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The Nerdy and the Dirty

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  1,372 ratings  ·  336 reviews
Pen Lupo is sick and tired of hiding who she is. On the outside, Pen is popular, quiet, and deferential to her boyfriend. On the inside, however, Pen is honest, opinionated—and not quite sure that she's like other girls. Do they have urges like she does?

His classmates may consider him a nerd, but Benedict Pendleton knows he's destined for great things. All he has to do is
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 15th 2016 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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ktsonofwill I'm only halfway through and it talks a lot about sex and masturbation. So.... keep that in mind.
Also, language.
Lots of language.…more
I'm only halfway through and it talks a lot about sex and masturbation. So.... keep that in mind.
Also, language.
Lots of language.(less)

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Average rating 3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,372 ratings  ·  336 reviews

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Amy Plum
I can't express how much I love this book. Benedict is now one of my favorite people ever. And I lost my heart to Pen.

The story is about so much more than sex. I was laughing most of the way through. But this is the way sex should be written for (older) teenagers. It's like Judy Blume for millennials - showing the ugly side of teen relationships as well as the way it could possibly be. (If boys like Benedict actually exist out there. He's the most surprising but most adorable Book Boyfriend I've
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
There were a few things about this that made me feel a little iffy. Looking back, I enjoyed this well enough but I definitely didn't love it. ...more
Nov 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
"Girls, see, prefer that you lie to them. So I have decided to start lying to Robert about certain things. As practice for when I have a girlfriend."

This book got off to a promising start. Benedict Maximus Pendleton is one of the top students in his high school, is objectively handsome, dresses with sophistication (in sports coats and dress pants), and has a father made rich and famous by writing self-help books that encourage people to become better versions of themselves. Benedict has no doubt
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I went in to The Nerdy and the Dirty with some reservations because B.T. Gottfred is a male author writing about teen sexuality and in particular female teenage sexuality. I thought that it may come off as unrealistic or perhaps even judgmental. I have never been so excited to be completely wrong. B.T. Gottfred tells a thoughtful story ultimately about finding and accepting yourself. At times it’s heart breaking and at others it’s hysterically relatable. Combine the feels and laughs with love an ...more
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
“No one would ever publish a book about teenagers with the word ‘dirty’ in the title.”
“Why not?” Robert asked.
“Because,” I said, “the world’s not ready for that.”

So I just tried to write a review about this book & failed miserably.

This book is SO choppy, and the characters both sounded so monotone when I read it, that it made my head hurt. When I tried to write a review it was super choppy and I could literally hear my inner voice going monotone. Idk.

This book was weird. Not in a good way for
Nov 30, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: physical-arcs
All of my reviews can be found on

Ugh you guys. This was a painful and cringeworthy read. That pretty much sums up my thoughts on this book. Just ugh. I hate writing negative reviews, I really do. But I cannot allow some other unsuspecting soul to think like me and say, oh this sounds cute and original! It’s not. It tries really hard to be but it misses the mark by like a mile. I won this book through a Goodreads giveaway and thank god, because I would’ve been pissed had I act
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Lets talk about SEX baby lets talk about You and Me" this song played in my head the whole time I read this book. This book was refreshing, albeit a little unrealistic but overall I really liked it. I couldn't help but think about what 16 year old me would think about this. I don't know if I would have ever had the courage to pick it up. I don't know how a 16 year old today would react. There is a serious stigma around girls and sex... and there shouldn't be. I like that this book address that. ...more
Aneta Bak
Nov 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, netgalley
If you're looking for a quirky romance story, and don't mind a lot of graphic sexual content then you will definitely love this book.

