This book gets my highest rating because it is one of those rare ones that, as I approach the end, I am sad because I will regret parting company with the characters. In some ways, there are no unique tropes in this book; it is similar to many high school-angst stories. But Lyga's characters are so well-fleshed, and the comic geek theme so close to my own SF geek real life, that the story practically sang its reality to me.
[Audiobook note: The narrator absolutely nails the tone. Were I reading the book, the characters' voices in my head would have used exactly the same intonations and patterns.]