Thursday, July 10, 2014

Book Review: Into the Wild Nerd Yonder, by Julie Halpern

The summary of Into the Wild Nerd Yonder makes one think that this will be a touching, meaningful contemporary novel. And it should be. But the pacing is slow, and I didn't get the feels that I should have.

It's the summer before Jessie's sophomore year, and her best friends, Bizza and Char, have reinvented themselves into punk rockers. Jessie's brother is in a punk band, and although he doesn't want them to, the girls start hanging around with the band. Jessie has always had a crush on the drummer, Van.

So when Bizza goes after Van, and ends up in an intimate situation with him, Jessie is hurt, and angry, and gives up on their friendship. And, finally realizes that Van is a real jerk.

So, the second half of the book is about Jessie finding a new set of friends. She has been talking to a nerdy girl who is into Dungeons & Dragons. Since Jessie sews, she's been asked to create costumes for the D&D group. So Jessie very reluctantly goes to these D&D sessions with these nerds and finds a new set of friends and maybe even a romantic interest.

It really takes a long time for things to happen. I found the plot to be very plodding, and after reading about 50% of the book, I started skimming. It was one of those books that you could read a couple paragraphs of each chapter and know what's going on. I did read the last 10% of the book too. I think the second half was better, so I probably should have skimmed the first half.

I really didn't feel very sorry for Jessie. I don't know why. The characterizations are good, the writing is fine, but I didn't see her problems as being that dramatic.

I loved that Jessie has supportive parents and gets along with her brother.  I loved that Jessie listens to audiobooks and the references to the books she was listening to. I loved that Jessie sews, since that is one of my hobbies. So, why didn't I love this book?

The age group for which Into the Wild Nerd Yonder is intended may enjoy this one more than I did. I try to put myself inside my "teenager mind" when I'm reading, but sometimes it's difficult.

Published by Feiwel & Friends, 2009
Purchased eBook
256 pages

Rating: 3/5

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  1. I'm sorry that you didn't enjoy this one. I loved it and finished it in one sitting. I loved how Halpern navigates through the various cliques in high school and the MC finds her own niche with the D&D playing gang. I just adored the characters.

  2. Sorry to hear that this one didn't work for you and you wound up skimming parts of it. The title is cute, but I doubt I'll pick the one up. Hope your next read is better!

    Terri @ Alexia's Books and Such...


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