Jacob Proffitt's Reviews > Into the Wild Nerd Yonder

Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern
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Apr 08, 12

bookshelves: romance, young-adult
Read on April 07, 2012

It was tough staying with this book long enough to become interested in it. The book is something of a Bildungsroman in that it is intended to describe the growth of the main character into maturity. Unfortunately, Jessie, the heroine, isn't very interesting and she's surrounded by people who aren't nice and who you'd rather she wasn't with.

The sole saving grace of the early parts of the book is Jessie's older brother Barrett. He's devoted to Jessie without being a wimp about it and their interactions are genuine and mutually caring without being saccharine. He’s funny and caring and he is a breath of fresh air (and a promise that things will get better) in an otherwise musty room. The rest of the surrounding characters are self-involved jerks, though, and that’s hard to get through.

Somewhere around the mid-point, things improve significantly. Once Jessie is forced to acknowledge that her friends suck and she starts looking around her for people she can hang with things pick up. Yeah, Jessie hangs onto her prejudices a little long for my taste, but not unreasonably so.

While not awful, I have a hard time thinking of anyone I could recommend the book to. Jessie's early friends, and even her brother at times, discuss things that are sexual and descriptive enough that I'd hesitate to give this to even my older teens. While the rest of the book, and Jessie's journey in learning to have the self-confidence to embrace the things (and people) she likes, isn't strong enough to recommend the book to older readers. Yeah, embrace your inner nerd and own who you are and want to be. But do we really need the vicarious sexcapades while getting there?
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