Review: The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

May 1, 2013 3 - 3.5 Stars, Bad Love Triangle, Leah Rae Miller, Light Fare 3 ★★★

The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
Published by Entangled Teen on May 7, 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 267
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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.
Anyone who was ever bullied in high school may feel some sympathy for Maddie, who dared to expose a bit of herself and was laughed at for it.  However, she’s not your traditional bully victim, and she certainly doesn’t inspire the level of sympathy that, let’s call them “real,” victims do.  Maddie is a pretty, popular cheerleader, and her sin is that she…likes comic books.  No, it’s not quite the same as kids who are overweight, gay, or maybe just dress a little differently.  Nevertheless, Maddie is sweet (most of the time) and likable, and her inner comic book geek endeared her to me.

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.


3 Responses to “Review: The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller”

  1. Ruty B.

    Hahaha nice review 🙂
    I don’t think that I could realte with someone who has to wear disguises and hide her true self. But as you say maybe it just because I never felt the same pressure as her.
    Thnks for sharing


  2. Aman

    Oh, that’s one weird story and I don’t think I’d like it simply because I still don’t understand why Maddie had to hide and disguise herself. Isn’t she a popular girl, they get away with everything. What’s the big deal with loving comic books. Thanks for your review 🙂

  3. rivie bleu

    That’s why it’s better to not be so popular lol, you can like whatever you want and not care what others would think.

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