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Tag: Geek Chic

Library Style

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Geek chic, or ‘library style’ (haha!) has been quite the thing for a while now, so I thought it was about time I showed some love for the stereotypical librarian wardrobe staples.

And, my goodness, there are so many nice ones!

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This round-collared shirt started it all for me. I tried it, loved it, bought it and have been on the look-out for beautiful shirts ever since.

I think this is my fave of the ones I’ve seen lately; am in love with the slightly acidic pop of colour and the contrast of that with the sweet crocheted collar and pearl buttons. This is another fave, and I also really enjoy the slightly sweeter detailing on this oneThis shirt is one of the cutest things I have seen in aaaages.

But what’s a shirt without a pencil skirt? I really like the Brit preppiness of this one and would like to see it with the acidic yellow shirt above. Love the tropical vibe of this skirt, and the yellowness! (Just in case you haven’t noticed, I very much enjoy bright yellow.) This skirt is a huge nod to the comic craze that’s hot right now. While I totally love it, I’m not sure that I could rock this.

Believe it or not, we do have books on this in the library! Yep!

Syndetics book coverThe chic geek’s fashion, grooming and style guide for men / Marcus Jaye ; foreword by Paul Smith.
The geek look (casual, comfortable, and just a little offbeat) is in! And Chic Geek is the online magazine that teaches today’s geeks (and geek wannabes) how to achieve it. Marcus Jaye, men’s style guru for the magazine, takes the guesswork out of achieving geekness in this comprehensive guide, covering all matters of fashion and grooming for every occasion, from an all-nighter in the cube to a formal wedding. Includes up-to-the minute advice from leading designers, a Geekipedia (glossary of fashion terms), and lots of photos to show how it’s done. -Amazon

I realise this book is aimed at guys, but I totally recommend it for the girls as well. It’s a well-written and quirky read; and the pics are great.

The Spring 2013 collection from Valentino is feeling the preppy, geek chic vibe, too, with crisp, high-buttoned collars and prominent shirt cuffs. The pics below are from fashiongonerogue but you can view Valentino’s full ready-to-wear Spring 2013 collection here. (love it!)

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So I do hope you’ve enjoyed this very quick guide to Library Style! Cardi, glasses and bun optional. (Although I vote you go for it!)

Looking forward to:

So many interesting-looking books to read this year, not nearly enough time.

The Madman’s Daughter, Megan Shepherd (February) – based on The Island of Dr. Moreau by H G Wells. Juliet Moreau thinks that her father, a scandallous mad scientist, is dead. When she discovers he’s not, she travels with his assistant to the island where he is conducting experiments on animals to make them behave like humans. Which is actually pretty horrific when you think about it, considering how some humans behave. “Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father’s dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it’s too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius – and madness – in her own blood.” (goodreads.com) A gothic horror!

Altered, Jennifer Rush (February) – more experimentation, this time on humans. “Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them. Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs…” (goodreads.com)

Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Powell (March) – a love story set in 1986, the birth year of Lauren Conrad, Robert Pattinson, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and Usain Bolt. Eleanor and Park are in high school, and are in love – true love, maybe? But no, they might be social misfits, but they – like, let’s face it, lots of other people – know that true love doesn’t happen when you’re 16 unless you’re in a fairytale. So this is perhaps a realistic story about love? We shall see!

Geek Girl, Holly Smale (March) – “Harriet Manners knows a lot of things. She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a “jiffy” lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn’t quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she’s spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend’s dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves…” (goodreads.com)

New Books

Anna and the French Kiss, Stephanie Perkins (372 pages) – romantic tension in Paris, where Anna (against her will, go figure) goes to spend a year at school, leaving behind her almost-boyfriend and meeting the marvelous Etienne St Clair Smart who, problematically, has an actual-girlfriend.

First sentence: Here is everything I know about France: Madeline and Amélie and Moulin Rouge.

Across the Universe, Beth Revis (398 pages) – this one has an almost retro sci-fi type of cover (which you can’t tell much from the pic over there). Amy is cryogenically frozen, to wake 300 years into the future on a new planet, however her cryo chamber is unplugged and she’s stuck on her spaceship, Godspeed, with the scary Eldest and his son Elder, knowing that someone is trying to kill her.

First sentence: Daddy said, ‘let Mom go first.’

