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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Book Review: The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rea Miller

Summer is rapidly coming to a close and what do I have to show for it??? Nothing. It's been too hot to be outside and the weather has been just miserable. Other than going to Medieval Times, The Renaissance Festival and a couple of movies, I've done nothing but work, chores and sleep. Pathetic.

But I digress. To salute the summer, I thought a fitting end would be to review the summer themed books I've read...but now that I think about it, I probably should have reviewed them more towards the beginning of summer. Oh well, I'm late on everything these days.

Nonetheless, I will commence with my Summer Fun Review Wrap Up. The first book on my list is The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller and it is all about how I met my a comic book store.

Book Description (From Amazon):
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.

My Review:
It all started with a Halloween costume contest in Junior High. Maddie dressed as her favorite comic book character and she thought she was the bee's knees. She put a lot of time and effort into her costume and was sure she was going to blow every one's minds. Instead, she got called a dork and was laughed off the stage.

Ever since then she has kept her Geek life secret, hidden. She has put a lot of effort into out-distancing her past. Now in High School she is popular, she's dating the quarterback and no one knows about her double life. She goes to great pains to keep it all hidden. She subscribes on line and downloads her comics, so no one will find out she reads comics.

All that goes south when she is expecting the final issue to her favorite comic to come in the mail, which was available only in printed copy, but shipping has been delayed 5 - 7 weeks. Knowing she can't wait that long, she decides to brave the local comic book store, but not before putting on a hat and glasses so no one will see her.

She gets to the store and like an adolescent trying to get an adult to buy them beer, she tries to get some guy to buy the comic for her so she doesn't have to set foot in the store. She offers him $10.00 and he tries to extort more money. When she refuses, he goes into the store, but when he comes out, he taunts her with an issue of the very comic she is looking for. He tells her she better buck up and go in the shop herself because there is only one copy left.

With her reputation hanging in the balance, she braves the comic store, but can't locate the book on the rack. When she asks for assistance, she recognizes the guy behind the counter, Logan Scott, who she has always had a bit of a crush on. She panics hoping he won't recognize her, but he asks if he knows her to which she replies she's from out of town.

As it turns out, the last issue is his issue, but after bantering back and forth, he lets her borrow the book. Since the shop is closing in a couple hours, he gives her his phone number so she can call once she's done reading it to make arrangements to return the comic.

Maddie keeps a comic journal. Once she's read the comic, she documents her thoughts about it in a journal. (An idea I think I am going to try for books since sometimes I read them and don't review for weeks. It will help keep things fresh in my mind I think.) After reading the comic and writing in her journal, she takes out the paper to call Logan to make arrangements to return the book, but she sees he has written a note saying, "I know your secret identity."

And so it begins. Her carefully crafted persona might be revealed because she was seen and recognized. If word gets out, her life will be ruined.

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