The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
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. (Goodreads)
Maddie is a nerd. I mean, she’s popular and a cheerleader and dating a football stud, but she has this secret life where she obsesses over comic books and journals about her favorite characters and issues. It’s way geeky. And by geeky I mean AWESOME. Since being teased about her obsession in junior high, Maddie’s hidden this side of herself. When summer comes and her boyfriend is away and the new issue of some comic book she’s chomping at the bit to read has just come out, Maddie goes to the comic store incognito to buy it. This is where she meets Logan. Cute, nerdalicious, Logan with the dark hair and freckles (seriously, a football player boyfriend? Who’d want that when there’s Logan?). Logan recognizes Maddie immediately and the two become friends. They bond over comics. They start to hang out. He takes her LARPing (I know! Where were all the Logans when I was in high school?). But Mr. Football player is coming home soon. School will be starting again and Maddie has to decide where her heart lies and if she can (or should) continue hiding who she really is.
You had me at comic books. Oh, and then freckles. And then, the coup de gras? The LARPing. Sign me up for Nerdvana. Honestly, this book was adorable. It was such a sweet, cute, summer read. I liked Maddie so much. Of course, as an adult, I thought it was silly that she needed to hide her true self. I knew no one would really care about her comic book obsession and if they did they weren’t worth being friends with–but life is so much easier when you’re watching someone else make the mistakes. Eventually, what I loved about Maddie is that she fully embraces who she is. It’s not without struggle or conflict, but it does happen. And let me tell you, she’s petty freaking awesome. And Logan was fantastic from the start. He saw who Maddie was and he helped bring her out of her shell. There was always that part of him that didn’t believe a girl like Maddie could like him, and truly, I think that made him more endearing.
The world Miller opened up in this small town among Maddie’s friends and Logan’s friends, as well as the cute families each had, just made me happy. This was a book I looked forward to picking up and diving into. There were so many sweet parts, so many moments that made me giggle or smile. I would read it again in a heartbeat.
Crush Intensity: 4.5 Super stinking cute. Read it!
Thank you to Entangled Teen for sending an e-galley to me (and my SC pals) for review.