Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Length: 256 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 13, 2018
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: ARC from Amazon Vine for Review
Rating: 4/5 stars
“Cameron’s cosplay creations are finally starting to earn her attention–attention she hopes to use to get into the CalArts costume design department for college. But after she wins a major competition, she inadvertently sets off a firestorm of angry comments from male fans online.
When Cameron’s family moves the summer before her senior year, she hopes to complete her costume portfolio in peace and quiet away from the abuse.
Unfortunately, the only comic shop in town–her main destination for character reference–is staffed by a dudebro owner who challenges every woman who comes into the shop.
At her twin brother’s suggestion, Cameron borrows a set of his clothes and uses her costuming expertise to waltz into the shop as Boy Cameron, where she’s shocked at how easily she’s accepted into the nerd inner sanctum. Soon, Cameron finds herself drafted into a D&D campaign alongside the jerky shop-owner Brody, friendly (almost flirtatiously so) clerk Wyatt, handsome Lincoln, and her brother Cooper, dragged along for good measure.
But as her “secret identity” gets more and more entrenched, Cameron’s portfolio falls by the wayside–and her feelings for Lincoln threaten to make a complicated situation even more precarious in this geek girl anthem from You’re Welcome, Universe author Whitney Gardner, complete with fully illustrated comic pages inked by Gardner herself.”
I got a copy of this book to review through the Amazon Vine program. This was a fun and cute read. It is mostly about coming of age and a girl trying to be comfortable with who she is in the geek culture world. There is also a lot about internet trolls harassing her and how poorly some men treat women that they think are invading their geek culture turf.
I loved some of the relationship twists and turns and loved the DnD references even more. The sections of DnD story are done in graphic novel style, which was fun. I did feel like some of the transitions between story and graphic novel were pretty jerky; it actually felt like some pages were missing or something.
I actually wish that there has been more geek culture references, DnD, and discussions about Cameron’s designing costumes and less of the relationship stuff. However it was still well done and fun. Being a geek girl myself it was easy to relate to the story.
I have definitely had some similar issues to our heroine. I remember being a comic book store once looking at Berserk manga and being told that I should come and check out the Fables graphic novels because girls like those (don’t get me wrong I did like Fables but I felt a little put out that the guy redirecting me thought Berserks were too violent for a girl…I love me those Berserk manga!).
I also had an issue once when a neighbor guy came over while I was playing Dynasty Warriors and asked if my husband was okay with me playing that and if my husband helped me get through the tough parts. I was like “Heck, no” my husband does not need to help me get through “tough parts”…geez dude get a life. Then there are the strange looks as I get in the epic fantasy section or graphic novel section at book stores; admittedly I don’t get those nearly as much now as I did 20 years ago but it is funny how a subset of guys care about these silly things and make you feel guilty somehow for liking what you like.
Overall I enjoyed this book; it was a fun and quick read. I would recommend to girl geeks out there who like contemporary romance YA books.