On the outside, seventeen-year-old Madelyne Summers looks like your typical blond cheerleaderperky, 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.
About the Author
Mother, wife, and YA author living on a windy hill in Natchitoches, Louisiana, Leah Rae Miller loves fuzzy socks, comic books, cherry coke, and brand new office supplies. The Summer I Became a Nerd is her first novel.
Read an Excerpt
The Summer I Became a Nerd
By Leah Rae Miller, Heather Howland, Sue Winegardner
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2013 Leah Rae Miller
All rights reserved.
Louisiana summers are unforgiving. Or maybe I'm too freaking impatient to tolerate the usual ninety-six-degrees-in-the-shade heat. The final book in The Super Ones comic book series, which I've been obsessing over for years, comes out today, and I'm waiting for Randy Henderson from down the street to finish mowing our lawn so I can check the mailbox. Normally, I download my comics and read them on the computer so there's no physical proof of my secret life, but the author of this particular series has insisted the final book only be available in print.
Hurry up, Randy. Except, I think my impatience has made things worse. I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm checking him out. Every few minutes, he sends me a sideways glance from where he sits atop his riding mower and tries his best to do a crooked grin like he's Robert Pattinson or something. I bet he's practiced it in the mirror. I hope he doesn't hit on me tomorrow at school. Eric, my boyfriend, has never actually hurt someone for checking me out. He's usually too busy being a "dude-bro." It's all about football and chicks and "dude-bro, we should totally go mud riding this weekend." But catching Randy checking me out would be a chance to cause physical harm which, let's face it, is what football is mostly about. And Eric is good at football.
Finally, Randy rounds the large pecan tree in our front yard, cutting the final patch of grass, and heads down our driveway. As he turns right onto the street to go home, he waves back at me, revealing a thick mass of dark, curly underarm hair. Did you know smiling suppresses the gag reflex? I do, so I smile and wave back.
Once the sound of the lawn mower is barely audible, I jump up and run off the porch. Maybe it's more of a sprint. A dash? Either way, I manage to get to the mailbox and pull out the contents with near-inhuman speed. As soon as I spot the manila envelope, I swear angels sing. I super-run back to the house and dump all the mail on the kitchen counter, except for the manila envelope. I take the stairs to the second floor in leaps and bounds. Grabbing the frame of my door before I fly past it, I use my momentum to swing into my room. The door slams closed behind me.
I throw the envelope onto the bed, not wanting to look at it until I'm ready. This is too important to simply breeze through the moment. I dig out my comic journal from its hiding place in the closet — on the top shelf, stuck inside a stack of sweaters that won't be brought out until early December — and throw it on the bed, as well. It's just a notebook where I keep all my thoughts about the books I read, but to me it's a treasure trove of secret identities, quotes, and life lessons only superhumans can teach.
I kick off my flip-flops a little too hard and they hurtle through the room, almost knocking over my bedside lamp. Whoops. I twist my blond hair into a messy bun on the top of my head. Can't have any tendrils escaping while I'm reading and blocking my view.
This is it. Is Marcus, The Sonic One, strong enough to defeat Baron Gravity? Or will he be sucked into oblivion by one of Baron Gravity's randomly created black holes? Will Wendy realize she loves Marcus and fly to his rescue? Does Grayson, the lovable but oblivious sidekick also known as The Young One, die, thereby making me cry because he never found out the true identity of his parents?
I sink into my plush comforter and cross my legs under me. I pull off the purple pen that's been hanging onto the spiral wire binding of my comic journal, turn to a blank page, and write: The Super Ones #400.
I am ready.
Eyes closed, I pick up the envelope. I blindly feel for the flap, open it, and pull out the comic. It's thin, but oh-so-crisp. There's nothing better than the smell of fresh ink, so I take a deep breath to lock away the memory of this moment. After making sure I have it facing the correct way by fingering the pages with my right thumb and sliding the tip of my left index finger over the staples binding it, I take another deep breath, then open my eyes.
Your Organic Garden and You
I throw my comic journal off my lap and lean over the side of the bed to grab the discarded envelope. Nothing else in there. There are only regular envelopes on the kitchen counter. I couldn't have missed it.
I scramble to my desk and turn on my laptop, barely resisting the urge to call it a slow piece of junk and cursing myself further. I pull up my e-mail, which I haven't checked since I got home from school, because I had been too busy watching Randy do his Robert Pattinson impression. Sure enough, there's an e-mail.
Dear Madelyne Jean Summers,
Due to unprecedented demand, The Super Ones #400 is currently out of stock. Your copy will be shipped in 5-7 weeks. We apologize for the inconvenience.
They apologize? Are they kidding?! I can't wait five to seven weeks. I must know now! Can Wendy, a.k.a. The Bright Frenzy, man-up and tell her father to get a life so she can fly off to the war-ravaged planet of Zocore in order to sacrifice herself in the ensuing battle? Will Marcus make a dying attempt to block a severe radiation blast heading straight for Young One's face?
It's too much to deal with. I must get my hands on issue #400.
There's only one place in town that would have a copy. Is the risk of being seen and losing my place atop Natchitoches Central's elite worth it? No. Absolutely not. It's been a long, hard climb to the top of the popularity ladder. It took a lot of deceit and subterfuge to get people to forget The Costume Incident. And once something like that is started, there's no going back. I've been at it for five years now. Not having anyone to geek out with over the latest superhero movie (other than my brother, but he doesn't count), having to hold my tongue about all my fandoms, making a mad dash to hide all nerdy evidence every time a friend shows up at my house unannounced ... I'm in a constant state of "no one can know," and it sucks.
