Title: Into the Wild Nerd Yonder
Author: Julie Halpern
Published: September 2009
Source: The Library
Synopsis from Goodreads:It’s Jessie’s sophomore year of high school. A self-professed “mathelete,” she isn’t sure where she belongs. Her two best friends have transformed themselves into punks and one of them is going after her longtime crush. Her beloved older brother will soon leave for college (and in the meantime has shaved his mohawk and started dating . . . the prom princess!) . . .
Things are changing fast. Jessie needs new friends. And her quest is a hilarious tour through high-school clique-dom, with a surprising stop along the way—the Dungeons and Dragons crowd, who out-nerd everyone. Will hanging out with them make her a nerd, too? And could she really be crushing on a guy with too-short pants and too-white gym shoes? If you go into the wild nerd yonder, can you ever come back?
Into the Wild Nerd Yonder was a fun, lighthearted read with a lot of elements that you don't see in YA everyday. A strong sibling relationship, parents that *gasp* actually care, and references to actual YA books from this century. Yeah, it's not your typical YA, and I loved it for that.
In the beginning of the book Jessie is a bit of a pushover, but by the end definitely not. Her character development was great. Her voice was perfect too. She was such a typical teenager, in a good way: worried about what people thought of her, second guessing herself, afraid of criticism, everything that makes a character relateable. The other characters were all pretty well developed as well, though some of them probably could have had a bit more of a part.
I love how this whole book is about true friends, and what it really means to be popular, with out being preachy. Jessie debates whether hanging out with the "nerds" will make her a nerd, and if she is, then what? Will she be different? Will people not like her? What if she actually likes them? What will her cool brother think of her? They're such typical, natural questions and made Jessie a lot more real to me than a lot of other heroines YA.
I really liked this book, and if you're looking for a fun read, then this is it!
Overall: 43/50 B
Cover/Title Comments: Love! The cover is relevant and cute, and the title is perfect!