Iz So Fluffeh!

The Summer I Became a Nerd - Leah Rae Miller

But it was a 5 for sheer entertainment and Taxidermist Todd: The Giraffe Stuffer.


Maddie is a cheerleader who's a closet comic book geek hell bent on keeping her reputation as the popular girl in school. She has accessorized her life with the quarterback boyfriend, the popular best friend and all of Taylor Swift Allison Blair's CDs to convince the rest she's like everyone else. Not some weird, costume-wearing girl who's secretly crushing on Peter Parker and Logan Scott, the soccer player who's always reading comics and high fantasy books around school.


I must admit, I didn't fall in love with this book at first sigh. High school stereotypes were flying everywhere, some borderline offensive to nerds. I had some expectations on how this book was going to deliver the message of being true to yourself, namely a clear contrast of Maddie the Cheerleader and Maddie the Geek but it didn't go there and at first, I wasn't sure I liked the direction it was taking. It was funny but it wasn't my kind of funny. I felt Maddie's point of view and her struggle to please everyone at the expense of her own happiness felt like a problem better suited for someone younger than 17.


Then I realize how most of the YA heroines I've been reading about were 17-year old girls with 30-year old problems and maybe I haven't been 17 for a while to actually remember how it really is to be one.


"Peter broke up with me. He called from Florida."

"Oh my God. You two have been together for how long? Like eight months?"

"Yeah, well, he said we'd gotten too serious." we both make a pfft sound at the same time.


When I let that issue go, it became much easier to enjoy Maddie's dorky perspective and Logan's ridiculous charm. I think Logan Scott may have fumbled his way into my heart: the guy hosts a college radio show called Awesome Logan's Show of Awesome and he dances a mean robot, how can you not suffocate from all that adorbs? Plus he brought Maddie to a LARP of Ages game for their first date. It's quite easy to understand how the cheerleader ended up chasing after him.


"Don't worry, my parents are cool. I mean, my dad will probably want to show off all his guns, so that might be fun for you."


I might have been slightly disappointed there wasn't an actual "Gun Show" from Maddie's dad, because let's be honest, in a YA book, that would've been golden. But the larping scenes totally, TOTALLY made up for it. It was something different and something awesome. I do not know the first thing about larping or D&D or Magic: The Gathering so I have no idea how accurate was the game depicted here, but I felt that it was woven in the story pretty well without making it seem gratuitous and undoubtedly capable of making anyone smile.


So yes, I believe we may have found the answer to world peace.