Matched, Ally Condie (366 pages) – The matching screen is a device used by society’s officials to determine who is matched with whom for life. Cassia’s best friend flashes up on the matching screen for her, perfect, she thinks, until she sees another face appear fleetingly. Cassia must choose between two lives, between “perfection and passion”.

First sentence: Now that I’ve found the way to fly, which direction should I go into the night?

Birth of a Killer, Darren Shan (253 pages) – a new series from the horror man! Larten is a young man all alone, until he meets Seba Nile, who teaches him all about being a vampire, but will Larten turn his back on being human and embrace this new world?

First sentence: When Larten Crepsley awoke and yawned one grey Tuesday morning, he had no idea that by midday he would have become a killer.

Into the Wild Nerd Yonder, Julie Halpern (245 pages) – Things are changing in Jessie’s world, her friends are getting cooler (she’s not), so she’s on the lookout for a new set of friends. But can she befriend the Dungeons and Dragons crowd without being tainted with their geekdom?

First sentence: I so used to love the first day of school.

The Radleys, Matt Haig (337 pages) – the humorous side of abstaining from being a vampire. The Radleys are a fairly average family (two parents, two kids) living in a fairly average British town, except for the one thing (they’re vampires, but they’re abstaining). Then Uncle Will arrives, the black sheep of the family, and he’s going to shake things up a bit.

First sentence: It is a quiet place, especially at night.

Yellowcake, Margo Lanagan (235 pages) – Ten short stories from one of Australia’s literary fantasy queens.

First sentence (from ‘The Point of Roses’) – Billy flew into the kitchen.

Angel, L A Weatherly (507 pagtes) – Willow doesn’t know what she is, just that she’s different. Alex does know what she is, and that they are enemies. An “epic tale of love, destiny and sacrifice.” With angels, obvs.

First sentence: “Is that your car?” asked the girl at the 7-Eleven checkout counter.

Not That Kind of Girl, Siobhan Vivian (322 pages) – Natalie is the good, bright girl in school, but she nearly gets expelled anyway, so what’s the point in being good? Is it better to be the bad girl?

First sentence: On the first day of my senior year, I happened to walk past the auditorium during the freshman orientation assembly.

Five Flavours of Dumb, Anthony John (338 pages) – Piper is in a band called Dumb, and her bandmates do indeed seem to be a bit that way, plus she’s deaf, which makes being in a band particularly interesting: she has no idea if they’re truly terrible or really good. This doesn’t stop her from determindely finding a gig for them, with some self-discovery along the way.

First sentence: For the record, I wasn’t around the day they decided to become Dumb.

Ten Authors of Realistic Fiction

Ten +

There has been a suggestion there have been many suggestions in the Young Adult world that there’s too much paranormal (here at the Teen Blog we call it supernatural) going on, too many characters with superhuman motivations, strengths and failings, or too many thunderbolt-type interventions and whatnot. It’s all not very likely. If you’re sick of all that, or didn’t really like it in the first place, here are some writers who keep it real, and, amazingly, manage to produce some fine work with not a sparkle in sight.

Read some realism this summer!

Laurie Halse Anderson: widely well regarded, and a multi-award winner. She’s also written a couple of historical stories (Chains and Forge) for younger readers.

Courtney Summers: how horrid can girls be? Quite.

Walter Dean Myers: won the Printz Award for Monster, and author of over 70 books, which is quite staggering really.

Sara Zarr: author of three thought-provoking novels about living with the consequences of the past, childhood friendship, and faith.

John Green: slightly less grit, but still real, and a champion of the geek (google “nerdfighters”).

Melina Marchetta: although she’s written one fantasy novel (Finnikin of the Rock (we’re not saying you should avoid it of course)), she’s best known for books like On the Jellicoe Road, which won the Printz Award last year.

Chris Crutcher: his books cover issues as wide ranging as prejudice, abuse, disability and poverty, with a realistic voice that has won him lots of fans.

E R Frank: is a clinical social worker who specialises in trauma, so it is unsurprising that she puts her characters through a really tough time in her books.

Todd Strasser: author of such varied works as The Wave (made into a movie in 2008), Wish You Were Dead (the first of a new thriller series) and Give a Boy a Gun.

Close to Home: New Zealand authors like to mix it up a bit, and there have been some excellent novels in the last while, for example (just the four for now) End of the Alphabet by Fleur Beale (Ruby Yarrow’s always called at the end of the school roll, but this doesn’t have to translate to a life of always coming last), The 10 pm Question by Kate De Goldi (life is a real worry), Violence 101 by Denis Wright (try this one for an unlikeable but compelling protagonist!), or About Griffen’s Heart by Tina Shaw (Griffen’s heart features both literally (he needs heart surgery) and metaphorically). There are heaps more of course – look for the Koru sticker on the book spine, the New Zealand books display, or your nearest friendly library staff member.

Happy 2011.

Title Twins: Magnets

Freak Magnet, Andrew Auseon – from the perspective of both the freak and the magnet, can they possibly become friends, or will Charlie become another entry in Gloria’s Freak Folio? “Draws both blood and laughter,” said the ALA Booklist.

and also:

Geek Magnet, Kieran Scott – KJ has geeks racing after her, but sadly not the hottest guy in school. Can she, under the tutelage of the queen popular bee, freeze out the geeks and attract *Cameron*? Will she want to, when all’s said and done?

“Magnet” looks like a typo now.

Book Covers: Carpet of Grass

Here are four book covers illustrating how nice a good patch of grass is to lie on (although not in mid winter). It’s all very chilled out and relaxed and happy, or is it? (Read them and find out.)

 

 

Footfree and Fancyloose, Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain – carrying on from Bass Ackwards and Belly Up, Harper and her three BFFs are half way through a year in which they pursue their dreams rather than going to college. Good for people with withdrawal from the Pants Sisterhood?

Front and Center, Catherine Gilbert Murdock – the final in the trilogy about the fabulous DJ Shwenk (the first being Dairy Queen – which the central library staff selected as a Librarian’s Choice). DJ has to decide on her future, which is quite complex and political when top line College basketball programmes are involved (did anyone see the movie The Blind Side, which is football but still sort of the same saga?).

The Loser’s Guide to Life and Love, A E Cannon – “Four teens fumble the ball of love in this entertaining romantic comedy based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream” says the Booklist review. Snappy dialogue.

The Vast Fields of Ordinary, Nick Burd – while his parents’ marriage fall apart, Dade comes out of the closet. Rites of passage and coming of age: it’s got good reviews too.

Again New Books

Friday’s offering:

The Unwritten Rule, Elizabeth Scott (210 pages) – The unwritten rule is of course don’t fancy your best friend’s boyfriend (a theme from the last batch of new books). This time, Sarah’s doing a pretty good job of avoiding Ryan (being Brianna’s boyfriend), until they’re “thrown together” one night. The first sentence sums it up.

First sentence: I liked him first, but it doesn’t matter.

After Tupac & D Foster, Jacqueline Woodson (151 pages) – Neeka and her best friend form a bond with D Foster, and the three girls explore life, and the music of Tupac Shakur, learning tough lessons in the process. (A Newbery Honor Book)

First sentence: The summer before D Foster’s real mama came and took her away, Tupac wasn’t dead yet.

Stuck on Earth, David Klass (227 pages) – Ketchvar III comes to Earth in order to answer the following question: “Should the Sandovinians release the Gagnerian Death Ray and erase the human species for good?” In order to do this (answer the question, not erase the species) he inhabits the brain of Tom Filber, the geekiest geek, ironically almost an alien himself, so geeky is he. Needless to say, Ketchvar becomes quite involved in Tom’s life, which may well be a good thing for Earth.

First sentence: We are skimming over the New Jersey countryside in full search mode, hunting a fourteen-year-old.

Split, Swati Avasthi (280 pages) – Jace Witherspoon has escaped his abusive home and gone to live with his brother. “A riveting portrait of what happens after,” the cover says.

First sentence: Now I have to start lying.

It’s Not Summer Without You, Jenny Han (275 pages) – the sequel to The Summer I Turned Pretty. “Teenaged Isobel ‘Belly’ Conklin, whose life revolves around spending the summer at her mother’s best friend’s beach house, reflects on the tragic events of the past year that changed her life forever.” (Catalogue)

First sentence: It was a hot summer day in Cousins.

Shooting Star, Frederick McKissack Jr (273 pages) – Jomo Rodgers is a very good (American) football player, on the varsity team at school etc. He feels the pressure to be more than very good, cranks up the training and finds himself dealing with the question, to use steroids or not?

First sentence: Breathing is a natural process, yet Jomo Rodgers found himself flat on his back trying to remember how to do it.

