Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Book Review: The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love


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The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love
By: Sarvenaz Tash
Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release date: June 14, 2016
Genre: YA contemporary
256 pages
Source: galley kindly provided by publisher

If John Hughes wrote about a group of teens attending Comic Con, this book really would be the result.  I can’t remember the last time I literally started and finished a book in one evening, but this one simply would not let me go. Geek’s Guide has given me a group of adorably realistic characters who I have come to consider friends in a short 256 pages. This is no mere friendship of convenience, though; we have similar interests and experiences. We have bonded.

Graham and Roxy are a fabulous pair of friends. They are neighbors who, since childhood, have shared nearly every part of their lives. They regularly visit each other’s homes and chat with family members over meals, they work hard at maintaining good grades in challenging classes, and they write a comic book series together. These two know each other as well as, perhaps better than, their families do. They genuinely are the best of friends. And recently, Graham has begun to believe that he wants more.

Both Graham and Roxy have other friends, of course- several of whom join the fun at New York Comic Con. Both of them also meet new, interesting people at the Con, including several gods of geekdom. The rushing flow of humanity that you experience when you attend one of these events is captured aptly in Geek’s Guide; I am truly impressed at the number of characters who were introduced in this short novel, without a single character seeming less than whole and unique.

Pop culture enthusiasts will dig references to movies, games, and social media that are very much a part of our current social climate. Fans of YA romance get just enough feels to both laugh and cry a few tears for the matches that are and are not made. There is enough of both male and female perspective to appeal to both- which reminds me of a particularly great bit, about how an alien race may be very confused about humans’ obsession with gender norms. . .


The strongest recommendation of this book I can think of is this: I was forced, by nature of the family schedule today, to take a 20 minute break from reading and drive a child from lessons to practice. In the interim, not only was my mind still with the characters, but I made the decision to pre-order a copy of the book and send it to an old friend because I know she will love it. She’s getting it for her birthday; don’t tell her. You should get yourself a copy, too.

John Hughes meets Comic Con in this hilarious, unabashedly romantic, coming-of-age novel about a teenager who is trying to get his best friend to fall in love with him from the author of Three Day Summer.

Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy...
Archie and Veronica...
Althena and Noth...
...Graham and Roxy?

Graham met his best friend, Roxana, when he moved into her neighborhood eight years ago, and she asked him which Hogwarts house he’d be sorted into. Graham has been in love with her ever since.

But now they’re sixteen, still neighbors, still best friends. And Graham and Roxy share more than ever—moving on from their Harry Potter obsession to a serious love of comic books.

When Graham learns that the creator of their favorite comic, The Chronicles of Althena, is making a rare appearance at this year’s New York Comic Con, he knows he must score tickets. And the event inspires Graham to come up with the perfect plan to tell Roxy how he really feels about her. He’s got three days to woo his best friend at the coolest, kookiest con full of superheroes and supervillains. But no one at a comic book convention is who they appear to be...even Roxy. And Graham is starting to realize fictional love stories are way less complicated than real-life ones.


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