Title: The Summer I Became a Nerd
Author: Leah Rae Miller
Genre: Young Adult
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.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.
Maddie is a popular cheerleader with a quarterback boyfriend. She’s also secretly a comic book nerd. She’s so scared that people will find out about her hobby, that she doesn’t even wanna be seen entering a comic book shop. Instead she tries to pay other people to go in there and buy her the newest issue of her favorite comic book. But when that doesn’t work, she’s forced to go in there herself. It turns out that Logan Scott works in the shop and very soon, Maddie has somebody to talk to about her secret hobbies.
Maddie is not a perfect character. She’s lying to everyone close to her about something that actually isn’t such a big deal. I understand why she thinks she has to (I know the weird looks people give you when you say you like comic books). She’s dating Eric simply because she thinks he’s good for her reputation. She actually thinks of him as a ‘handbag’ and that’s just not okay. She lies to her friends about the music she likes (how can you even force yourself to listen to something you don’t like!?!). She hurts people a LOT. All this stuff made me wonder how could I like her at all, but fortunately, she learns and changes.
I didn’t expect the parents to be so involved in the story. It was a nice change from YA books that ignore the existence of parents.
The ending was a letdown (why does that keep happening?). It wasn’t as fun as the rest of the book. I enjoyed the use of LARP in the book, even though some players didn’t seem to care much for the rules. But the part where Maddie deals with the ‘dark faerie’ was ridiculous.
There are lots of references to famous fictional characters and I’m pretty sure there are references to Nerdfighteria. That’s always awesome.
P.S. People, don’t be ashamed of reading comic books, watching anime, LARPing or anything else that you like. THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH ANY OF THAT.