Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Geek Girl, by Cindy C. Bennett
A book that fell into my hands through a blog giveaway (one of the best ways to get me to read something I wouldn't normally pick up) and not a bad one either.
Yes, it's a teen romance. Yes, there is kissing. Yes, sensitive subjects are mentioned (drug use, child abuse, homicide) BUT it is written in an equally sensitive and appropriate way. I had no qualms about letting my teenager read it.
A girl, Goth by choice, foster daughter against her will, makes a bet with her girlfriends that she can turn a nerdy, do-gooder and decent looking guy into a hard partier like themselves. With every intention of winning said bet, Jen turns on the feminine wiles full blast only to slowly find herself adapting to Trevor's middle-class, family values prioritized world. Eventually she finds she has honestly fallen for him, which now poses a problem...what if he finds out the relationship didn't start out so honest? (There's that classic romance novel problem - you know - the one that threatens to kill the whole relationship bit.)
I was surprised that I ended up liking Jen. Score one for the author in creating a complex character that eventually draws you in. Score another that although the nerd-in-question, Trevor, is so straight laced the character screams "Mormon boy" but the Church is never singled out. It's nice to think there are decent boys of all faiths out there, hard as they may be to find.
One score against the book's believability: I don't think ANY teenager reading this nowadays has any clue as to who June Cleaver is, or even what the old t.v. show Leave It To Beaver was like. I only understand the reference because I saw some reruns as a kid. I don't know that Nickolodeon is doing reruns of the show, so how would any modern teen get it? The fact is, NO MOTHER is a June Cleaver. Period. She was, and still is, a fictional character bordering on the mythological. I'd rather Trevor's mom was patterned after a real mom, not a myth. But that's just me.
Overall, not a bad read. Finished it in one sitting, so it was interesting enough to forgo laundry for it. Parents might want to discuss peer pressure, drug use, the difference between individuality and going with the crowd, what makes a real family, and the difference between "love" and "infatuation".
This seems to be a self published work (at which I'm very impressed) so feel free to check out the author's website here.