Katie Fitzgerald's Reviews > Into the Wild Nerd Yonder

Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern
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Dec 05, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: level-young-adult, genre-realistic-fiction
Read in December, 2009

My two favorite things about this book are as follows:

1. Allusions to great YA books. When I was a teenager, I tried to read, listen to, and learn about everything I ever saw referenced in my favorite books. To see references to Life As We Knew It, Elsewhere, and Harry Potter thrilled me not just because two of the three are favorites of mine, but also because I think talking about contemporary teen fiction made Jessie that much more real.

2. This book spoke to my own high school self. Like Jessie, I was one of those kids who didn't fall anywhere on the high school social food chain. I had friends in a number of cliques - and I had a friend like Jessie's best friend, Bizza, who was maybe not the best choice for me. A lot of times, YA literature tends to focus on the nerds or the popular kids or the outsider-types exclusively. It was refreshing to see what I think is reality for a lot of teens - a girl who marches to the beat of her own drummer, but still worries about others hearing that beat. This made for a wonderfully believable and sympathetic protagonist, and a story that is much more true to high school life than half the best YA books I have read.

Other amazing things that make this a definite worthwhile read: Jessie's older brother, Barrett, and their warm and well-realized sibling relationship; every character in Jessie's "nerd herd"; and the realism of sexual situations in Jessie's world, without Jessie necessarily having to experience them. The world of high school felt real and fresh in this book, and it made for an enjoyable Saturday evening!
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Reading Progress

12/18/2016 marked as: read
12/18/2016 marked as: read-2009

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