Broken Memory, Elisabeth Combres (132 pages) – Emma’s mother is murdered by the Tutsis, and Emma (a Tutsi) is taken in by an old Hutu woman and brought up in her home, gradually coming to terms with her terrible past. A story inspired by the genocide in Rwanda.

First sentence: They are there.

Headgames, Casey Lever (282 pages) – Steven Byrd learns the hard way that girls who think you’re a waste of space and who then invite you to be a part of their secret game are probably up to no good. “Everyone has secrets. But who will be the first to crack?” asks the cover.

First line(s): Bell. Ancient History. Ms Landers was away on Year 9 camp, so the class had been off-loaded onto the Resource Centre.

Lockdown, Alexander Gordon Smith (273 pages) – The first in the Escape from Furnace series. Furnace is a maximum security prison, a mile under the earth’s surface. When Alex Sawyer is convicted of a murder he didn’t commit he is sent there, and realises quickly he must escape or face a life worse than death.

First sentence: If I stopped running I was dead.

No and Me, Delphine de Vigan (246 pages) – Lou lives in a quietly disfunctional family, where her father is barely holding up and her mother hasn’t left their appartment for years. She meets No, a homeless girl, and invites her to live with them. A novel about ” the true nature of home and homelessness”.

First sentence: “Miss Bertignac, I don’t see your name on the list of presentations.”

Daywards, Anthony Eaton (3341 pages) – Book three in the Darklands trilogy. Dara, Jaran, Eyna and their family must leave their home when the ghosts of a dead civilisation return to haunt them.

First sentence: The day Da Janil died, Dara had expected to be let off hunting duty.

The Summer I Got a Life, Mark Fink (195 pages) – Andy and Brad are brothers who don’t exactly get along. When their Hawaii holiday turns into time on their uncle and aunt’s farm in Wisconsin things might seem to be distinctly average, but then Andy meets Laura, who is amazing, and all things considered the summer might end up being not so terrible.

First sentence: I was totally pumped!

Also:

Anonymity Jones, James Roy (196 pages)

Finders Keepers, Marilyn Kaye (216 pages, Gifted series)

Where There’s Smoke, John Heffernan (205 pages)

New Books

Here are the latest new books to arrive in the YA collection. I know that all we’ve written about lately are books, but we are a library! We can not be faulted.

These are only half the new books. btw. Xmas has been busy.

The Demon King : A Seven Realms Novel, by Cinda Williams Chima (506 pages) – This is the first in a series. It is a fantasy series, set in a world threatened by the Demon King, and the protaganist is a reformed thief who falls for a princess.

First line: ‘Han Alister squatted nest to the steaming mud spring, praying that the thermal crust would hold his weight.

Betraying Season, by Marissa Doyle (330 pages) – It is 1838. Penelope Leland heads to Ireland to study magic. Niall Keating is instructed to woo her by his evil mother – will he fall for Penelope, or is he a real son of a witch?

First line: ‘“Saints preserve us!” The shocked cry and a wild jangle of harness yanked Pen Leland from her reverie.

Border Crossing, by Jessica Lee Anderson (174 pages) – Texan teen Manz lives with his alcoholic mother and her boyfriend. Life is rough and isn’t helped by the many voices he hears in his head. As they get louder he finds it difficult to tell reality from delusion.

First line: ‘My room blazed red.

The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading, by Charity Tahmaseb and Darcy Vance (324 pages) – Bethany has always considered herself a geek, so when she makes the varsity cheerleading squad she finds she needs to learn more than just swinging about those pom-pom things.

First line: ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that a high school boy in possession of great athletic ability must be in want of … a bowl of oatmeal.

All the Lovely Bad Ones : A Ghost Story, by Mary Downing Hahn (182 pages) – Travis and his sister, Corey, drum up business for their grandmother’s inn in Fox Hill, Vermont, by faking a haunting. But! They awaken a real haunting, and only by uncovering the secret horrors of Fox Hill can they put the ghosts to rest.

First line: ‘Grandmother met us at the Burlington airport, a big smile on her face and her arms open for a hug.

Angel Fish, by Lili Wilkinson (246 pages) – Gabriel joins Stephan, who claims that an army of children can free the Holy Lands from the Saracen. The so-called Children’s Crusade is a disaster, and Gabriel must confront his doubts. A historical novel based on an actual event.

First lines: ‘A boy has come to Machery. I think he might be an Angel.