But ... can I go two months without knowing? Can I last two months without going on the comic book forums, Twitter, or Facebook for fear of spoilers?
Of course I can't.
Damn your awesomeness, Super Ones.
I grab a hoodie, my dad's green Boston Celtics cap, and I make double sure my shades are in my purse.
Drastic times call for drastic measures.CHAPTER 2
There it is. The Phoenix.
You know how some people say Paris is one of their favorite places even though they've never been there? The Phoenix is like that for me.
An image of a yellow and orange flaming bird hangs above the door, and through the windows I can see row upon row of comics in all their Mylar-encased glory. I don't know how many times I've driven by here and almost rear-ended someone because I was trying to ogle the newest life-size cardboard cutout of Wolverine or Captain America or whoever.
And now I'm here. Of course, I'm not actually parked in their parking lot. I'm technically in the Mes Amis lot next door. My friends and I love this restaurant but for different reasons. My best friend, Terra, loves the low-fat cheesecake. Eric loves the double bacon cheeseburger. I love the fact that I can see the display windows of The Phoenix from our usual booth.
I turn my car off since I don't have an air conditioner. It's just blowing hot air in my face, making me sweat like I'm about to do a toe-touch off the top of the pyramid at halftime. I put on my dad's cap, my big, retro sunglasses, and my sunshine-yellow hoodie. Satisfied with my incognito ensemble, I jump out of the car and duck between the other vehicles to sneak my way to the small, shaded alley separating Mes Amis and The Phoenix.
I set up camp and wait. If I peek around the edge of the building, I can see The Phoenix's front door, but no one is coming in or out. I wait some more, passing the time by doing a little positive visualization: me, sitting in my air-conditioned room with The Super Ones #400 in my hands.
Just then, I hear someone pull up.
Out of the small Toyota Corolla steps a guy, probably in his thirties. He's balding and has a stain on his red T-shirt. Before he can make it to the door, I let out a loud, "Psst!"
He stops and looks around, then notices me. I wave him over and duck back down the alley. After a second, his head appears around the corner, one eyebrow raised. "Yes?"
"Want to earn five bucks for two minutes of work?" I try to sound as unconcerned as possible.
"What do you want?"
"I give you money, you go in there" — I shove a thumb at the wall behind me — "and buy me a copy of The Super Ones #400. You get the change and five extra bucks. Deal?" I stare at him over the tops of my sunglasses.
"Why don't you buy it yourself?"
"I just can't, okay? So, do we have a deal?"
"Make it ten dollars, plus the change." He crosses his arms like he's haggling at a swap meet.
My mouth drops open. "But I don't have any more cash. Just ten dollars, three dollars for the book, leaving seven dollars for you. Come on!"
"Nothin' doin'." He shakes his head and walks away.
The bell rings as he goes inside, and I flop against the brick wall of the store. What a jerk!
"It's okay," I say out loud. "Someone else will be by any second."
After a few minutes, the bell rings again, and I hear, "Psst."
The guy is standing there with a thin paper bag. The Phoenix's emblem blazes across it. He slowly pulls out a comic, lifts the plastic flap, and presses his nose to the opening. He takes a deep whiff.
"Ahhhh," he says as he releases the breath. "Pictures and words. All that brand new ink. It's intoxicating."
"What is that?" I blurt out and take a deep breath, too, hoping somehow that beautiful smell will reach me.
"The Super Ones #400." He smiles and puts it back in the paper bag.
"Just show me the cover, please," I say as he unlocks his car door.
"Sorry. No time. I have reading to do." Before he leaves, though, he rolls down his window and yells, "You might want to man up and go in there. There's only one copy left."
My heartbeat speeds up, and my palms start to sweat even more. Is it worth the risk? I ask myself as I begin to pace.
It's not like any of my friends are going to come in, and I'm thoroughly disguised even if someone I knew did happen to be in there.
Only one copy left.
I have to take the chance.
I take a fortifying breath and square my shoulders before I stroll up to the glass door of The Phoenix.
I can't believe it. The Phoenix. I'm about to go into The Phoenix!
I pull the door open, and the twinkly bell I heard from the alley sounds above me. The store is set up like a book itself. I'm standing at the end of a long empty walkway. On both sides of me, metal, A-frame racks are lined up like pages waiting to reveal their awesomeness. Spinning racks are scattered throughout the store. Collectable action figures mint-in-the-box and key chains featuring superhero logos dangle from the racks' hooks. One spinning rack is covered top to bottom with slim foil packages containing Magic: The Gathering playing cards. If I wasn't trying to be sneaky about this whole thing, I'd give that rack of commons, uncommons, and rares a big ole whirl just to see the shimmery packets reflect the summer sunlight filtering through the windows.
"Welcome to The Phoenix, can I help you find anything?" a guy's voice asks from the end of the walkway.
Keeping my head down, I dart down one of the aisles on my left. "Just looking," I say and then snort at my own silly attempt to sound like a man.
"Let me know if you need any help."
There's a hint of suspicion is in his voice, but I stay hidden. Superspeed would be handy right now. I could find my book and leave the money on the counter without being seen. "Okay."
Then, I get lost. Lost in the bright colors of the covers, lost in the stacks and stacks of lovely, numerically organized issues. The comics are grouped by publisher and alphabetically by series. There's Marvel's Ant-Man next to The Avengers. Booster Gold and Blue Beetle from DC. By the time I come across Fables, my number three favorite Vertigo title, I've run out of shelves on this side. I zip across the empty aisle and try to focus on the task at hand. The Super Ones must be somewhere in the middle of these shelves. There's Sandman, Superman, ah ha, The Super Ones.
I slide out the last comic in the stack.
I search the surrounding stacks, thinking maybe that money-exploiting jerk hid it from me, but I can't find it.
Here's the part where any normal person trying not to be recognized would give up and leave. Actually, a normal person wouldn't have disguised themselves in the first place, but that's a whole other matter. I, being a very nonnormal person, am going to have to ask the cashier and hope he's some college kid that won't give me a second look.
I take another fortifying breath and walk up to the counter. The guy is bent so far over a comic I can only see the top of his head, which is covered with brown, messy hair. I make an "ahem" noise to get his attention, but he doesn't look up. I raise my sunglasses up a little to glance at the book he's reading. I see a full splash page of Marcus. His whole body is contorted in agony as he screams — and I know he's screaming because the speech bubble next to his head is all pointy — "NOOOOOO!!!!" I squeeze my eyes shut, not wanting the book to be spoiled for me, but the damage is already done. I'm at the end of my rope.
"Do you have a copy of The Super Ones #400?" I say, abandoning my faux-guy voice.
He finally looks up, and I recognize him. Not only do I recognize him, I know him. I could probably tell you what shoes he's wearing (black and white chucks with frayed laces) even though his lower half is hidden behind the counter. I know this because he's kind of been my geek idol for a while now and I've ... paid attention.
Last year, he got in trouble at school because he was wearing pornography. At least, that's what the students were told, when in reality, he was just wearing a T-shirt sporting an Adam Hughes drawing of Power Girl. Ridiculous, I know. I mean, Adam Hughes is one of the best purveyors of the female form in comics today, even if he has a tendency to overexaggerate certain body parts.
Ever since then, I've had a thing for Logan Scott. Not an actual thing since I have a boyfriend and that would be bad, but he's got these cute freckles on his nose and cheeks, probably from playing soccer — he's the Natchitoches Central High School's goalie — and he's always reading, comics mostly, but every once in a while, I'll catch him with a high fantasy book with dragons or elves on the cover. Not that I'm stalking him or anything.
He has really nice eyes, though.
His brow furrows when he looks at me. "Sorry, we're all out."
"Really? What's that?" I point at the book he's currently stuffing under the counter.
"It's ..." He trails off as he takes in the way I'm dressed. He tilts his head to the side like he's trying to see behind me. I whip around, thinking someone else is there, but the store is still empty. When I turn back, a knowing smile plays at the edges of his mouth. Sighing right now would be bad, but he has perfect boy-lips — not too full, not too thin.
He props his chin on his fist. "Do I know you?"
"Uh, no, I mean, I don't think so. I'm just passing through town. I mean, I don't live here or anything so how could you know me?" I say in a rush.
"Okay." He squints like he can pull a confession out of me with his eyes alone. "That's too bad, because this is the last copy."
He pulls #400 out and waves it around, which sends electricity shooting through me because: (1) it's right in front of my face, and I can see the amazing cover, and (2) the way he's flopping it around is breaking the spine, which breaks my heart. You'd think a guy who works at a comic shop would be a little more careful.
Instinct kicks in, and I throw out my hands like he has a gun pointed at a puppy. He stops and lays the book on the counter between us.
"Why is it too bad?" I ask. "I'm a paying customer. I give you money, you give me #400. That's how these things work." I tentatively reach for #400, but he slaps his hand down flat on top of it.
Excerpted from The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller, Heather Howland, Sue Winegardner. Copyright © 2013 Leah Rae Miller. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Oh, how I adore this book!!! I happened to see a tweet a few weeks ago from Heather at Entangled Publishing offering folks the chance to read this book in ARC form in exchange for an honest review. I had heard about the book a while back when they did a cover reveal around the blogosphere, and I knew I wanted to read it, so I jumped at the chance. And I am so glad that I did! To be honest, I don't read a lot of contemporaries, or many humorous books, so this book was very refreshing and came at the perfect time. At bottom, this is a book about being true to who you are, about not putting on a mask or creating a character for yourself to play that corresponds with who you think you "should" be or are expected to be. It is a great message, and I LOVE IT. I can't believe I'm about to say this, because I LOVE the movie GREASE (and GREASE 2!) and can recite pretty much every single line in the movie (and the soundtrack remains in my car permanently, because you never know when you just HAVE to hear "There Are Worse Things I Could Do"!!), BUT I'll just be honest: the message of this book is pretty much the antithesis of the message of GREASE, and that's a good thing. I know I'm dating myself, so bear with me if you're a young'un who (GASP) hasn't seen the movie... As we know, in GREASE Sandy wants a boy, Danny, so she completely changes her look and her behavior to get him; she becomes someone not really her, pouring herself into tight leather pants, strapping on high heels, and even smoking a cigarette. Finally, of course, Danny realizes he wants to be with her and oh, how nice, he'll no longer be mocked for falling in love with good girl Sandra Dee. Nice. As much as I love that movie, I've always been uncomfortable with the message that it sends, even as far back as when I was 10. This book, however, has the total opposite message - ie, that being true to yourself and who you are is really the only way to find TRUE happiness...and true love. With the unbelievable pressures kids face these days, the bullying and the anti-intellectualism and all that, I applaud Ms. Miller for embracing this message!! Now, despite what I just said, you shouldn't think this book is sickeningly sappy, or that it's heavy-handed or preachy about how kids should act, because it's not. It is just a hilarious book with great characters and a fun plot that subtly reminds us that it's okay to be who we really are. There were times when I would bust out laughing while reading the book, several nights, in fact, causing a little friction in my marriage because my husband was trying to sleep or something :) (at those times I would reluctantly put it aside and pull out the dystopian I was also reading!). If Ms. Miller is half as funny in real life as she was writing this book, then I have no doubt I would love hanging out with her! I would also love to hang out with one Madelyne Jean Summers, or Maddie as her friends and family call her. In fact, she reminded me a lot of myself during high school! (That seems to be a common thread running through many people's experience with the book; she's a very relatable character.) Okay, so I was definitely NOT a cheerleader, nor was I at (or anywhere near) the top of my school's popularity pyramid, but boy did I ever see myself in many of her actions and thoughts when she was geeking out in private! The major difference is that I never really tried to hide my nerdiness - it would've been near impossible anyway, what with my coke bottle glasses, my straight As, and my penchant for books with dragons or spaceships on the cover! I also had Maddie's sarcasm and snarkiness, although, like her, I wasn't mean when I was being snarky. Often it was a defense mechanism of sorts, which I felt was also the case for Maddie. I'd say that most of the passages I flagged while reading were Maddie's own words, whether in dialogue with another character or just talking to herself. She's a funny girl! Ms. Miller did an excellent job with the actual writing in this book. It was so easy to read, but not because it's juvenile or unsophisticated writing; in fact, I felt it was quite the opposite. There are so many great quotes I pulled out from this book; I wrote down quite a few gems, in several cases making the notation "SO ME!!" next to them :) And not all of them were funny; Ms. Miller also wrote great serious scenes and dialogue, romantic scenes that will make your stomach flutter as if *you* are the one falling in love for the first time, and really fun action scenes. I've never been to Natchitoches, but it sure came alive for me through her writing, which I guess makes sense since she lives there! But it's still not something that every writer can pull off, even if they are writing about their own town. I made a note at one point that her imagery was excellent, that I could see what was happening in my head as if it were a movie. She also nailed what it's like to grow up in a small town in the South - the gossip, how everyone knows everyone else, the high school parties, all of it. I also really appreciated the fact that parents were a significant part of the story; several characters' parents show up and are active throughout. In fact, it wasn't just parents but also siblings, and it was so much fun to get to see the main characters interacting with their families. Speaking of characters, I adored them! Each one was really a distinct personality, and they complemented one another so well, even when they were in conflict with each other. In other words, there was no character that seemed out of place or unnecessary in the book. Dan, Logan's best friend, was definitely a top contender for my affection ;) I think that there will be at least one character in the book that everyone can relate to, or that will remind you of someone you knew growing up. In my opinion, that ability to identify with the characters makes for a great reading experience. You will root for all of them, I promise!! (Well, except, perhaps, for a certain "dark fairy" and drama queen cheerleader....) I had so many quotes I wanted to share with you in this review, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt it would be best to let each reader experience these in context and enjoy discovering them for the first time on their own. I will say, however, that my favorite scene is near the beginning of the book, and finds our dear Maddie in the alley next to the comic book shop in shades, her dad's ball cap, and a sweatshirt, despite the Louisiana summer heat. I promise you, you WILL laugh at her encounter with Mr. More Money! Finally, I will close with a quote from the final issue of Maddie's favorite comic series: "Be true to yourself and others will be true to you, too." Let's all do our best to instill that message in our children - and ourselves! Thank you to Entangled Publishing and Leah Rae Miller for letting me read an ARC of this book. I had a blast reading it, and I'll be recommending it to as many people as I can!
A review copy was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. If you are looking for a wonderful summertime read, this book is absolutely perfect. I adored absolutely everything about this book, and I’m sure you will too. Madelyne Summers is an all-American girl. She is very popular in school, has a lot of friends, and is a cheerleader. But deep inside, she is a flat-out major nerd, but she can’t show it to anyone in fear that she’ll be made fun of. Over the summer, she gets to really know Logan and immerse herself in the world of nerd awesomeness. But can she let go of all her insecurities and just be herself before she loses Logan forever? Maddie was a really great heroine when she was totally being herself. I loved when she was with Logan but didn’t really like when she was pretending to be someone that she is not. I thought it was so great how she has had a crush on Logan for a while when her true self was in hiding. I loved her development throughout the book, starting with a girl who disguised herself to walk into a comic store to a girl who shouts out her feelings for a nerd. In public. It was a great transition, and she ended up who she was on the inside on the outside. Logan is the most adorkablest guy in the whole planet. I seriously want my own. He’s the epitome of sweetness and cuteness wrapped into one delicious package. He’s on the soccer team but is a total nerd like Maddie. He’s really sure of himself and who he is, and he helps Maddie realize that it’s definitely okay to be a nerd on the outside. But oh my word. I swooned hard over Logan. Logan the good boy for the win! Dan, Logan’s best friend, is the comedian of this book. He may be hilarious, but he as a freakishly deep side which was really helpful to Maddie. I loved Logan’s family too, especially his mom. Eric, Maddie’s boyfriend, I could have done without. He represented everything that Maddie was on the outside. Superficial. Terra, Maddie’s best friend, was pretty shallow and really annoying at the beginning, but she redeemed herself at the end. The plot was amazing. I read it in one sitting, which is surprisingly hard in college to find the time. Miller’s writing was pure genius. Maddie’s POV was snarky and funny, and I just got her completely. All her insecurities were my insecurities. All her swooning over adorkable Logan was my swooning over adorkable Logan. Maddie and Logan have the cutest relationship ever. They bond together over their common love of nerdy things, and they have a solid friendship. It blossoms into something way more. They seriously had the cutest moments together. Just read and you’ll see. :) If you can’t tell by my glowing review, I definitely recommend this book for everyone. I read it just in time for summer, even though I’m already a nerd. Enjoy! Favorite Swoon-worthy Quote: Despite the heat, a shiver runs across my neck. I turn and lean into him. He plants his lips firmly against mine and wraps his arms around me, pulling me to him. We stay like that for a very long time. I run my hands through his already messy hair. His hands drift up my back, and I don’t care that the itchy fabric of my cheerleader top is scratching my skin even more, because he’s the reason. He’s the reason for a lot of things these days. Rating: 5/5 Tar Heels!
So if you're too school for cool And you're treated like a fool You could choose to let it go We can always, we can always party on our own~Pink So nerds, let us party on our own, and read this wonderfully cute book. Maddie is a cheerleading, pop-music loving, boy obsessed, popular girl, or is she? Who is Madelyne Summers? Does she even like to cheerlead? Alright so I won’t go spoiling THAT big question ;) but I will say this, there is more to her than meets the eye (next thing you know I’ll be quoting Spider Man). Let me set the scene, first week of summer she is absolutely and 100% percent excited! But about what? Hanging out with her boyfriend? NO. Going to the beach? No. A new comic book? Shhh! *cough...yes...cough* Madelyne Summers is a nerd, *GASP*. Alright so if you didn’t catch any of the sarcasm in any of that, congratulations internet you have successfully rendered my humor obsolete. applause ensues. Maddie is a sweetie pie when she is true to herself and when she isn't worried about appearances I really enjoyed her. But it was getting through the moment when she was ashamed of liking superheroes or thinking that the new pop singer song is crap. I am, however, biased. I went to see Avenger three times in theaters, I saw Hunger Games twice, I went to see one of my favorite authors and almost fainted, and going to Comic-con is on my Bucket List (just to give you a glimpse of my nerdiness). So, having to go through her tug-of-war of being O.K. with her nerdiness did get a little frustrating. She did make up for it all though but I won't say too much to ruin it all. Though the book is about Maddie and her journey, there is-of course :)- a guy. Now I won’t go as far to say that he is my all time favorite book boyfriend of all time. But if I met a Logan in real life I’d be like, Marry me marry me now! He is such a sweet, honest, and patient guy that gives everybody way more chances than they deserve. He is, in one word: adorkable, completely and utterly 100% unavoidably adorkable and OMG I love him. So if you want to laugh your patootie off, get embarrassed, what a sweet romance unfold, and journey through a summer of self discovery then pick up one of this years perfect summer reads, The Summer I Became A Nerd by Leah Rae Miller. ~Rain
4.5 If you're looking for a great summer read, this is it! Grab it, and enjoy! The title pulled me in. You know, since i have nerdy tendencies. The hubby makes fun of me for it, but he loves me because of my nerdiness! :P Anyways, we get to see Maddie as a child, and learn why she tries to so hard to be the popular girl. The Summer I Became a Nerd is about Maddie learning to be comfortable with herself. She's constantly trying to make sure everyone else is happy with her, but not if she's happy with herself. While I adored Maddie, there were times I wanted to wring her neck. She acts like the world will end if people know she loves comic books. But she doesn't understand, that really nobody cares that much. And if they do, they are jerks. I wished she could always be herself instead of hiding who she was from the people she's supposed to be closest to. Maddie finds herself sucked into a fun summer with Logan. He makes her happy, and feel comfortable. The only problem is Maddie's told so many lies she doesn't know what to do. She can't keep being fake because she's bound to explode. This is such an endearing book. I didn't want to put it down. It's light, and you learn a lesson at the end. Well, we know the lesson, but Maddie finds it a little harder to comprehend. It's a fun read, and I can't recommend it enough. Leah's writing style is great. She keeps things simple, but definitely knows her "adorkable" nerd talk. :D Some of my friends will be getting this as gifts. ;) Perfect for a summer spent by the pool, or at The Phoenix!
To quote Logan, “For all that’s good and holy!” This book is full of geeky awesomeness that can’t be fully described in a review. Be ready to bring out your inner geek in full force. Get your reading glasses ready, your PJs and please, please get yourself some cookies (and something to drink!) because The Summer I Became a Nerd hit the fandom feeling right in the center and will have you geeking out along with her. Lea Rae Miller’s debut novel has clever dialogues, laugh out loud moments, super relatable characters and a summer romance that will have you looking into comics stores for your own Logan. What I really enjoyed about this book was the new take on the popular/nerdy dilemma. Maddie is your typical blond cheerleader. She has good grades, she knows everything about the latest TV drama, she loves the new “IT” singer and she has the star quarterback as boyfriend. But still she wants more. Maddie wants to enjoy a summer full of catching up to comics in the safety of her home, but the Lord of all that’s awesome has other plans… and that new comic issue she’s been dying to read? Yeah... out of stock, so she has to wait or venture into the comic store in town. Now, this is where all the fun begins and we meet Logan! Logan is your hometown nerd. He also is the goalie in the soccer team (Hello, good body of Logan!) has blue – blue eyes and freckles… perfection, anyone?Logan is also one of the sweetest guys ever written. The summer I Became a Nerd is a beautiful story of self-discovery and finding real love. Maddie jumps into the full world of geekyness and she loves it. Logan takes her into the mysterious and fun world of role playing. He teaches her how good it feels to be herself and not pretend all the time. He gives a secret name during his radio show, because what kind of geeky book it would be if we didn’t have an indie radio show, uh? But through it all we have Logan’s ex waiting to get her evil claws on him and the threat of the summer ending, or someone finding out about her dirty little secret. Maddie makes a lot of mistakes along the way. And she also hurts the same people she was trying to protect but what’s worse is that she hurts herself so much more by hiding than she can realize. And it’s all that what I think makes so believable and true. We’ve all been there, unsure of ourselves and trying to hide how much we rather be at home in PJs reading a book on Saturday night than going out with friends., while at the same time, we want to feel like we belong. This is the heart of the book and what I really loved about it. “Be true to yourself and others will be true to you, too.” Yeah right, what a crock. I’d be true to you no matter what. The Summer I Became a Nerd is the perfect book for when you’re going through a rough patch of dealing with your nerdy life. While Maddie discovers who she is and learns to accept that, you see all this wonderful new world of awesomeness… and the world is again a happy place. Leah Rae Miller writes a wonderful story that will catch you from page one. I was cheering for Maddie and Logan since the moment she sets her foot into The Phoenix.
Review also posted at: http://underthebookcover.blogspot.com/2016/08/book-review-summer-i-became-nerd-by.html 4.5/5 Thank you to Entangled Teen for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for review! The Summer I Became a Nerd was one of the cutest books I've read lately! I had such a fun time reading this and constantly found myself laughing about how nerdy Maddie really was, and also relating to just about everything she was going through. I understood her desire to want to fit in, and hide her "true" self from everyone else because she was afraid they wouldn't accept her. I struggled with this as well in high school, especially since I went to two different schools where being geeky/nerdy was not widely accepted. I never wanted to hide who I was, but I could understand why Maddie felt she had to and tried to fit in with her popular friends. Maddie was without a doubt my favorite character. From the very beginning, I was able to draw so many comparisons between her and myself. We both are super nerdy, we both like to read, we both take notes on what we read with purple pens, the list goes on and on! I really found myself wanting to give her a big hug throughout the book, especially when she would talk about how she was hiding her nerdy side in order to fit in with the people she was friends with. If I could have stepped in the book and given her a piece of advice, it would be to be honest. By the end, when she had basically outed herself as a nerd, she realized that no one was making fun of her and the town didn't explode into a "Let's tease Maddie" mob. But I wish that I could have held her hand and told her not to be afraid of who she really was and to embrace her inner nerd! I did love her, though, and can safely say she is one of my absolute favorite characters in any book I've read recently. I really liked how the book unfolded in what felt like stages. At the beginning, you learn that Maddie is a closet nerd because of an incident when she was younger, and discover she likes comic books. But as the book progresses, you get to dive into just how nerdy she really is. It goes from her hiding comics under the blankets in her closet, to going to the comic store (albeit in a not-so-good disguise), to hanging out in the back of the comic store and reading comics with Logan, and finally going full-on nerd mode and participating in a LARP! I think that with her inner nerd sort of pushing its way out in stages as the book went on really helped the reader to get to know Maddie better and really just fall in love with her as a character by the end of the book. I honestly don't think I have enough words to describe just how much I adore Maddie! The writing of The Summer I Became a Nerd was so well done and really allowed the reader to put themselves in Maddie's shoes and follow the ups and downs that she experiences throughout the book. From the way the town of Natchitoches is described, I felt like it was a very small town and the author did a wonderful job of capturing the small town feeling. It certainly helps that the author is actually from Natchitoches, so she was able to make the setting real! From start to finish, The Summer I Became a Nerd is a fun and lovable read. The characters are so easy to fall in love with, the story line is incredibly cute, and as a whole, this book is so easy to get lost in and finish in a short amount of time. See my full review at the link above!
**Thank you so much to the publisher for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review!** I don't know about you, but I'm a huge nerd. I think that's what initially drew me into The Summer I Became A Nerd. Since I'm a huge nerd, I automatically related to Maddie. She's a huge comic book nerd and it's pretty awesome. I wish that I read more comics, but I'm a huge fan of graphic novels and everything that has to do with superheroes and super villains. Logan was so incredibly sweet. He even does LARP! For those of you who don't know what LARP is, it's Live Action Role Playing. I've never actually participated in it, mainly because there's nowhere near me that does it, but I'd love to do it one day. I'm such a geek, I know. But Logan actually works at a comic book shop that his family owns. How cool is that!? This book just made me want to go out and start reading more comic books. It also made me want to always remember to be myself. I honestly don't read comic books, mainly because I feel like I'd read through them so quickly and then I'd have to go spend more money to go buy the rest of the comics in the series, ya know? However, I want to check them out even more now. Maddie spent a lot of the novel trying to hide who she really was (a nerd, of course) from all of her real friends. However, she really came into her own and started to realize that she needs to be herself. It just reminded me that I should always do that too! The Summer I Became a Nerd was a super unique summer read filled with so much nerding. I really liked it, but it wasn't a stand-out novel for me.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I thought it was cute and even the nerdy heartthrob was someone easy to fall in love with. Seeing Maddie maturing, just breaking free from her shell and being who she really was a treat. We all remember being young and trying to fit in--being tempted to be someone you're not and hiding the real you. Or maybe you weren't just tempted--maybe you did pretend to be someone else, like Maddie. For that reason, I think we all can relate to this story in some way. I believe most will enjoy it. There's always a few who will hate what you love, but it's okay because we're all different. Thanks to Entangled for letting me review this terrific story!
Maddie is a popular cheerleader dating a football player. She also loves comic books, superheroes, and LARP, but after a traumatic experience in sixth grade, she hides this part of herself from everyone in her life. Logan works at the comic book store that his family owns. When Maddie comes in to the store in disguise for a new comic book, it starts a chain of events that will change Maddie's life. This story was a quick, cute read. I loved Maddie and Logan together. Maddie had a lot of trouble letting go of what other people would think of her based on that one experience in middle school but with a little help from Logan's friend, Dan, and her best friend, Terra, she learns that she only needs to be herself. This is a perfect summer day read! *I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Well written teen romance with hot nerds and cute romance!
This review can also be found at: http://www.aleisuremoment.com/thesummeribecameanerd/ Nerd love is the best kind of love. I read this series out of sequence (I know, right? Who am I and what have I done with the real me?). Romancing the Nerd was full of nerd references, and I had a difficult time not fangirling a few times. If you’re a nerd at any degree, there will be something in these books for you. Whether it’s the Firefly and Doctor Who references, or the Star Wars and Star Trek rivalry, these characters touched a special place in my heart—especially Maddie. When I read the second book in the series first (obviously you don’t have to read them succinctly), I loved her attitude and the way she looked at life. Even as a background character, she had a presence. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her story with Logan and practically clicked buy now and finally spent that Christmas gift card before I knew what had happened. Maddie was a cheerleader. She had carefully crafted her life since a disastrous middle school experience and made sure that people saw what she wanted them to see. The Maddie that had notebooks filled with her reactions to books, surreptitiously watched the mailbox for the comic book she had preordered, and watched sci-fi reruns with her dad, disappeared when she stepped out of her house. I liked watching her find her find her way. She already knew who she was, but she had to learn how to be comfortable with that person. I think her character speaks to me—and others—because she shows a part of herself that she didn’t realize was there: the one that only saw her side of things. Her journey of self-discovery was just as good as watching her relationship with Logan find its footing. I fall in love with book boys all the time, usually a few times a week. Logan is boyfriend goals. Their love story was slightly different than I had expected. For instance, they had noticed each other a lot sooner than either of them would admit to the other. I liked that they seemed to fit—insta-love wasn’t even an option, though, and their relationship had a great pace. Logan coerced the side of Maddie that she had kept hidden to make an appearance, and her transformation was all the better with him at her side. Plus, he had the perfect level of nerd and the cute, awkward thing going on (you may not swoon, but he held my heart). Nerd love should make more of an appearance in books. I’ve never witnessed or been to anything involving LARPing, but I’ve never wanted to more in my life. The world of Comic Cons and fandoms opened up and invites readers in to join on the wonderful life of rereading books because you can, watching reruns of shows that should not have been canceled, and dressing up as your favorite character just because it’s fun. Miller looked at popularity—the good, the bad, and the friends that will stick by you no matter what. Amongst all of the geeky goodness is a story about being yourself and finding the people in life who accept that person.
207 pages. This was a fun read! I don't read many YA books but this sounded fun and it delivered. I found the references to be humorous and clever. I would enjoy reading more from this author along the lines of this book. It was well worth the time I spent between the pages.
The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Ray Miller revolves around a girl who is “popular” and pretty. Because of this, no one expects her to have interests in anything that people associate with being smart or nerdy. However, the girl, Madelyne, has a secret. She loves video games and technology and finds them interesting! The book was very well written and proves that its okay to have interests in academic things and still be “cool.” There is a lot of emphasis on the importance of technology-- especially video games!
Absolutely my favorite single book I have ever read. It's nerdy, funny, cute and couldn't stop giving me 'the feels'! I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone!
How adorable is the love interest? The main character is 9/10 likeable -- she just didn't know being a nerd is not that weird these days.
I was addicted to this book! It was one of the cutest things i have ever read. Can't wait for more
If you love comics and a bit of dramatic romance like me this is the perfect book for you I LOVE BEING A NERD!!!
