Saturday, January 23, 2010

Into The Wild Nerd Yonder (YA)


Into The Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern. 2009. Feiwel & Friends. 256 pages.

I so used to love the first day of school.

Meet Jessie, our heroine, who for various reasons is about to go to 'the dork side'. But since Bizza and Char her best friends have abandoned her for the punk crowd--Bizza even going so far as to shave her head--Jessie is left on her own to make new friends. And for reasons she can't quite explain, she's drawn to the dorks, the nerds. She's afraid of what she might become if she goes with it, but she can't deny that Dottie and Henry are both really fun to be around. And that game they play, Dungeons and Dragons, well, it's super-fun. And the fact that they accept her for who she is and aren't all about using her, well, that's a plus, of course. You see, Bizza and Char loved hanging out with Jessie because Jessie's brother, Barrett, is in a punk band named Crudhoppers. And the drummer of that punk band, Van, is oh-so-cute-and-dreamy. Even Jessie has to admit that. She's been crushing on him for years and years. But when Van and Bizza hook up--albeit only for one night--well, Jessie has to draw the line somewhere. (As does her brother.)

One of the things I enjoyed most about this one is that Jessie is a reader. She's always listening to an audio book or reading a book. And it really made me smile to see that she just loved Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. (If you haven't read that one, you should.) To see how books were a part of her life, her normal every day life, was a nice touch. I also loved to see such a strong portrayal of friendship between siblings. Barrett and Jessie were close, and it was really nice to see that family is important to her. (Unfortunately, Jessie's parents were of the barely-there-variety.)

I liked this coming-of-age novel about the importance of being true to yourself. It's got humor and romance. I would recommend this one.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

8 comments:

Kathy Martin 10:45 AM  

This one does sound good. I'm adding it to my next HS Media Center book order. What does the cover have to do with the story?

Becky 11:00 AM  

The main character loves to sew. And she is always making skirts. You can't tell it very well from the cover (until it's in your hands) but the cover is also covered in twenty-sided dice.

Jen Robinson 2:34 PM  

Thanks for the review, Becky. This book has been on my radar for a while, and you made me want to read it more. It sounds right up my alley.

Jenners 8:42 PM  

I love the "go to the dork side" line!

Michelle 12:25 PM  

I really enjoyed this book as well. I thought that Jessie was a great character who had strength and shows that girls can be smart and dorky but still cool at the same time.

Laura H 9:17 AM  

I just read this book. And I liked Jessie too and that she like to read and sew and was so close to her brother. It was also interesting to hear about D&D because I know nothing about it. I didnt like the language and sexual stuff. If not for that stuff I would have recommend it to some teens I know.

Mandy 11:07 PM  

Loved it!! I didnt think I was going to because I knew nothing of D&D. It was a great book! Thanks!

Anonymous,  2:49 PM  

I just read this book. Im fifteen years old and it made me think. "Hey! School is really like this with cliques!" :)

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
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I am not a fan of:

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  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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