Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Into the Wild Nerd Yonder: My Life on the Dork Side by Julie Halpern

Jessie is having some problems. The school year is about to start and her two best friends have decided to go punk. This wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t involve using Jessie to glom onto her older brother’s group of friends…And in particular, Van, Jessie’s long-term crush.

Jessie’s voice occasionally sounds a little young (she’s in grade 10), especially with some of the subject matter dealt with in the book, but overall I really liked her. She’s the younger, not as cool sibling (her brother is so effortlessly cool he is punk and yet not a school outcast), she is quirky – she makes her own skirts out of novelty fabric to match every occasion, and she is a little unsure of herself. She listens to audio books as she sews (which was some great YA like Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snoggings or Life as We Knew it) and is really into school. She’s always been the quieter, not in the spotlight, person in her trio of friends. Which, I think, is why it doubly hurts when her friends start pursuing her crush.

A lot of Jessie’s soul searching has to do with where she fits in. She knows she’s not part of the popular crowd, she’s not a punk like her brother, but neither does she consider herself a full-on nerd. So when she starts looking for new friends it is a little bit discomfiting to her that she’s drawn to some of the “nerdiest” people at school. Luckily for her (and the reader) looks can be deceiving. Jessie meets some really great people who aren’t at all like she thought they would be.

The cover is going to draw in a lot of girls and you’ll notice what at first glance might seem like diamonds are actually, upon closer inspection, Dungeon and Dragon dice. I thought the cover represented the book very well, there is some renaissance looking dress on the cover, the D&D die, and a cute home-made skirt on the back cover. A really sweet book.

Book Source: Tayshas Review Copy

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