Series: Nerd #1
Published by Entangled Teen on May 7th 2013
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.
The Summer I Became a Nerd was a cute, fun read from debut author Leah Rae Miller. Being a bit of a nerd myself, I found myself caught up in this story about a girl called Maddie – a ‘closeted’ nerd – who over the course of a summer learns to embrace her inner-geek and accept herself for who she really is, not the image she has been trying to project to the world.
Maddie is a popular cheerleader who hides the fact that she adores comics from her friends (after an incident when she was younger left her feeling humiliated by her peers). Maddie desperately wants to read the final installment of her favourite comic book series and is disappointed when her online order cannot be fulfilled.
Never daring to actually be seen buying them from her local comic book store, Maddie adorns a disguise and sneaks into the shop. To her dismay, her classmate (and secret crush) Logan is behind the counter and sees through her cunning disguise. Logan agrees to loan Maddie his copy (as the last copy was just sold to the customer before her) which leads to the two of them beginning to strike up a friendship with Logan introducing Maddie to the world of role-playing (no not that kind!) and other so-called ‘nerdy’ activities.
Maddie is surprised at how much she enjoys spending time with Logan but their growing attraction is complicated by the fact that Maddie has a jock boyfriend that she has little in common with but she is still afraid to break up with him for fear of losing her carefully constructed shield of popularity. Although she really enjoys being with Logan, Maddie does not want to be seen in public with him and hides the fact that she has been spending time with him from her friends. Misunderstandings arise and Maddie must decide once and for all what is more important: her popularity or being true to herself…
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. It was on the frothy side and at times I did get irritated at Maddie for being so ashamed of liking comic books and hiding this side of herself for so many years but I could still really relate to her. I myself am not a comic book fan but have gotten some flack over the years for being into science fiction, gaming etc. so I could see why she did not want to draw attention to herself but I was really glad when she finally realized that it was nothing to be ashamed of. I really liked Logan a lot – and the fact that he was just an ordinary, slightly nerdy guy (always a weakness of mine lol).
This was a quick and entertaining read about being true to yourself as life is way too short to be so worried about what other people might think about you – a message that came across very strongly in The Summer I Became a Nerd.