Romancing the Nerd: A Second Helping of Adorable?! Definitely


Romancing the Nerd (Nerd, #2)

Cool guy. Geeky girl. Let the games begin.

Dan Garrett has become exactly what he hates—popular. Until recently, he was just another live-action role-playing nerd on the lowest rung of the social ladder. Cue a massive growth spurt and an uncanny skill at taking three-point shots in basketball and voila…Mr. Popular. It’s definitely weird.

And the biggest drawback? Going from high school zero to basketball hero cost Dan the secret girl of his dorky dreams.

A tuba-playing nerd with an eclectic fashion sense, Zelda Potts’s “coolness” stat is about minus forty-two. Dan turning his back on her and the rest of nerd-dom was brutal enough, but when he humiliates her at school, Zelda decides it’s time for a little revenge—dork style. Nevermind that she used to have a crush on him. Nevermind that her plan could backfire big time.

It’s time to roll the dice…and hope like freakin’ hell she doesn’t lose her heart in the process.

Nerd #2
292 Pages
Entangled: Teen Publishing
Publication Date: April 5th, 2016
Get a copy here!


Quick Reasons: this is just as adorable as the first book!; the couple is butterfly-inducing and so realistic; LOVE all the LARPing that’s mentioned throughout; great focus on important societal/moral issues; there is a LOT to love about this series; I am officially in love with Leah Rae Miller

Gaaaaaah. GAAAAAH! Is it possible to OD on mooshy goosh heart butterflies, penguins? Because I’m pretty sure I did today. This is the companion novel to The Summer I Became a Nerd, featuring the snarktastic Dan this round (don’t worry, Maddie and Logan make TONS of guest appearances!) And let me just tell you–THIS is the way companion novels should always be done. This was just as snarky, just as full of nerd-culture, and just as adorable as the first book. And, cherry on top, we got to see deeper into “Dan-the-Man” in the process. Win? Definitely!

There are also some super important subjects taking place in this book. One of the biggest? Bullying. And it’s done BEAUTIFULLY, penguins. There’s one character in particular who, instead of remaining true to his jerktastic tendencies, owns up to the fact that he’s in the wrong and works diligently to change his ways–as well as going out of his way to try to change the ways of others! This was SO well done and gorgeous, I am in awe of the genius that is Leah Rae Miller. I’m also completely not sure why I haven’t picked her titles up much sooner.


Another huge topic broached is the pressure that kids are often put under by their parents–to do better, to be different, to do great things. Now, don’t get me wrong–parents SHOULD want these things for their kids (well, except maybe the “be different” thing–that entirely depends on the thing that needs “changing”) Once again, Leah Rae Miller approached the subject with sensitivity and care, crafting a story shows both sides equally and bridges the gap.

And the characters! Overall, these are some of the best characters I’ve come across lately–I love pretty much all of them, because they can, and usually are, redeemed by the end of the read. Dan is so super snarky, I giggled every time he opened his mouth–I just couldn’t help it! The romance is also realistic and well-done, and Zelda held her own in the long-run. I just… I cannot sing enough praises about these books, penguins–they are adorable. I’m beginning to think I don’t read enough cutesy contemporaries; I should probably fix that.


I had SO MUCH FUN taking a break from my “need to read” list and just reading for me today; my penguin heart needed the lift, and Leah Rae Miller provided it in snark, adorable romances, and dork-culture. I will definitely be seeking her out in the future; I need more of her genius! I recommend this book (and its companion novel) to lovers of insta-sass, adorkable characters, and bigger moral issues/themes. If you’re missing out on the heart-flutters, penguins, these books are MUST reads!


Alice Takes Back Wonderland: This has a Bit of a “Kingdom Hearts” Feel


Alice Takes Back Wonderland

Goodreads Rating: 3.59 Stars
283 Pages
Publication Date: September 28th, 2015
Curiosity Quills Press Publishing
Get a copy here! (Also available on Kindle Unlimited)

After ten years of being told she can’t tell the difference between real life and a fairy tale, Alice finally stops believing in Wonderland. So when the White Rabbit shows up at her house, Alice thinks she’s going crazy.

Only when the White Rabbit kicks her down the rabbit hole does Alice realize that the magical land she visited as a child is real.

But all is not well in Wonderland.

The Ace of Spades has taken over Wonderland and is systematically dismantling all that makes it wonderful. Plain is replacing wondrous, logical is replacing magical, and reason is destroying madness. Alice decides she must help the Mad Hatter and all those fighting to keep Wonderland wonderful.

But how can she face such danger when she is just a girl?

Alice must journey across the stars to unite an army. She discovers that fairy tales are real in the magical world beyond the rabbit hole. But they are not the fairy tales she knows.

