The Geek’s Guide To Unrequited Love – Sarvenaz Tash – Simon and Schuster – Published 14 June 2016
Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy…
Archie and Veronica…
Althena and Noth…
…Graham and Roxy?
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. And Graham and Roxy share more than ever—moving on from their Harry Potter obsession to a serious love of comic books.
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. But no one at a comic book convention is who they appear to be…even Roxy. And Graham is starting to realize fictional love stories are way less complicated than real-life ones.
Set over three days at the New York Comic Con, this is a fun and yet touching story of friendship, the adoration of all things sci-fi and fantasy, drawn, filmed and written, and the heartbreak that comes with loving someone who may not love you back.
Graham and Roxy have been best friends for years. They share everything, from their love of Harry Potter to their love of the comic the Chronicles of Althena. So when Graham realises that he feels more for Roxy than just friendship, he decides that the comic con is the perfect place to reveal his new-found feelings. But the course of love never did run smooth, and Graham has his work cut out for him.
I felt sorry for Graham, but also weirdly proud. It’s not easy being in love with your best friends, especially when you’re not sure if she loves you back. I thought he handled the whole thing really well. So is this a love story, is it all about unrequited love or does Graham get some loving in return? Well, I can’t say without spoilers, but I think it certainly was more than your average love story. Far more complex and indicative of real life – the happy endings may not come from where we predict or how we think they will happen but I would call it a happy ending nonetheless.
I really enjoyed the last half of this book. The first half was familiar, done before in other set-completely-at-comic-con stories, such as The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher. It was comfortable and predictable, nerds geeking out at wonderful things like character reveals, author signings and panel discussions. But it’s the last half of this book where the story really comes into its own. Graham also really shines in this half of the book, though he is likeable throughout.
I think this story has rightfully earned its place among the growing number of YA novels that mix comics and sci-fi with romance in fun and moving coming-of-age stories.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Themes: Friendship, romance, comic conventions, comics, dating and relationships.
Reading age guide: Ages 14 and up.
Advisory: Coarse language, f***, s***.
Published: 14 June 2016 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
Format: Hardcover, ebook. 256 pages.