The Summer I Became a Nerd should really be entitled The Summer I Learned to be Myself because Maddie didn’t “become” a nerd, she was born that way. Maddie has a minor traumatic experience when she is in middle school that convinces her if she ever wants to be liked by other people, she needs to hide her true self from them. This leads to her double life. By day she is a carefree cheerleader who loves pop music and has a football playing boyfriend, and by night she is a comic book loving, scri-fi watching, geek.
Our heroine’s secret identity is threatened when she is found out by the school’s resident nerd king, and her secret crush, Logan. One day Maddie is forced to enter her personal version of Disney World, (And the one place that a popular girl like her should never been seen.) a comic shop called The Phoenix, and who should she run into? That’s right, it’s Logan.
This fated encounter leads to Maddie desperately trying and failing to hold on to her popular girl image while spending more and more time with Logan doing the things she loves. Logan is too nice of a guy to reveal her secret to the world, but when faced with the option to continue constantly lying to everyone about who she is or letting go and actually enjoying her life, she finds it harder and harder to keep lying. Not to mention, she can’t stop thinking about a certain adorkable guy and his “cute boy lips”. (Her words, not mine.)
Even though I like to consider myself a nerd, Maddie and Logan are the kind of nerds I hope to grow up to be someday. Even though I’m not personally into comics and role-playing games, Ethan and Maddie made those things seem like so much fun. And I love how the author wrote the scenes where Ethan and Maddie role played.
The Summer I Became a Nerd, is a great little story about a young woman learning to stop worrying so much about what others think and instead focus on making sure she treated people around her well and stayed true to herself. And while Maddie was growing up and learning to like herself, she also grew closer to people in her life, met some great new friends, and fell for an incredibly cute boy who liked all the same things she liked. The term “epic Summer” is to light for what this girl experienced!
Some random thoughts I had while reading this:
“Why can’t all the YA romances I read be this cute?
“You know, role-playing really isn’t all that weird. I mean why is it any stranger for people to meet up and play a game while in costume than it is for them to perform a play in a theater, shoot an independent film, or run around is shorts bouncing an orange ball around and trying to throw it in a hoop?”
“Kiss the darn girl already, Logan!”
“Tell your friends you like comics already, Maddie!”
“Awww, look they kissed!”
Because of language and some under aged drinking , I would recommend this book for ages 13 and up. There was no sexual content and the main characters did not drink.