I received this book for free from the Blog Tour in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Romancing the Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
Series: Nerd #2
Published by EntangledTeen on 2016-04-05
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Source: the Blog Tour
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Dan Garrett has become exactly what he hates—popular. Until recently, he was just another live-action role-playing nerd on the lowest rung of the social ladder. Cue a massive growth spurt and an uncanny skill at taking three-point shots in basketball and voilà...Mr. Popular. It's definitely weird. And the biggest drawback? Going from high school zero to basketball hero cost Dan the secret girl of his dorky dreams.
A band geek with an eclectic fashion sense, Zelda Potts's “coolness” stat is about minus forty-two. Dan turning his back on her and the rest of nerd-dom was brutal enough, but when he humiliates her at school, Zelda decides it's time for a little revenge—dork style. Never mind that she used to have a crush on him. Never mind that her plan could backfire big time. It's time to roll the dice...and hope like freakin' hell she doesn't lose her heart in the process.
I was really excited for this book because I read The Summer I Became A Nerd years ago and loved it. It was so much fun and the romance wasn’t cookie-cutter, which I always love. Plus, anything with nerds is an automatic must-read for me. So when I discovered Leah Rae Miller was writing another book, I grabbed it as soon as I could!
I was not disappointed by this book. It ended up being everything it promised. It was fun, nerdy, and swoony. And while I don’t personally participate or have any interest in LARPing, I found those sections of the book to be especially entertaining. The characters do a great job of embracing their nerdiness and I absolutely love that about these books!
The overall book had a sort of You’ve Got Mail feel to it because the two main characters develop a relationship online while already having had known each other in real life for quite a while. But even though Dan and Zelda have known each other for a long time, they aren’t friends anymore. Dan became popular and, as far as Zelda is concerned, that changed him. Of course, she doesn’t know the circumstances for why he is different or the real meaning behind his actions and has never confronted him about any of them, she just sees what appears to be different and decides they aren’t friends anymore. So when Zelda sets out to get back at Dan by befriending him online and gathering secret and embarrassing information about him, they actually have the chance to get to know each other in a new way without all of the extra outside influences they see every day.
In that way, this book raised some interesting questions about how we judge people without really knowing what they’re going through. Zelda automatically assumes she knows how Dan feels about his popularity and her just because he’s popular now. But in reality, she’s never even asked him how he feels and has no idea what the truth behind his actions are. Until she starts secretly talking to him and finds out that while she’s been busy hating all of the popular people for unfairly judging her, she may be just as guilty, does she even consider that he might be the same Dan she’s always known. And I really liked seeing her change her attitude. Not only towards Dan as she actually got to know him, but about her own thoughts and preconceived ideas of all people.
There were a few things I didn’t love about the book, though. Mostly, it was just how easily some of the issues in the book wrapped up. There’s a bullying situation and as soon as this person is confronted with the fact that he’s being a bully and hurting someone’s feelings, he admits that he didn’t realize what he was doing and didn’t mean to hurt anyone. And in my experience, bullies, which this character clearly is, don’t respond that way to confrontation and absolutely do not give up their tormenting as soon as someone says “bully”. So I was slightly annoyed at that. Also, Dan and his dad have a few issues that in the end also get worked out so easily they both joke about it, which also felt very unrealistic. I did like the way Dan and Zelda worked out their situation, so it certainly doesn’t apply to every relationship in the book. These were the only two that I felt were resolved WAY too easily.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was funny and swoony, it has a great best friend, and if you’ve read The Summer I Became A Nerd, you’ll enjoy some cameos from the last book. And if you haven’t, I highly recommend that book as well! These are both great reads to pick up for a trip to the pool or the beach or just sitting out in the sun on a warm day. It’s a fast read and its characters will have you quickly turning the pages. And if you’re into LARPing or dressing up for Cons or midnight premieres, I think this book would be especially perfect for you!