GEEKS, GIRLS, & SECRET IDENTITIES

https://i0.wp.com/d.gr-assets.com/books/1349153367l/12606292.jpgStars:
Recommended? If you’re looking for a funny, action packed, book then this book won’t disappoint you. Plus, there are a ton of comic book references that are fun to find.

Mike Jung spoke at my regional SCBWI conference. He was funny, energetic and a debut author with a very impressive story (and editor! Arthur Levine — the American editor of Harry Potter!) so, of course, I had to pick up the book. I loved hearing him talk about how he became an author — those are always my favorite parts. It wasn’t instant. He rewrote Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities quite a few times — like, completely sometimes. Originally it was told from Polly’s POV, now it’s in Vincent’s. Even though I generally don’t read MG, Jung won me over. If he was that funny in person, I couldn’t wait to see what his book was like. And, really, I’m not a fan of funny books, so the fact that he made me want to read one was pretty remarkable.

Synopsis from GOODREADS:

A SUPER funny, SUPER fast-paced, SUPER debut!

Can knowing the most superhero trivia in the whole school be considered a superpower?

If so, Vincent Wu is invincible.

If not (and let’s face it, it’s “not”), then Vincent and his pals Max and George don’t get any props for being the leaders (and, well, sole members) of the (unofficial) Captain Stupendous Fan Club.

But what happens when the Captain is hurt in an incident involving BOTH Professor Mayhem and his giant indestructible robot AND (mortifyingly) Polly Winnicott-Lee, the girl Vincent totally has a crush on?

The entire city is in danger, Vincent’s parents and his friends aren’t safe, the art teacher has disappeared, and talking to Polly is REALLY, REALLY AWKWARD.

Being the only girl in my family, I’m very familiar with comic books. My brother particularly love them, so I had no choice but to read them, too. Well, that’s not true. I could not, but I was always boyish growing up (all boy cousins and only brothers will do that to you). I found myself highly amused with all his comic book tie ins (like the school names, Xavier, and such). Aside from that, the voice, the plot, and the funniest of it all pulled me in. I understood Vincent, Jung really nailed a MG boy. He reminded so much of my brothers at that age. And the little boys I tutor at the library.

Except, none of them know a superhero. That would have been cool. Polly’s a big player in this book–and as a girl who is generally extremely critical of female characters–it means a lot that I liked her so much. She was intense, strong, clever, and believable. I adored her. I totally wish I was as badass as she is when I was her age. Plus her story, her tie in with the plot, was brilliant. Who would have saw that coming?

This book’s an easy read. Not just because it’s MG, but the plot keeps going and never lags. It wasn’t a challenge to finish it in one day. I’m glad the ending leaves open a possibility for something more. I’d like to see where Vincent and Polly’s story could continue to. I’ll be keeping an eye out for any future books by Jung. He’s made a fan out of me.

Deadly Cool: First Love Is A Killer

Rating:

Recommended? Yes. If you like YA and murder-mysteries, this book is well-worth reading.

The main reasons I decided to read this book are (A) the cover/title/catch-phrases are pretty intriguing  and (B) Gemma Halliday is represented by Holly Root. Usually, the teen-Nancy-Drew-sleuth thing isn’t what I’d consider reading but I liked the way the back of the book sounded, the first couple of pages were pretty interesting/witty/funny, and the cover was beautiful so I figured, why not? And I’m so glad I did.

The books not perfect. There are slightly silly (on the verge of stupid) things, like the whole “censorship” throughout the book. Teens don’t censor themselves when they talk, trust me, when I was sixteen I wasn’t using the word ‘effing’. Besides, censorship in general is just idiotic. Forbidding the use of words only gives those words more power. Plus, if I read ‘effing, in my head it’s fucking, no one is fooled by it and it means the exact same thing so why not just say it? Be authentic. And then, of course, the whole reveal thing at the end — like with any murder-mystery — was just kind of there. I was surprised, I think, by who it was, but the whole ‘I’ll take a minute to explain everything to you’ bit was a little… unattractive. Plus, everyone who isn’t Hartley (main character) and Sam (man character’s bff) is kind of a stereotype. That was a little annoying, too. I’m also unsure if I really believe the motive behind the murders, but whatever. Crazy is as crazy does.

Aside from that, the voice is great.I can always overlook  a couple of plot issues when the writing and voice combined are nearly perfect. It’s actually a really amusing story line and I really liked Hart, Sam, and Chase. No books perfect but this is really worth reading. One of my favorite parts of the book is how Hart starts out trying to find the murderer for her cheating ex-boyfriend but ends up doing it for herself. She needs a little help here and there, but in the end she pretty much figures out who did it all by herself. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes a good murder-mystery with a witty, clever, likeable, strong leading female. There’s a second book called Social Suicide, I haven’t read it yet, but I plan to. I just have so many books that I’ve bought and haven’t gotten to yet…