Let me preface this by saying this YA romance is not my usual fare. This kind of book tends to remind me of the absolutely god-awful books available for teens during the 80s, and I try to steer clear of them. I have never been a fan of a romance novel for any age. They seem rather plot-less, mindless, and well, full of drivel.
Then I have to tell you that I Loved Loved Loved this book. A bunch of really smart girls who attend a school for nerds, love comic books, and are such great characters they don’t have to have anything supernatural happen to them in order to be interesting?
Oh Yeah. I’m in.
And it turns out this book is far from plot-less. I would be lying if I said I couldn’t wait to see what Trixie and her friends got up to next, or if I didn’t admit that I really didn’t want this book to end. The main story was about Trixie’s hate-love relationship with her lifelong nemesis, Ben West. I say hate-love because they have hated each other since they first met (in the first grade) in a kind of Elizabeth-Mr. Darcy Pride and Prejudice kind of way. Their favorite pastime is matching wits with each other, and their friends worry that someone will end up taking skin in one of their daily battles. Then Trixie gets left behind in the haunted house at the school’s Harvest Festival and has to ask a masked clown to help her out. The clown is gallant and sweet and leads her away from the horrors with gentlemanly grace, and Trixie spends days fantasizing about who was behind the mask and whether he would make–gulp–boyfriend material. Imagine her humiliation when the clown turns out to be Ben West.
But that’s not the only thing going on here. A slew of seniors in this school for the intellectually gifted have been tagged for cheating and student rankings are running amok as the cheaters get pulled out of the running. As the number of alleged cheaters grows, Trixie and her friends begin to wonder if cheating really is happening or if something more sinister is going on. Remember when I said I usually figure out the mystery pretty quickly? One of the reasons this book rocked is that the characters distracted me so well I forgot to try to figure it out. I wasn’t necessarily shocked at the reveal, but I didn’t figure it out myself.
My favorite part was when Trixie, a die-hard comic reader, sewed a strip of Star Wars fabric into her Winter Ball formal dress. Love reading about a teenage girl who knows herself well enough to take that kind of risk and be completely comfortable with it. And these characters? Anyone who is or has ever been a teenager will totally relate to them. Especially anyone who has ever been proud to know all the characters of Tolkien’s trilogy, all the actors who ever played Dr. Who, or one of the languages introduced by Star Wars.
Yeah yeah. Be a geek and be damn proud of it.
And it doesn’t hurt to suddenly realize there is someone in the world who completely gets you and fall madly in love.
That’s the stuff.
Yeah, there were affiliate links.