After reading about twelve percent of it, I put off this book—for like, two weeks. I didn’t read a word of it for awhile. Part of that was because I was just getting ready to move to college, part of it was because I was trying to get as far as I possibly could through a video game before I said goodbye to my PS3, but…a large part of it was because I was just bored.
However, I’m really sad that I didn’t read this quicker. Finally, on my long plane ride, I hunkered down and plowed through. And, you know, I really enjoyed it. I think the narration here was excellently written. Despite being written by a woman, Sam didn’t come off as too girly or feminine and sounded like a genuine male point of view. I really loved watching his relationship with Camilla unfold—seeing them go from strangers to best friends and then suddenly and frighteningly to something more. It was so realistic and believable, and I wish more books were written this way. The beginning was a little slow for me, so I found myself unable to give it a full five stars, but I would definitely recommend this. It’s cute, geeky chick-lit (from a male point of view!), and it’s absolutely perfect when you’re in the mood for this genre.
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
What I Liked: Spoilers!
- I just loved Sam’s voice. He came off as so realistic and believable. I felt like I was right there in his head, going through everything with him. While I kind of disagreed with his way of handling his crush on Camilla, it was still enjoyable to watch his progression of emotions and the way he chose to deal with it all. His absolute and stubborn denial of having a relationship with her was both funny and a little heartbreaking and I really loved getting to know everyone and everything through his eyes. I love books written from the male point of view, especially the “chick lit” genre, and this really met all my expectations.
- Surprisingly, I didn’t find any of the character to be hipsters or totally cliché. Usually, books with characters that fit in with popular kids and are pretty and are really nerdy and geeky and are smart and like music and enjoy a bunch of nerdy and indie stuff bother me. I generally find that they’re trying too hard to be likeable to everyone. However, it has occurred to me that people in real life work this way, too. I mean, I love reading classic literature, but I will be ready and willing to watch a Lord of the Rings marathon, or kill a day with nothing but Star Wars. I know nothing about WoW, but we could have a conversation about any of the Final Fantasy worlds and turn around and talk about makeup and fashion in the next breath. Camilla was kind of like that—in fact, most of the characters were like that. None of them were stuffed into one box, and I found that where I usually dislike characters for having such a wide range of interests, this cast felt more realistic because of that. The balance was right—I didn’t feel like the author wanted me to like them because they could be preppy and nerdy, but rather I was being shown that it’s okay to have sides that are all over the place. I really liked that here.
What I Didn’t Like:
- I can’t really pinpoint one thing I didn’t enjoy. The beginning was just a little slow for me—nothing really “happens” in this book. It’s a bunch of little things that all lead up to other things before it finally comes together in the end. Kind of like real life, actually. But because of that, I found it slow to start, and considering I did put off reading it for a couple weeks, I couldn’t bring myself to give it a perfect rating. There was just a little something that didn’t click all the way, though I do think this is outweighed by how great the book as a whole ended up being.
Overall: I really did enjoy this book a lot. I would definitely recommend it as a must-read if you’re looking for something light and kind of nerdy. It was funny in all the right places, and appropriate enough that anyone thirteen and older would probably enjoy it. Sam was a fantastic narrator and seeing the world through his eyes was an enjoyable experience. I look forward to reading more from Keil in the future!