Oathbreaker : A Prince Among Killers, by S. R. Vaught and J. B. Redmond (420 pages)  – This is the sequel to Oathbreaker : Assassin’s Apprentice. The apprentice is Aron, who with the help of his friends must battle the leaders who want to destroy the land.

First line: ‘In a time before written history, humans conquered Earth’s magical societies.

Kira : Shadow of the Dragon : Book One, by Kate O’Hearn (307 pages) – Kira is the daughter of a retired dragon knight. War is declared, and her family is taken away to serve the king. Kira and her sister are unmarried, which is a crime for all girls over the age of thirteen, so they are locked up. They escape! And there is a baby dragon also!

First line: ‘“I don’t want to get married!”

Where the Streets Had a Name, by Randa Abdel-Fattah (227 pages) – Thirteen-year-old Hayaat wants to bring her dying grandmother some soil from the garden she left behind many years ago. It’s only a few miles away, but to get to it Hayaat must cross to Jerusalem from Bethlehem, in the West Bank, and there’s a massive – and well-guarded – wall in the way.

First line: ‘It’s six-thirty in the morning.

Over the End Line, by Alfred C. Martino (304 pages) – Jonny and Kyle are best friends, although Kyle is like number one at soccer and popular at school. Jonny is neither of those things until he scores a winning goal at the county football champs. A blend of ‘fast-paced sports action … memorable characters, and … suspense in a powerful yet dark story of popularity, violence, and terror.’

First lines: ‘It’s morning. I’m awake. I wish I wasn’t.

Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can’t Have, by Allen Zadoff  (311 pages) – Andrew is fifteen and the second fattest kid in his sport-crazy high school. He falls for April, and decides to join the football squad. Not soccer! American football, where it might help to be heavy?

First lines: ‘My name is Andrew Zansky. I’m fifteen years old, and I weigh 307 pounds.

Beatle Meets Destiny, by Gabrielle Williams (290 pages)
Loving Richard Fernman, by Penny Tangey (199 pages)
Mama’s Song, by Ben Beaton (198 pages)

The First Few in a Really Huge Batch of New Books

There’s a truckload!

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd (400 pages) – as anticipated in this post, the collection of geek short stories is here. Fifteen stories in all, interspersed with comics, by some excellent writers.

First sentence (Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci): I awake tangled up in scratchy sheets with my head pounding and the taste of cheap alcohol and Tabasco still in my mouth.
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Strange Angels, Lili St. Crow (293 pages) – again, we hinted about this one here. The first book about Dru Anderson, a zombie-killing tough girl whose life is about to become dangerous and complicated.

First sentence: I didn’t tell Dad about Granmama’s white owl.
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Pretty Dead, Francesca Lia Block (195 pages) – Charlotte is a vampire. Jared is mortal, and “brooding” and “magnetic” to boot. Francesca Lia Block’s take on the gothic theme. Cassandra Clare says (winningly) on the cover: “An opulent, surreal world of strange beauty, sudden horror, and lush romance.”

First sentence: Teenage girls are powerful creatures.
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Sea Change, Aimee Friedman (290 pages) – Miranda leaves New York for an island holiday. But this is Selkie Island, and with a name like that it’s bound to be a weird place, with a strange history, spooky legends. And then there’s Leo.

First sentence: The waiting ferryboat – ivory-coloured and two-tiered – resembled a slice of cake.
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Girl in the Arena, Lise Haines (324 pages) – A satire on reality TV type shows – Lyn’s father is a gladiator, the top gladiator in the league, in fact. When he’s killed in competition the Gladiator Sports Association (GSA) decrees that Lyn must marry the gladiator who did it. Being independent-minded, Lyn isn’t going to take this lying down, even if that means having to enter the arena herself.

First sentence: In 1969 there was a young widower named Joseph Byers who lost his only child, Ned, to the war in Vietnam, when Ned tried to dodge the draft.
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Counter Clockwise, Jason Cockcroft (202 pages) – “What if time moved counter-clockwise?” the inside cover asks, which is the basic premise of this thriller. Nathan witnesses bizarre and disturbing things happening around him, like his father disappearing through a hole that appears in the bathroom wall. That’d wind you up.

