Published by Entangled Teen on May 7, 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.
Maybe because I was not a popular cheerleader like Maddie, I couldn’t exactly relate to her plight. To indulge her comic book-shopping habit, Maddie wears disguises and sneaks around like she’s invloved in a covert op. It seems more than a little over the top, but then, perhaps I don’t fully appreciate the peer pressure that exists among high school students to be “cool” and to fit in. I thought Maddie’s paranoia would lessen as the story progressed, but the opposite happened. These are the times that made it difficult to like her. I also could not understand why a seemingly nice, sweet girl would date a gross primate like Eric. Side note – did he have to be SO gross and ill-mannered? I suppose this was done to create a stark contrast to Maddie’s fellow comic book-loving guy, Logan, but it wasn’t necessary. When Logan turns on the charm, he’s wonderful. But he also has a tendency to act like a whiny baby at times. There were times when I wished Maddie would kick both guys to the curb.
You don’t have to love comic books or comic conventions to enjoy this story, but it will help. If you’re looking for a book that is lightweight fun, and you are willing to set aside some of the character flaws, The Summer I Became a Nerd is a pick that won’t tax your brain.
Review posted at Goodreads.