Hello and happy Wednesday. Every once in a while I encounter a book that doesn’t follow the typical contemporary YA structure, and it is very refreshing when that happens. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jennifer E. Smith’s books because they are all very typical YA novels, but I love it when I get into a book and realize it’s not going to turn out the way I thought it would.
When I started reading The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash, my initial thought was “oh, okay, I know how this ends already, but let’s see what happens.” I was super wrong though, and I changed my mind about what was going to happen at the end like a hundred times, though let me tell you, when I finished the book, I was very pleased.
You know that I’m a radical feminist, right? And so I adore strong female characters, but to me there’s this sort of idea that YA is mostly for female audiences because most of the main characters are female. And, honestly, out of all the books I read each year, about 90% have female main characters, so yeah, it’s great, and incredibly refreshing when the main character is a guy. Oh yea, by the way, and this goes for you people out there who “censor” books just because you feel like it, this book was written by a woman, so I’m still supporting female authors out there, I just want some variety in what I read, okay?
Okay, so our main character is not just an average high school guy, because there’s no fun in that. He is a die-hard geek, and proud of it. Before there was this idea, both in books and in real life, that geeks were this socially inept people who had no friends (or were friends with each other) and who could only be truly happy if they got a makeover and stopped being geeks. Well, we know that nowadays that’s not how things work and that’s actually cool to be a geek, which makes this book even better.
I loved the diversity in this book, but I also think it makes sense that our main character’s friends are Persian, Japanese, and an American Jew. I say it makes sense because they live in the New York area, which is a typically diverse region in terms of people with different ethnic and religious backgrounds.
Graham, our main character, and Roxana, his best friend and apparently the love of his life (though she doesn’t know it yet), are partners in this comic book/graphic novel writing project. Basically Graham writes and Roxana draws, and it was super interesting to read about their process in writing and drawing because comic books and graphic novels aren’t really my thing, so I had no idea about the making of them.
This book is perfect for a weekend or a day off. First, it’s addictive, like once you start, I’m sorry, you’re going to want to read it until you’re done. But honestly, it’s a very fast read because the chapters are super short. I personally don’t like big books, and I have a very hard time reading them, so the fact that the chapters are short is encouraging to me. And also, if you can’t take that day or full weekend to read, you can easily squeeze in a chapter every now and then and it’ll take you ten minutes or less.
Here’s the magic of this book and the author’s writing: despite it being a short book, it was incredibly detailed and descriptive, to the point where I felt like I was watching a movie. This book tells everything you need to feel like you’re in the same place as the characters, seeing what’s going on as if it were taking place right in front of your eyes. It was amazing. Also, yes, this book takes place in NY Comic-Con, so as I read I just wished I could attend one of those big conventions myself. One day, though, one day.
Not everything was perfect in this book, though, obviously, I didn’t expect it to be. I was, however, exasperated when I read the “breath I didn’t know I was holding” line. Like, seriously? This book is genius, why insert such a crappy and unnecessary line? And now that we’re in the subject of what I didn’t like, I have to admit that Roxana wasn’t my favorite person at all. I didn’t like her one bit. Oops, sorry not sorry.
And we’ve reached the end of this book. Have you read or do you know about another book where the main character is a geek? Let me know about it!
Love, Miss Camila