First sentence: When Nathan’s father told him the news, his voice seemed lost in the quiet of the schoolroom – as though it didn’t belong, Nathan thought.
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Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, Jessica Day George (317 pages) – based on East of the Sun, West of the Moon, a Nordic fairy tale. A woodcutter’s daughter agrees to accompany a bear to his castle. She thinks this is a good idea; I think not. Strange and terrible adventures unfold in the quest that ensues.

First sentence: Long ago and far away in the land of ice and snow, there came a time when it seemed that winter would never end.
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The Dead House, Anne Cassidy (264 pages) – Lauren moves back to London to study, to a place very close to the house where she used to live. Trouble is, the house where she used to live contains nightmarish memories of her past and her family that she must confront.

First sentence: Lauren went to look at the house late at night.
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The Bad Tuesdays: Strange Energy, Benjamin J Myers (330 pages) – the second in the series after Twisted Symmetry. Chess Tuesday and her brothers are enlisted by The Committee to find out what happened to the stolen children. But why?

First sentence:  The razor wire gleamed along the top of the fence.
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Top 10: Geek Chic

periodic table“OOOH. My kind of cute. Geek cute, with an emphasis on the cute part. Yes, siree,” opines Jessica Darling – the narrator of Second Helpings (Megan McCafferty) – of, it turns out, her classmate Len um Levy um. Jessica doesn’t of course realise it’s Len; he’s transformed over summer and she makes a bit of an ass of herself in the ensuing scene.

The point being, geek chic is in, and it’s in in YA literature, too.

  1. book coverTwo Parties, One Tux and a Very Short Film about The Grapes of Wrath, Steven Goldman. I loved this book, especially the chapter with the subheadings in haiku. Mitchell’s social awkwardness is remarkable at times, especially in the episode involving the tux, which is, like, straight out of one of those 1980s Molly Ringwald teen movies that they don’t make any more. Thank goodness, you might say (the tux scene in Two Parties… is not for the faint hearted).
  2. book coverAn Abundance of Katherines, John Green. Colin Singleton is a geek-on-steroids really, in social no man’s land until he’s rescued by Hasan who points out what’s “not interesting”. Lots of people need Hasans, I think; there are lots of uninteresting conversations out there (I’ve placed an order for my own Hasan). Anyway, Colin does surprisingly alright with the ladies, even when turning love into a complex mathematical theorem.
  3. book coverKing Dork, Frank Portman. Tom is “brainy, freaky, oddball kid who reads too much, … so bright that his genius is sometimes mistaken for just being retarded”. So it comes as no surprise to learn that Tom is an outsider at school. Outsiders often make the most engaging narrators though, and you get a double dose of this in King Dork, as Tom is somewhat obsessed with The Catcher in the Rye and Holden Caulfield.
  4. book coverFat Kid Rules the World, K L Going. There’s an unlikely duo in here; Troy is an “overweight social leper” and Curt, who stops Troy from making the biggest mistake of his life, is a “skinny punk guitar genius”. When Troy is recruited to Curt’s band as drummer (no matter that he can’t play) it is possible that, for the first time in his life, Troy just might be cool.
  5. Little Brother, Cory Doctorow (he calls himself w1n5t0n, you see): Ender’s Game Orson Scott Card. Computer geeks can save the world.
  6. book coverFeed, M T Anderson. A dystopian novel by the frighteningly intelligent M T Anderson (he wrote The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing). The concept here is geeky (which, I’m trying to point out, is not a bad thing): in a future dystopia everyone has a computer chip implanted in their brain which links them to the global network (the Feed). Titus meets Violet, who has been home-schooled and received her “feed” late, enabling her to be more aware of what’s going on. Just to be different, the oddball geek here is a girl.
  7. Black Swan Green, David Mitchell. Jason Taylor is a 13 year old geek, no doubt. More than a little autobiographical (an educated guess), this novel is proof that geeks can become multi-award-winning-critically-acclaimed-international-bestselling authors and all-round nice guys. I shouldn’t plug David Mitchell’s books so much, but they’re so good.
  8. Spider-Man. Peter Parker: geek and superhero; and on the DC side of things you’ve got Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter and Superman.
  9. Harry Potter series, J K Rowling. Is it Harry who started the geek is good trend? It just might be. Thanks, Harry!
  10. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4, Sue Townsend. To finish, here’s a geek who is not chic at all (sorry Adrian). Adrian Mole thinks he’s an intellectual and attempts to diarise his intellectual awakening, misinterpreting things left, right and centre: v funny.