|The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller|
Released May 7, 2013
Source of my copy: Gift
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.When we join Maddie's story, she's smack in the middle of her nerdy double life, retrieving the final installment of her favorite comic from the mail in secret. It's not like she could get it from the local comic store-- someone could SEE! But when a shipping error requires her to do just that, Maddie is forced to reevaluate the facade she shows the public and the person she keeps hidden inside.
I absolutely loved this book. As adorably dorky and delightfully fantastic Logan encourages Maddie to break out of her mask and embrace her inner geek, we're pulled along for the ride. I especially loved the RPGing; as a fledgling D&D player, I would love to do something so large-scale and in person. All of the nerdy adventures throughout the book felt fun and authentic. All the secondary characters were fabulous, as well, from Logan's equally geeky best friend Dan to Maddie's "friend" and foil Rayann, they were personal and real enough for me to love (and hate!) them.
If anything annoyed me about the The Summer I Became a Nerd, it was the painful lying and double life Maddie clung to. I'm one of those readers who experience secondhand shame and embarrassment easily, and I knew she was going downhill fast, with barely enough time to finish the hole she was digging for herself. It frustrated me that she worried so much about what people--even people she didn't necessarily like and "friends" within quotes--thought about her, at the expense of not only other, truer friends, but HER OWN HAPPINESS. That just frustrated me.
Still, the good more than outweighed what could be called "bad," and the book stole my heart and inspired me to find more books that line up with my nerdiest side--I don't know now why I haven't before!
A book that is most certainly--say it with me--geek chic, The Summer I Became a Nerd gets
~If you like The Summer I Became a Nerd, try Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern~