Dani's rating: 5 stars
Publication Date: May 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
I absolutely love this novel! It's one of those books that I could read over and over again and never get tired of it. A good friend of mine recommended it to me and I was immediately sucked in by the intriguing title and the cover. Okay, am I the only one who is obsessed with the cover girl's super cute shoes? And her endless tan legs? Can I please have her entire outfit?
Madelyne Summers, aka Maddie, is a popular cheerleader who has a deep, dark secret: She loves comic books. *gasp!* In 6th grade, she let her true colors show and was attacked by humiliation and embarrassment. As tears flooded her eyes, she vowed to never go through such an experience again.
Now, as an older and wiser high school senior, Maddie has clawed her way up the popularity ladder. She still lives her double life, but takes many extreme precautions to ensure her secret will never be revealed. On the release day of the final book in her favorite comic series, a crisis occurs. Her secret is in dire danger and she begins to question all the rules she has set for herself and wonders if...If it's time to break down her carefully constructed glass walls and show the world who Madelyne Summers really is.
I think that every teenage girl in the world could relate to Maddie. We all have something that we want to hide from the social world, whether it's a love of books, a knack for math, or a large smattering of acne. We're all insecure in some kind of way, just like Maddie.
Logan is a huge part of Maddie's journey to confidence. He shows her how much fun it is to be herself as he introduces her to nerd conventions and LARPing. Logan is such a cute, "adorkable", and sincere boy. He rocks that "Hey I'm a geek and I don't care" look! I loved he and Maddie's budding romance. It was a believable romance, with no insta-love at all. One of the cutest book couples out of all the books I've read in 2013!
Leah Rae Miller created a fantastic group of characters. Dan, Logan's best friend, had me LOLing so much with his dry humor and sunny outlook on life. Everyone needs a hilarious friend like Dan to brighten up a bad day! Vera, Logan's little sister embodied the "I'm an innocent little girl but really I'm a mischievous devil" concept. I have a soft spot for little kids, and this adorable girl was no exception. Also, Logan's mother, can be described in one(maybe two) word: awesome-sauce. Ms. Miller created relatable and believable characters with unique personalities. I felt like they could jump out of the book and strike a conversation with me!
Evidence of how awesome Logan's mom is... "Did you just blackmail the game master?" (Maddie)
She shrugs. "A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do." (Logan's mom)
Some of my favorite scenes in The Summer I Became a Nerd was the LARPing, or live-action-role-playing games. LARPing is pretty much the most nerdy and geeky game a person can play. In this months-long game, fantasy enthusiasts can dress up and become a dwarf, elf, fairy, or even a centaur. Leah Rae Miller definitely did her research. The jaw-dropping ending used complex LARP rules that only a seasoned player, or avid researcher, would know.
Leah Rae Miller has a casual, banter-filled writing style wired for teens. Her writing is clear, descriptive, and all together FUN. If you're bored, love comic books, or just want a fun read, I high recommend The Summer I Became a Nerd! You will NOT be disappointed with this novel. It's a great coming-of-age novel that every teenage girl can relate to it.