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….


wait for it…


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.) !!!!!!