Review: The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

summer i became a nerdThe Summer I Became a Nerd
Author: Leah Rae Miller
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Age Group: Teen
Source: Publisher through Netgalley
Good Reads  |  Amazon

Summary from GoodReads:

On the outside, seventeen-year-old Madelyne Summers looks like your typical blond cheerleader—perky, popular, and dating the star quarterback. But inside, Maddie spends more time agonizing over what will happen in the next issue of her favorite comic book than planning pep rallies with her squad. That she’s a nerd hiding in a popular girl’s body isn’t just unknown, it’s anti-known. And she needs to keep it that way.

Summer is the only time Maddie lets her real self out to play, but when she slips up and the adorkable guy behind the local comic shop’s counter uncovers her secret, she’s busted. Before she can shake a pom-pom, Maddie’s whisked into Logan’s world of comic conventions, live-action role-playing, and first-person-shooter video games. And she loves it. But the more she denies who she really is, the deeper her lies become…and the more she risks losing Logan forever.


3 out of 5

3 out of 5
I enjoyed it!

My Thoughts

I was really excited when I first heard about The Summer I Became a Nerd.  It sounded like a nice twist on the geeky girl becomes popular story.  I’m a total nerd (I mean, I would rather spend all day reading by myself, than out doing “cool” stuff – whatever that is at my age) and this book just sounded like tons of fun.  But, although I did like The Summer I Became a Nerd, it’s didn’t WOW me.  It just felt kind of mediocre and a book that I will soon forget about.

I think one of my main problems with this was the explanation on why Maddie decided to hide her “nerd” tendencies for so long.  Without giving away anything spoilery, there was a traumatic event in Maddie’s life that made her that way.  But that traumatic event didn’t seem quite traumatic enough for me to understand why Maddie hid her geekiness.  I mean, sure, it was upsetting, but Miller doesn’t show Maddie’s emotions enough at that event to truly help me understand Maddie.  And, actually, it was more than Maddie hiding that she likes comics.  Maddie also dated the popular football player just because she knew that was what popular people did.  She has a very strategic plan in her head, and I just wasn’t really a fan of that.

Maddie isn’t unlikable, but I can’t say that I loved her either.  And actually, I forgot about her pretty quickly.  In fact, even though I’m writing this review the same day I finished the book, I had to look at the summary to remember her name.  She’s interesting, and I liked her enough.  It’s kind of great to read about this popular cheerleader who loves “nerdy” things, but she’s pretty forgettable.

I did really like Logan, though.  He was such a cutie, and I totally have a teenage girl crush on him.  I also loved Logan’s family!  Especially Vera, one of Logan’s littler sisters with a big personality.  Oh my gosh, and Dan, Logan’s best friend, was such a wonderful character in this book.  He’s totally the kind of friend I would want.  He’s totally loyal, and always looking out for his friends.  But Dan is also willing to forgive people.  He’s the best.

Okay, so you know in books sometimes there are these BIG GESTURES at the end.  Like in Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg, when Lexi does this crazy thing at the end to get her mother to listen to her.  Well . . . I don’t like those.  I don’t know why, I just don’t, and there is one in The Summer I Became a Nerd.  Maybe it is just because I can be a pretty private person about certain things, and the idea of these big gestures that get all this attention just scare me.  I would never do something like that, and I would never want to be the recipient of the Big Gesture either.  I just think it’s better to talk about things privately.  Annnyway, so I wasn’t a huge fan of the Big Gesture in this book.  But that is really a personal preference on my part, and it isn’t something that I think is wrong with the story.  It’s just not my kind of thing.

I know I sound kind of critical of this book, but I did enjoy it.  It’s a quick, summer read with lots of nerdiness mixed in.  I do really like that it is a different take on the dorky girl becomes popular story.  I definitely think it’s worth the read if you like summer contemporaries, but I recommend borrowing it from the library.  I don’t think it is a re-read kind of book.

About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
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16 Responses to Review: The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

  1. Anahera says:

    I really want to read this book because I think I’m a nerd too. I really don’t know why she would have to hide her geekiness though. 😦

    • Quinn says:

      Well, Miller does try to explain why Maddie hides her geekiness, but I didn’t 100% believe it. It is a good summer read, though.

  2. Can’t wait to read!

    Charlie xx

  3. Jade says:

    I had quite high expectations for this book as a summer read… I’m not sure if it’s my kind of book now… Perhaps it’ll be worth a read, but I won’t be rushing to get my hands on it. Thanks for the review 🙂

    My Book Bubble

    • Quinn says:

      Yeah, I wasn’t madly in love, but it is good to read in the summer. Maybe you could get it from the library. It’s a very quick read.

  4. I thought this sounded cute being a total geek girl myself..but based on this review..hmms not sure..if it didn’t wow you I am sure I will disappointed as well!

    • Quinn says:

      It just wasn’t a book that stuck with me. It’s not terrible or anything. Maybe I was too harsh in my review? It’s just that it is so forgettable. I love light fun contemps, but there are better out there, imo.

  5. Christina says:

    Very curious to see what this big gesture is…kind of makes me think of the whole boom box over head thing….(I hope I am not showing my age here w/ this reference.) Anyway, I have been reading a lot of middle of the road contemporaries and while they are fun and interesting at times, they lack that “wow” factor and that’s what it sounds like here. I am still interested in checking this one out b/c I like the whole nerdy/geeky aspect of it, but I think I will get it from the library as you recommended. Thanks for the great review!

  6. I thought this book was really cute. I loved Logan to, but did want to just pop Maddie a time or two, though she won me over at the end.

  7. I’m still excited to read this, but I will do it with what you said about Maddie hiding her geekiness in mind. Sounds like it will be a decent beach read! Gret review.

  8. caitlore says:

    I’m with you in that the huge traumatic event wasn’t too believable in that it would traumatize her forever to hide her geekyness… but it was definitely a cute, summer read!

  9. Candice says:

    While this wasn’t super complex of a read, I really did enjoy it. I thought it was fun, cute, perfect for summer. However, like you said… I wasn’t really sure about the whole “hiding my geekiness” thing. I mean, I got why she did it… and yeah, I can relate because I would have NEVER admitted some of my geeky tendencies in hs, but things just didn’t click I guess. I did love how the message was “oh we all have geek tendencies!” Sorry… was that spoilery? Although… kind of obvious. 🙂

  10. I pretty much had the same feelings as you about this one. I thought it was a fine, sometimes good, summer read, but it’s not something I would ever imagine rereading. And I totally agree with you about Logan’s family, they were great! Excellent review!

  11. Michelle says:

    I want to read this bc the cover is so darn cute!! It’s a shame that it didn’t wow you, but sometimes you just need those quick summer reads that don’t make you think too much 🙂

  12. Pingback: The Summer I Became A Nerd | Leah Rae Miller | Book Review

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