Nerd Girl Loves Books


Young Adult

Always the Almost by Edward Underhill

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I loved this book so much!! Miles recently came out as trans, prompting his football star boyfriend Shane to break up with him. Miles is determined to get Shane back and beat his archnemesis in the Midwest’s biggest classical piano competition, all before the end of the year. To that end, Miles begins taking lessons with a new, terrifying piano teacher who tells him that he’s playing like he doesn’t know who he is. What? As Miles struggles with all the changes in his life, he meets new kid Eric. Eric is a talented cartoonist that is comfortable in his own skin and seems to get Miles, something Miles is not used to since he came out. After pretending to be a couple to get invited to a popular couples-only Valentine’s Day party, Miles and Eric’s fake kiss turns into something real. But this doesn’t fit into Miles plans, and besides, there has to be a catch as to why Eric likes him. Right?

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Promise Boys by Nick Brooks

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I really enjoyed this YA mystery/thriller set in an all-boys high school, Urban Promise Prep School, in Washington D.C. Principal Moore is an activist that started the school and based his strict program discipline, called the Principal Moore Method, claiming it turns boys into men. Principal Moore claims that almost all boys in his school go from trouble youth to college-bound men because of his method and school. But when Moore is murdered at school, his school and method come under strict scrutiny. Three boys serving detention that afternoon are targeted by the police as prime suspects. All three state that they are innocent, and it’s clear they need to band together to find the real killer before they are arrested and lost in the system.

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The Other Merlin (Emry Merlin, #1) by Robyn Schneider

Rating: 4 out of 5.

3.5 stars rounded up to 4

This is a fun YA Fantasy re-telling of Camelot. Arthur is an intelligent bookworm that isn’t much of a fighter. Lancelot is a gay castle guard that was demoted from a page (on track to becoming a knight) after a misunderstanding. Both we content bumbling along until Arthur accidentally pulls the sword from the stone, and now everyone thinks he’s some kind of hero. Emry Merlin poses as her twin brother at court to learn magic and serve Arthur. It’s supposed to be temporary, but nothing goes to plan and she’s there permanently. Princess Guinevere is betrothed to Arthur, but neither wants to marry the other.

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Sabiha’s Dilemma by Amra Pajalic

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This is a touching coming of age story about Sabiha, a 16 year old girl living in Australia with her mom. They moved to Australia from Bosnia and lived a typical life there until her grandfather joined them from Bosnia. After that, Sabiha’s mother decides to become a dutiful Muslim daughter and fit back into the Bosnian community and wants Sabiha to do the same. Sabiha doesn’t want to do that, and can’t understand why things can’t stay the same. At the beginning of the book Sabiha is a typical spoiled, rude, self-absorbed teenager and isn’t very likeable. She is struggling with the changing friendship with the best friend from her former school, fitting into a new school, her first crush, trying to care for her mother, and deal with her interfering family.

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The Stranded (Stranded #1) by Sarah Daniels

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a good YA Dystopian Sci/Fi Thriller set on the Arcadia, a luxury liner that set sail 40 years ago after being driven from Europe by an apocalyptic war. Since that time, it’s been a refugee camp anchored off the coast of the Federated States. The story centers on Esther a loyal citizen, working to have the rare chance to live a normal life as a medic on dry land, and Nik, a rebel planning something big to liberate the Arcadia once and for all. Of course, nothing goes as planned, and the oppressors of the refugees acts despicably toward them, requiring the rebels to alter their plans.

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In The Moment Before (The Coyote and The Claw Companion Series, #1) by C.G. Coppola

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a cute novella about two seniors in high school whose animosity for each other land them in detention together. Robin has hated Grayson since he pranked her in front of their class in grade school. She despises him, and he delights in teasing her and egging her on. When they finally stop taking digs at each other, they realize their enemy is actually a person and the ice begins to melt between them. But can Robin trust Grayson, or is he just running a long con on her?

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Five Survive by Holly Jackson

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was an intense YA mystery/thriller about six friends headed to spring break that get trapped in an RV in the middle of nowhere by a sniper intent on learning one of their secrets. The story is told from the perspective of Red. Her mother, a police officer, was executed on the job 5 years ago and her father succumbed to alcoholism. This, as well as having little to no money, set her apart from other teens. Her best friend Maddie and a few others, however, have her back and make sure that she’s not left out.

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The Wicked Remain (Grimrose Girls #2) by Laura Pohl

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was a satisfying conclusion to a good YA Fantasy duology. The events pick up a few months after the first book. The girls continue to search for a way to break the curse, but are waylaid by personal issues that distract them from their goal. As they make progress on finding out the origin of the curse, more girls start dying.

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Blue Shadows Fall (Blue Shadows Fall, #1) by Lenore Stutznegger

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a very good first book in a new YA Fantasy series. In a dystopian world decades in the future, Blue Haven is a 17 year old who dreams of becoming a warrior. Over 150 years ago the Shadow Elves, humans infected by a zombie apocalypse-like plague, ravaged the world and decimated the population. Blue lives in a small farming community in the Smoky Mountains, where they are the last survivors of their world and not much happens. But Blue’s superhuman sight is showing her troubling images of green-eyed strangers and handsome Shadow Elves. But, that can’t be right because leaders of her village insist the Shadow Elves were all killed and they are safe. As Blue investigates her visions, she discovers the leaders may have lied. About everything.

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