Geek/ Nerd Young Adult Fiction
Comics, superheroes, live-action role-playing, comic con, aliens, sci-fi movies, gadgets and the epic universe of fandom. As a self-proclaimed nerd, there is something so enticing about everything geeky.
The books in this list are young adult contemporaries with characters who have a severe love for at least one of these geeky/nerdy obsessions. They may be funny, serious or somewhere in between. This list also highlights a few books to be released in 2016 – which looks like it’s going to be a great year for geek/nerd fiction.
Click on the covers for full reviews.
17-year-old Jen turns her life upside down when, out of boredom, she makes a bet that she can turn school geek Trevor into someone like her. Instead, the goth girl finds herself sucked into his world of sci-fi movies, charity work, and even -ugh!- bowling. To truly belong with him -and with her new foster family- she must first come to terms with her violent past.
Sam Kinnison is a geek, and he’s totally fine with that. He has his horror movies, his nerdy friends, World of Warcraft – and until Princess Leia turns up in his bedroom, he doesn’t have to worry about girls. Then Sam meets Camilla. She’s beautiful, friendly and completely irrelevant to his life. Sam is determined to ignore her, except that Camilla has a life of her own – and she’s decided that he’s going to be part of it. Sam believes that everything he needs to know he can learn from the movies … but now it looks like he’s been watching the wrong ones.
The Summer I Became A Nerd – Leah Rae Miller – Entangled Teen – Published 7 May 2013
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.
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.
Zoe has a great pair of legs, perky boobs, and wears exactly what she needs to show it all off. She works hard for the easy sleazy ‘you only wish you were me’ reputation, burying who she really is—an all-out nerd.
The only time Zoe gets to be herself is when she hides under her comforter to read X-Men comics, sending jealousy stabs at everyone who attends Comic-Con. Keeping up her popular rep is too important, and she’s so damn insecure to care about the consequences. But when Zoe’s sister takes her car for a ‘crash and burn into a tree’ joyride, her parents get her a replacement. A manual. Something she doesn’t know how to operate, but her next door neighbor Zak sure as heck does.
Zak’s a geek to the core, shunned by everyone in school for playing Dungeons and Dragons at lunch and wearing “Use the Force” t-shirts. And Zoe’s got it bad for the boy. Only Zak doesn’t want Popular Zoe. He wants Geek Zoe.
School’s over for good for Alba and her group of friends. A long, hot summer stretches before them in their little rural town of Eden Valley. But doubts about the future and fears about how it might change their lives and their friendships are surfacing. So it’s only fitting that when an impending apocalypse is announced, Alba’s little town is named as the last point of human survival. Chaos ensures. Alba’s not so sure about her town when it’s hopped up on huge masses of vegan hippies looking to party in the end of the world. But the summer is also sparking changes in the friendship group, and the long-term, best-friend status between Grady and Alba is being shaken with the reappearance of their old friend Daniel, who is now a TV star. Full review.
Duke has it all: cool friends, a wealthy and stable family, good grades, popularity, and a chance to make it into the elite secret club at his school. But when he is caught performing the prank that will gain him entrance into the Alphas (previously mentioned secret club), he is sentenced to a month’s community service cleaning the school. These after-school cleaning sessions throw him into the path of Cora Matthews – goth girl, principal’s daughter and the one girl who is determined to have nothing to do with Duke. Duke is intrigued but easily distracted by the challenge of gaining a second chance at the Alphas and the cheerleader who clearly wants him (yes, you may insert eye roll here). When a burst appendix lands him in hospital Duke is offered an insight into Cora’s life and why she hides herself from the world. Her brother, Jaime, has brain cancer. Duke and Jaime form a strong friendship, and so begins the adventures of Ghostboy, Chameleon and the Duke of Graffiti. Full review.
A book set almost completely at a comic convention. Tick. A story where the characters get together over one night and it doesn’t read as insta-love. Check. Hilarious moment after twist after timely disaster. Tick, tick, tick. Basically this book is just completely awesome.
When Ana’s little brother ditches the quiz bowl semifinals to attend a sci-fi convention, it is up to Ana to retrieve him before her parents find out. She relies on geek and slacker Zak to get her in and out of there alive. Full review.
Mallory hasn’t left her house in months. She attends school via webcam and spends her free time on the local online alien discussion board, where she enjoys arguing with the irritating BeamMeUp. But her mother is worried about her, and Mallory’s brother, Lincoln, and best friend, Jenni, are determined to force Mallory back into society and the world outside her bedroom. Their big idea is helping Mallory win the homecoming queen crown when she is shockingly nominated. Mallory has her own plan, hoping the prize money will help her reconnect with her father. Full review.
Here are some more to keep an eye out for in the coming year.
Dan Garrett has become exactly what he hates—popular. Until recently, he was just another live-action role-playing (LARP) geek on the lowest run of the social ladder. Cue a massive growth spurt and an uncanny skill at taking three-point shots in basketball and voila…Mr. Popular. It’s definitely weird.
And the biggest drawback? Going from high school zero to basketball hero cost Dan the secret girl-of-his-dorky dreams. A tuba-playing nerd with an eclectic fashion sense, Zelda Potts’s “Coolness” stat is about minus forty-two. Dan turning his back on her and the rest of nerd-dom was brutal enough, but when he humiliates her at school, Zelda decides it’s time for a little revenge—dork style. Nevermind that she used to have a crush on him. Nevermind that her plan could backfire big time.
Trixie Watson has two very important goals for senior year: to finally save enough to buy the set of Dr. Who figurines at the local comic books store, and to place third in her class and knock Ben West–and his horrendous new mustache that he spent all summer growing–down to number four.
Trixie will do anything to get her name ranked over Ben’s, including give up sleep and comic books–well, maybe not comic books–but definitely sleep. After all, the war of Watson v. West is as vicious as the Doctor v. Daleks and Browncoats v. Alliance combined, and it goes all the way back to the infamous monkey bars incident in the first grade. Over a decade later, it’s time to declare a champion once and for all.
Graham met his best friend, Roxana, when he moved into her neighborhood eight years ago, and she asked him which Hogwarts house he’d be sorted into. Graham has been in love with her ever since. But now they’re sixteen, still neighbors, still best friends.
When Graham learns that the creator of their favorite comic, The Chronicles of Althena, is making a rare appearance at this year’s New York Comic Con, he knows he must score tickets. And the event inspires Graham to come up with the perfect plan to tell Roxy how he really feels about her. He’s got three days to woo his best friend at the coolest, kookiest con full of superheroes and supervillains.
Cure for the Common Universe – Christian McKay Heidicker – Simon and Schuster – Published June 2016
Sixteen-year-old Jaxon is being committed to video game rehab . . .ten minutes after he met a girl. A living, breathing girl named Serena, who not only laughed at his jokes but actually kinda sorta seemed excited when she agreed to go out with him.
Jaxon’s first date. Ever. In rehab, he can’t blast his way through galaxies to reach her. He can’t slash through armies to kiss her sweet lips. Instead, he has just four days to earn one million points by learning real-life skills. And he’ll do whatever it takes—lie, cheat, steal, even learn
how to cross-stitch—in order to make it to his date.
What are your favourites that I have missed?