On the outside, Pen is quiet, does what she's told, and pretends to be a "good" catholic girl. But on the inside, Pen has urges and would love nothing more than to speak her mind freely. Her polar opposite, Benedict, can't help but speak freely. He believes theres no point in lying, and will tell you how it is to your face, unfortunately this labeled him as the wei
Jun 05, 2016 added it
Shelves: 2016-releases
Definitely lots of mixed thoughts, but overall, this was a really fun read and I really appreciated the effort at featuring a girl who's sexually curious and...thirsty, I guess? I'm not sure it really achieved the effect of "By the way, this is totally healthy and normal and yes, a lot of girls do masturbate and think about sex all the time" that I'd assume/hope it was going for, especially because that point is validated strictly by a single (male) love interest, but I do appreciate the charact ...more
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
"No one would ever publish a book about teenagers with the word "dirty" in the title"- "The worlds not ready for that."

Okay, so this book wasn't what I expected... But, then, I didn't really have any expectations. I actually really enjoyed it. I was suprised by some of the the scenes, but honestly, it was refreshing, because this is what 16-17 year olds are dealing with. 

I want to write a full review, but I need to gather my thoughts. Full review coming soon.

But I will say, I loved Pen and Ben
Dec 26, 2016 rated it did not like it
DNF'ing the crap out of this book. Masturbation is NORMAL and I will never be okay with using religion as a way of controlling your child or your "other half". Also, every man in this book was a complete asshole.

Done and moving the hell on. So not impressed.
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The novel The Nerdy and the Dirty by B. T. Gottfred explores the potentiality of accepting your true self and introducing that person to the world. Like many YA fictions, this book contains an unlikely teenage love story, but unlike others I did not see this one coming. Penelope “Pen” Lupo is your average popular girl with the cute popular boyfriend and perfect little christian family, however she isn’t herself around any of them. The real her is not quiet and obsequious like she lets on, but ra ...more
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
THE NERDY AND THE DIRTY by B.T. Gottfred is a hysterically funny and empowering exploration of teenage love and sexuality. The word quirky sticks in my mind.

Pen is popular, well-liked, and reserved —but she’s harboring a significant amount of shame about her secret sexual urges. Benedict is smart, socially awkward, and pretty much at the bottom of the totem pole. This unlikely pair is thrown together over winter break and sparks fly.

Gottfred has a gift for writing the teenage voice in a way I’ve
Melody Britton
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh God, what can I say. This was a rollercoaster for me that lasted approximately 13 hours. I wanted very much to give this book 3 stars while reading it. Up until about 150 pages in. But you know what I realized? There was something about this book that kept me reading it, kept me holding on until I was holding on tighter than I thought I would: the book's blunt honesty, relatability, and message to be truthfully true to yourself and others. This story is more than just sappy romance about true ...more
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dani (Dani Reviews Things & Love in a time of Feminism)
First let's start with a trigger warning. This book refers to domestic abuse and rape, plus a generous dose of emotional abuse.

I really, really, really, really like THE NERDY AND THE DIRTY, but I also don't love it. It's really tough to explain, but I will try my best.

My favourite thing about it was that it was very direct, very real, very messy. We got a peek into both Benedict's and Penelope's minds, with all their uncensored thoughts, and I could relate to each of them in some way, both as a
Sarah Davis
I love this crazy book!

If you're wondering why the narration seemed so much, it's because that's how teens talk and think, as I did. So many YA books are written about adult teenagers. Everything just feels so written and revised and smoothed over and polished and calculated so you can squee over a "swoon-worthy" line. As a YA writer and fan, I understand that appeal. Who doesn't want to read a well-written book? But I do think that sometimes that kind of writing makes you forget you're reading
Stay Fetters
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sneaky-librarian
"I guess this makes me a homicidal maniac. Love's great. I'm kidding. It sucks."
One of the sauciest and most explicit YA books I have ever had my hands on. It reminds me of that winter at the warming hut... Hmmm (touches chin).....
Benedict is tall, rich, handsome and kind of a huge nerd. Speaks the truth and doesn't hold anything back. Even if it hurts peoples feelings. His dad being a famous author and tell him what to do and think, Benedict thinks his life is perfect. Having that one best
Leah Scheier
Apr 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I got this ARC at the RT convention and I was so engrossed that I almost missed the book fair! Be forewarned: It's REALLY explicit for a YA contemp, so if you are not okay with graphic descriptions of teen sex, then stay away from this one. But the characters were so refreshingly unique, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.
I did have a few issues with it; in fact, Pen's voice at the beginning was so self-deprecating and repetitive that I almost put the book down. If you feel the same, I sugges
I have a huge boner for this book. It's made of looooooooooove!

