Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern
Feiwel and Friends, 2009
Summary: Jessie loves math, sewing skirts, and her older brother. Her friends Bizza and Char have recently transformed in to punks and one is even going after her longtime crush. Navigating the labels of punk, cool, and nerd, Jessie struggles to figure herself out.
Thoughts: I thought the title and cover were really cute so when I saw this in a bookstore, I made a mental note to look it up and I finally remembered when I was at the library and looking for some quick reads.
I really liked Jessie and her older brother Barrett who both change a lot over the course of the story; the latter from punk to dating the homecoming queen and the former finds her place and gets real friends. I really like that she ended up a nerd because I consider myself a nerd. I mean, think about it. Cool people have to think about their clothes, their hair, and go to parties and hang out with people all the time. Nerds get to sit around and read; guess which I feel more like? Plus Jessie loves to sew skirts and listens to audiobooks-how did she not realize she was a nerd?!
I loved the "nerds" in the story! Dottie seemed totally awesome; she was comfortable in her own skin and it made me think a bit of Luna Lovegood. Henry is a cute love interest although the message of being yourself is somewhat undermined by Jessie's pushing him to reform his fashion sense.
I thought it was a weird mix of YA and MG; there were swear words, gonorrhea, and references to sexual experiences which would make this more YA but younger kids would definitely benefit from Jessie's quest to discover herself and the character herself didn't seem to be dealing with much adult drama.
Overall: Cute story but not great.
Cover: I thought the cover was cute but once I read it, I understood it better. It relates to her journey in to Dungeons and Dragons.