Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castelucci

This is an ok anthology. Some of the stories I really liked, some I really hated, and some were kinda....meh. Which is what anthologies pretty much are! I did really like the little comics in between stories, by Hope Larson and Bryan Lee O'Malley. Although I would like to digress to say that based on reviews I bought all the Scott Pilgrim gns - and they've hardly checked out at all, which is a big deal in a collection as small as mine. I still think if we had an adult gn collection they'd go out, but I haven't convinced anybody else yet. Oh well.

Once You're a Jedi, You're a Jedi All the Way by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci. This one was great - and hilarious! It perfectly captured how costuming (I don't know all the right geek words, sorry) can give you a different persona; and can take over your life. It's also a very sweet falling in love story. And funny.

One of Us by Tracy Lynn. Ultra-cool cheerleader approaches ultra-geeky geeks to teach her about "geek stuff" so she can relate to her ultra-cool football captain boyfriend who like sci-fi. This one was excellent, especially in avoiding stereotypes and typical endings. Yeah, the football captain turns out to be kinda a jerk, but not any more than any normal teenage boy. And not all the geeks are pure as the driven snow.

Definitional Chaos by Scott Westerfeld. Umm, I think you have to be a gamer to understand this one and I'm not. So I'll leave it to someone else to say if it's any good or not.

I Never by Cassandra Clare. It was ok, about meeting online personalities and things (of course) not turning out as you expected. A little predictable.

The King of Pelinesse by M. T. Anderson. This one didn't really grab me and I barely skimmed it. Fans of old fantasy pulp would probably like it.

The Wrath of Dawn by Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith. Even though I'm not a Buffy fan (never watched any) I could get the story. Funny and heartwarming, all about sisters and growing up. And it was cool to recognize places in Austin, my old home!

Quiz Bowl Antichrist by David Levithan. Well, the narrator was kind of an unpleasant person, but I also agree that the whole thing was pretty pointless. Nothing wrong with the story, just wasn't for me.

The Quiet Knight by Garth Nix. Story about fantasy role-playing moving over into real life. Very nice.

Everyone but You by Lisa Yee. Ah, really clever story here. One school's popular is another school's dork.

Secret Identity by Kelly Link. Didn't grab me and I didn't finish it. Too long and too internally-monologu-ish.

Freak the Geek by John Green. Excellent, of course. Nice points about tradition and blaming the victim.

The Truth About Dino Girl by Barry Lyga. Ok, this was the one I really hated. I read it twice to make sure. Basically, science-geek girl has major crush on ultra-popular boy and kinda also on ultra-popular boy's girlfriend, ultra-cool meangirl. Ultra-cool meangirl finds out, tells science-geek girl she hasn't got a chance in the meanest way possible, and tells ultra-popular boy, who appears to be embarrassed by the whole thing but doesn't tell anyone else. Science-geek girl posts nude photoshopped pictures of ultra-cool meangirl all over town. Ultra-cool meangirl becomes school slut, ultra-popular boy breaks up with her, and she is now the school pariah. I get the anger and humiliation but....overreaction much?! They're both equally nasty girls, in my opinion. Science-geek girl should have gotten over the embarrassment - is that how she's going to react every time someone is mean to her? She has a good future ahead of her, but her obsession with revenge and the "in-crowd" isn't going to do her much good.

This is my audition monologue by Sara Zarr. Just not for me - my sister, who's into theater, would probably like it.

The Stars at the Finish Line by Wendy Mass. Awww, sweet. Nice story about stepping back to enjoy your obsessions.

It's Just a Jump to the Left by Libba Bray. I don't really like stories set in the 60s. Or 70s or that general time period. Rocky Horror Show fans might like this - I wouldn't know, I've never seen it.

Verdict: So, as I said, some good, some bad, some mediocre but overall a fun anthology. I checked this out from my system, but I can't think of any readers for it in my library - so I'm recommending it to the next town over, b/c they do have an audience for it.

ISBN: 978-0316008099; Published August 2009 by Little, Brown; Borrowed from the library

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