It’s very rare when I read a book that is centered in Louisiana. It is even rarer when I find one that is written by a native Louisiana author. That is the main reason I picked this book out. The heart and soul I found when I started reading is what made me stick around. The Summer I Became a Nerd is delightful! I instantly fell in love with Maddie’s world and I felt like I could relate to her hiding things she likes. It’s great to read about someone finding themselves and not caring what anyone else thinks. I fell in step beside her and Logan whenever they were together. Their parts were my favorite. Hilarious and adorable. The atmosphere of this book reminded me of a Sarah Dessen novel (whom I love) and the whimsy that surrounds this group of characters was reminiscent of a John Green book (ahem, who I may love more). Dan. The. Freakin. Man. He made the damn book for me. He was just great in every scene he stepped into. Charming. Witty. Sly. Dirty Mouth Dan. Not only could I relate to all the geeky stuff, I absolutely related to the Louisiana aspects. The gross, sticky warm weather. The beauty in just a field speckled with Magnolia trees. LSU Tigers! The Festival of Lights in Natchitoches around Christmas time. It was refreshing to say the least. You want one word to sum this book up? One word to make you need no other reason to absolutely read it? Awesome. This book is awesome.
A Great Summer Read! I found that this story was just adorable. It was such a great summer read, and of course the nerd in my really enjoyed the story. Granted, I'm not a huge comic book person. My inner nerd comes from the kinds of movies/TV shows I like. And of course my friends call me a book nerd *but the truth is the truth*. Anyways, I can appreciate what Maddie, our main character, is experiencing through the story. There were a lot of times in high school that I didn't let people know how much I liked to read, and I didn't tell everybody that I loved Comic-Con. Eventually though I realized that being me was the most important thing. Maddie goes through a journey to discover that for herself, but the journey is fun and full of humor and nerdiness. Logan is one of the cutest nerds I've ever had the pleasure to enjoy in a story. I'm so happy that we got to meet him early in the story. There wasn't all this tension in the story that drove me crazy. It was a fun friendship/relationship that I could root for. The dialouge in this story was SO WELL-WRITTEN! I mean I laughed so hard at times, but Dan *Logan's best friend* was such a great character. His dialouge was fabulous! Who Should Read It: For all the nerds out there, read this. For those mourning the end of summer, pick this up for your last hurrah!
Purple: "Be true to yourself and others will be true to you, too." Yeah right, what a crock. Green: I'd be true to you no matter what. I really hate to use the word "cute" to describe a book. I do. But it is the best word to describe this one. Adorkable also works. I absolutely devoured this book and all its nerdy goodness. From comic books and comic books shops to LARPing and NerdCon, there was just so much awesome nerdy goodness in this book. How could I not love it? Maddie, aka Wonderful Wendy, was such a darned likable character. I want to be friends with her. If she was real and closer to my age, I have to think we'd totally be friends. Maddie was so believably conflicted in the first part of this book. She fought hard to hide her geeky tendencies and to become popular. Now she's a cheerleader. She dates the quarterback. Everyone knows her. But only a few people know the "real Maddie," the closet comic book nerd who daydreams about the cute nerdy boy. I would venture a guess most people can relate to Maddie and her feelings. We all know it wasn't really cool to be who you really were in high school. If you wanted to fit in, you had to be like everyone else. It could be downright exhausting at times. "No fantasizing about kissing adorkable nerd boys for me, no matter how kissable they look." Awesome Logan was totally swoon-worthy. Soccer player. Radio DJ. Comic book aficionado. LARP-player. What more could a girl ask for? He was sweet and vulnerable and I just wanted to hug him. The chemistry between him and Maddie was perfectly written for a YA book. It was clean and sweet and completely realistic. "Did you just blackmail the game master?" "A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do." I even connected with the secondary characters in this book. Logan's mom, Martha, was one of my favorite characters in the book. She was just so awesome. I absolutely loved her interactions with Maddie. I'm a sucker for when a parent helps a boy/girl make the grand gesture that saves a relationship. Dan just made me laugh. He was the perfect sidekick for Logan. Even Terra, though I had my doubts about her initially, pleasantly surprised me by being a whole lot less superficial than I suspected. This was just a totally feel-good read. I loved the writing. Everything from the characters to the plot to the dialogue just felt real. It was believable. It had funny moments and "aww" moments and was exactly the happy read I needed tonight. It just made me smile and want to hug my iPad. And I just might have. :)
This was a very sweet and fun novel. It was all bout learning how to be who you are and accepting yourself the way you are, because in the end there's no one else you can actually be. Maddie was this perfectly comic nerd, she was just lost to all those glossy pages filled with amazing superheroes, but she was so ashamed of admitting it and of being outcast for it. Logan just embraces his full body of nerdom. He loves it and he wants Maddie to be proud of being that way as well. I loved this story, it was very cute and innocent and just so heartwarming.
Maddie Summers is a closet nerd--literally. She hides her proof in her closet, away from even her best friend and boyfriend, sure her life will be over if anyone finds out about her. For the first 60% of this book, the heroine made me a little crazy. Her "I can't admit I like comic books or my social life will be ruined" attitude seemed way over the top, and what she did as a result of it got more and more ridiculous. I know high school was a while ago for me, but I spend time with junior high and high school kids daily, and her fears felt just too extreme to be believed. However, Miller pulled me in for the last third or so of the book. Once Maddie manages to get over herself and realize just how self-absorbed she's acting and decides to try to fix the mess she's made, the book picks up and I ended up really enjoying it in the end. Four stars for a unique idea and good message, even if the live-action role playing bits were a bit over my not-quite-nerdish-enough head. I'll definitely be looking for more from this author! (I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)