{Book Review} The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

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{Book Review} The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae MillerThe Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Series: Nerd #2
Published by Macmillan on May 7th 2013
Genres: Emotions & Feelings, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Amazon five-stars
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.

Nerd love is the best kind of love. I read this series out of sequence (I know, right? Who am I and what have I done with the real me?). Romancing the Nerd was full of nerd references, and I had a difficult time not fangirling a few times. If you’re a nerd at any degree, there will be something in these books for you. Whether it’s the Firefly and Doctor Who references, or the Star Wars and Star Trek rivalry, these characters touched a special place in my heart—especially Maddie. When I read the second book in the series first (obviously you don’t have to read them succinctly), I loved her attitude and the way she looked at life. Even as a background character, she had a presence. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her story with Logan and practically clicked buy now and finally spent that Christmas gift card before I knew what had happened.

Maddie was a cheerleader. She had carefully crafted her life since a disastrous middle school experience and made sure that people saw what she wanted them to see. The Maddie that had notebooks filled with her reactions to books, surreptitiously watched the mailbox for the comic book she had preordered, and watched sci-fi reruns with her dad, disappeared when she stepped out of her house. I liked watching her find her find her way. She already knew who she was, but she had to learn how to be comfortable with that person. I think her character speaks to me—and others—because she shows a part of herself that she didn’t realize was there: the one that only saw her side of things. Her journey of self-discovery was just as good as watching her relationship with Logan find its footing.

I fall in love with book boys all the time, usually a few times a week. Logan is boyfriend goals. Their love story was slightly different than I had expected. For instance, they had noticed each other a lot sooner than either of them would admit to the other. I liked that they seemed to fit—insta-love wasn’t even an option, though, and their relationship had a great pace. Logan coerced the side of Maddie that she had kept hidden to make an appearance, and her transformation was all the better with him at her side. Plus, he had the perfect level of nerd and the cute, awkward thing going on (you may not swoon, but he held my heart).

Nerd love should make more of an appearance in books. I’ve never witnessed or been to anything involving LARPing, but I’ve never wanted to more in my life. The world of Comic Cons and fandoms opened up and invites readers in to join on the wonderful life of rereading books because you can, watching reruns of shows that should not have been canceled, and dressing up as your favorite character just because it’s fun. Miller looked at popularity—the good, the bad, and the friends that will stick by you no matter what. Amongst all of the geeky goodness is a story about being yourself and finding the people in life who accept that person.

Moriah (1)

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About Leah Rae Miller

Mother, wife, and YA author living on a windy hill in Louisiana. I love fuzzy socks, comic books, cherry coke, and brand new office supplies. THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD released Summer 2013 and ROMANCING THE NERD released in Spring 2016 from Entangled Teen.

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