Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern
You gotta love the title of this book. I did, and that’s why I picked it up. Those little flowery-looking things in the background? Those are 20-sided dice.
Yes, my nerdy friends, this is the book for YOU. (And you know who you are, although I shan’t name names.) (Yes I just wrote “shan’t.”)
Oh yes, the book review!
Set-Up: Contemporary middle-America (not Middle Earth, although Lord of the Rings references abound). Jessie’s so-called friends are using her, and it isn’t long into the story before they commit the cardinal sin: thou shalt not steal the crush of your BFF (or support said crush-thief). The so-called friends are also turning into punk poseurs, and they’re obnoxious.
Main character’s goals: Find new friends. Keep on making skirts. Stay away from the nerds, and stop crushing on hunky nerd boy.
My reaction: With her strange skirts, her math flashcards, and her love of audio books, I thought Jessie was already kind of a nerd (and she also admits this from the beginning), so why is she so worried about joining the uber-nerds? But soon I recognized the subtle differences of her habits and the habits of the species Totallus Ren-fair-ius World-of-Warcraftiae. Oops, that’s not WoW, it’s Dungeons and Dragons. I guess they’re different somehow.
Anyway, I still loved Jessie, and she’s funny, which makes the book funny, which makes me like it even if there are subtle shades of dork explored here.
Of interest to writers: The family is lovable, both parents are present, and Jessie gets unending support from these folks. I wonder if this book (along with Flash Burnout by L. K Madigan) is some sort of response to recent talk about parents always being absent or losers in young adult literature.
I think a couple of things were too easy for Jessie, like the ending with her old crush. That’s all I’m going to say, because I don’t want to give anything away.
Oh, and she does some wonderful “larger-than-life” things, like how she resolves things with Bizza, and with the old crush.
Bottom Line: Totally worth a read, even if you aren’t a Renaissance Fair-attending, 20-sided dice-rolling, skirt-making nerd. Even a cool person would want to be this cool nerd’s friend.
To learn more about Julie Halpern and her books, you can visit her website by clicking here.
And! Winner of a signed copy of Vintage Veronica….
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I’ll be in touch to talk about the details of getting you your very own, autographed copy of Vintage Veronica by Erica Perl!
(It’s a contest. An overabundance of exclamation points is totally warranted.) !!!!!!