I wish this book had been around when I was a teenager. I can certainly see the Judy Blume "Forever" comparisons. I think this book needed to happen. We need characters that talk about sex openly and honestly and in a body-positive way. Yay for penises and vaginas! Let them be together, let them be apart! Whether it's hetero or homosexual, we should have books like this for young people who are navigating their bodies and learning to
May 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was just picking this up as a time filler while waiting on another galley, but then I ended up devouring this in one sitting.

LAUGH-OUT-LOUD FUNNY. I haven't laughed so hard in ages. For sure, there are some heartbreaking scenes/lines, but this is mostly awkward, delightful, and hilarious book. And the discussion of sex is extremely open, which I always love seeing in contemporary YA. A few misgivings but overall really enjoyable.

Longer review later but !!! a surprise favorite for Fa
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Pen and Benedict are unconventional and their journey to becoming a couple is cute, awkward, sometimes painful, but funny and sweet.
Sep 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Hmmm....what to say.

There were things I really liked about this book, and other things I wasn't sure what to do with. Pen and Benedict are both interesting characters, and ones that I sympathized with. But they are also characters that puzzled me at times.

This is, perhaps, the most up front and blunt take on teenage sex and sexuality that I've ever come across in a YA novel. Pen's honesty about her desire for sex and frequent masturbation in particular was something that I found both refreshing
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teenfic
This is the exact kind of teen book we need more of! I have no idea why YA authors and publishers think we need to pretend that teens don't have active sex lives. It makes many adult authors seem either naive, scared, or ridiculous. B.T. Gottfred addressed it in just the right way, though. Yes, I know I'm an adult now, but I was a teen for seven years, and this book would have been excellent for me then in so many ways. Now, it was excellent for me in entertaining ways, and I'm going to encourag ...more
Kristy Sieburg combs
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
A YA combination of the Rosie Project, The Hating Game, and Eleanor And Park. I enjoyed reading it. Thanks Jenny!
Jan 16, 2019 marked it as to-read
Top 10 Romance Fiction For Youth 2018 (Booklist)
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Heartbreakingly wonderful, honest and real.
B.T. Gottfred
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This is the Publisher's Weekly Review (starred) -- they do a far better job of describing the book than I could:

Gottfred (Forever for a Year) offers a hilarious and deeply honest look at high school love through the alternating voices of two teens. Penelope “Pen” Lupo is dating the most popular boy in school, yet at the cost of keeping her true self hidden, especially the sexually voracious part that Pen thinks makes her “Such. A. Freak!” Benedict Pendleton is as smart, cerebral, and socially ob
Booknerdreads Grace Haddad
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I freaking give this book infinity stars. I loved it . I usually hate insta love, but this book. I thought it was beautiful. I loved that the characters were complete messes. I loved that we got into their heads. And I love that even when they fixed each other, they still were a bit of a mess, but that they had each other, made that mess okay. I do hope this makes sense. I’m for sure as much a mess as Penelope and Benedict. The acknowledgments were amazing even. I loved that he basically had a c ...more
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B. T. Gottfred is an author, playwright, and—ooh, look there, behind you . . . no, you're right, never mind—director.

His first-ish novel, “Forever for a Year”, was released July 2015 by Macmillan/Holt. His second-ish novel, “The Nerdy and The Dirty” arrived November 2016 from Mac/Holt. His third book, "The Handsome Girl and Her Beautiful Boy", debuts May, 2018.

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