Fairy tales have dangers and adventures of their own, and Alice must overcome the trials of these old stories if she wants to unite the lands against Ace.

With the help of Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Snow White and heroes old and new, Alice may have the strength to take back Wonderland.

Quick Reasons: some grammatical issues/misspellings; HIGHLY entertaining; humorous and snarky; sometimes dark, always fresh and new; David D. Hammons took the fairy tales of old…and recreated them almost entirely into his own unique journey; unexpected love interest in Peter Pan?; LOVE all the pop culture references; LOVE the unique ideas

So I guess I need to send a HUGE shout-out to the lovely people over at Lit Cube for turning me on to this book in the first place; if they weren’t so dedicated to finding their subscribers awesome, lesser-known reads, I’d have NEVER known this book existed.

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Let me just get this quick note out of the way to start with: there are some grammatical issues with this book. There are some missing words in the middle of sentences, there are places I had to backtrack to see where I’d gotten confused. It is not perfect writing; it is not even necessarily “pretty” prose. BUT. The dialogue? Spot-on. The dialogue ALONE carries this book quite a ways–because snark, and sass, and pop culture references, and general awesome. Trust me, guys–the dialogue far outweighs the small grammatical quirks this book has.


And OH, my penguins, was this a ton of fun to read! David D. Hammons took the fairy tales we all know and love…and crafted something brilliant and wholly his own out of them. I LOVE the world-building that happens throughout this read. I love that the author took the time to sit down and actually come up with a unique, fresh way to twist and braid these stories together into one epic adventure. There’s a sort of “Kingdom Hearts” feel to this that I immediately connected with and felt drawn to (Kingdom Hearts is, after all, one of my favorite video games) The plot is filled with fun, entertainment, and humor. I laughed–HARD–throughout a good majority of this read.

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While there’s not MUCH in the way of romance, there is a hint of it between Alice and Peter–especially toward the end. This pair was snarky, sassy, and so much fun to read, I didn’t even mind how simple it seemed (then again, I have a huge soft spot for Peter, so…) The characters are all vibrant, easily recognized despite sometimes being “in costume”…and a barrel of laughs to boot! And the cast is HUGE, guys–characters such as Hercules, Paul Bunyun, and Jack the Giant Slayer all make their own special appearances, along with so many others.


And while, in the end, Alice does not get the ending she was expecting throughout her journey…the ending is satisfying in a way I wasn’t expecting it to be, and closes everything up pretty nicely. This adventure is quirky, light-hearted, and so very easy to slip into; the hours will pass and you’ll finish the book without even realizing what’s happened around you.

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This was a pretty awesome read overall, and I’m SO so glad that I got the chance to pick it up–though now I sort of want to play Kingdom Hearts. I might have to do that sometime soon. The snark was on point, the cast of characters is vibrant and huge, and the plot is filled with entertainment. If you’re seeking a fresh, unique retelling…this just might be the book for you!


Teaser Review: Arena, by Holly Jennings


Goodreads Rating: 4.00 Stars
336 Pages
Berkley Publishing Group
Expected Publication Date: April 5th, 2016

A fast-paced and gripping near-future science fiction debut about the gritty world of competitive gaming…

Every week, Kali Ling fights to the death on national TV.
She’s died hundreds of times. And it never gets easier…

The RAGE tournaments—the Virtual Gaming League’s elite competition where the best gamers in the world compete in a no-holds-barred fight to the digital death. Every bloody kill is broadcast to millions. Every player is a modern gladiator—leading a life of ultimate fame, responsible only for entertaining the masses.

And though their weapons and armor are digital, the pain is real.

Chosen to be the first female captain in RAGE tournament history, Kali Ling is at the top of the world—until one of her teammates overdoses. Now, she must confront the truth about the tournament. Because it is much more than a game—and even in the real world, not everything is as it seems.

The VGL hides dark secrets. And the only way to change the rules is to fight from the inside…

– – – – –

Quick Reasons: THIS is the type of awesome virtual-gaming read I’ve been looking for!; epic, butt-kicking characters; lots of real-life drama, struggles, and honesty; this read touches on a very important, heavy subject throughout; action-packed, fast-paced from start to finish; lots of great imagery and world-building; just a bit of steamy romance and adorableness thrown in for good measure

Huge thanks go out to Holly Jennings, Berkley Publishing Group, and Netgalley for a free copy of this eARC in exchange for an honest review! This in no way changed my read or opinions of this book.

I WISH I could give you all the nitty gritty, delicious review details now–I mean honestly, this read was AWESOME!–but rules are rules. Keep an eye out for my full review to come in late March. Sorry, guys!