Sunday, July 06, 2008
Scott, Kieran. 2008. Geek Magnet.
Okay, so I was dizzy with power. Can you blame me? It was the first day of rehearsals for the spring musical, Grease, at Washington High and I, KJ Miller, was the stage manager. The woman in charge. The first junior ever to be granted this most prestigious position.
KJ Miller. How to describe KJ? Well, there's the obvious. She's a geek magnet. She draws some geeky undesirables close to her. Fred. Glenn. Andy. Perhaps because of all the buzzing geeks near her, KJ is not quite as popular as she'd like to be. She's not in the outer rings of the social strata, but she's far from being "in" with the in crowd of beautiful people. With great power comes great responsibility. KJ now has some power at least when it comes to the drama folks. And this new-found power has brought someone new to KJ's life: Tama, Tama Gold. And Tama has something KJ wants more than anything: power and sway over KJ's crush, Cameron. KJ loves Cameron. And Tama, well, Tama sees that as her "in." As the "star" of the show, Tama, wants--no, needs--KJ to be on her side.
Tama easily agrees to setting KJ and Cameron up. Knowing that by 'befriending' KJ, the power to rule the show, rule the production, would be within her reach. After all, boys can be distracting.
The first rule Tama sets for her new best friend is that KJ has to stop being nice to the geeks, to the nobodys. She had to start being mean, being firm, being direct. KJ needed to cut free and clean from those holding her back. Who would want to date her if all her friends were dorks and geeks?
There is one person, however, that KJ still listens to. Robbie. The male lead of the play. Robbie. A guy she sees as being so wonderfully himself. He didn't hang out with the cool people, the beautiful people. But that was his choice. And that choice makes all the difference to KJ. She sees him as anything but a geek. Robbie wants Tama. KJ agrees. This requires much plotting together. This cozy together time that is oh-so-predictable.
If Geek Magnet has a flaw it is that it is ultra-predictable. That's not necessarily a bad thing. I'm sure some folks will find it enjoyable and satisfying. To me, as an adult, I found KJ a bit too self-absorbed. KJ wasn't exactly shallow. Far from it in some areas. KJ's life isn't easy. She has an alcoholic father, a mother in denial, and a younger brother that is absent-though-present. (It's weird how many scenes this brother is in, yet he never made an impression.) While KJ's relationship hate-and-angst filled relationship with her father takes up some space, the rest of her family just fades into the backdrop.
The romance. Well. I thought it lacked a bit. I thought Robbie and KJ definitely had some chemistry. But, predictably so, they were almost the last ones to know it. And the resolution, the closing scenes where they're drawn together...well, they technically get the job done, but I was hoping for a bit more fireworks.
Where Geek Magnets might pick up some fans is in the drama department. For readers who have a love for drama, for theatre, for musicals, for Grease in particular...I think this one might work better. It does spend a good majority of time behind-the-scenes pulling together a musical production. Actors. Directors. Props. Costumes. Dress rehearsals.
I think other readers would probably like this one better than I did.
Read the first chapter here.
Other reviews: Flamingnet, RomanticTimes, ReaderViews,
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews