reader with confidence.
And The Not So Much:
- While I appreciated Maddie's journey and struggle, I did at times have difficulty with her. She is very self centered and seldom takes notice of the people around her. She is all about appearances, and I hated that she put on a big phony public face. More than anything, I hated her constant lying. Even though she frustrated me at times, I got her and I totally understood why she acted the way she did. Being a teenager is tough no matter who you are, and I know we can all relate to wanting to fit in and be accepted. In the end, I absolutely loved her growth and transformation. I am glad that she finally decided to show her true face and not be afraid to be herself.
- Even though I loved the romance, I felt like there was a bit too much repetition at times. There are numerous occasions when the pair is together having a great time, and then Maddie would back off, run away and leave Logan feeling hurt. The first time was fine, but when it continues, I felt like I was revisiting the same thing again and again. Thankfully, it has a purpose and in the end it works.
- There is this whole thing about role playing games. I know nothing about RPG and I got a little confused as to exactly what was going on in the showdown between Maddie and Kelsey. There is a bunch of RPG speak and honestly it went over my head.
- I wished that Maddie's brother had a bigger role in the book. He is her role model and he is the one who got her hooked on comics. The brother is out of town attending college so he is out of the picture. He makes a very brief appearance, but I found that I wanted more. I would love to see more of the brother-sister relationship.
- The book is predictable. There are no big surprises and you can pretty much see how the story is going to go from the beginning, but who cares it is a fun ride.
The Summer I Became a Nerd is one of those books that is perfect for when you need a pick me up read. Even though it is a bit predictable it has at its heart a sweet romance that blossoms when a girl learns to show her true colors. This book will leave you smiling and make a mark on your heart. Definitely pick this one up!
"Did you know smiling suppresses the gag reflex? I do, so I smile and wave back."
"You can't spend your life being afraid of what other people think."
"Do I "really like" him? Is that the right way to put it? I've only known him for the summer technically, but "really like" doesn't seem to encompass it. If you "really like" someone, do they insist on invading your every thoughts? Does just saying their name make goose bumps rise on your arms? Do you contemplate how many freckles your children will have?"
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.