Summer I Became a Nerd

Summer I Became a Nerd

Book rating: 04 Paperback

By (author) Leah Rae Miller

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  • Publisher: Entangled Teen
  • Format: Paperback | 258 pages
  • Dimensions: 136mm x 206mm x 22mm | 260g
  • Publication date: 5 July 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Fort Collins
  • ISBN 10: 1620612380
  • ISBN 13: 9781620612385
  • Sales rank: 124,204

Product description

On the outside, seventeen-year-old Madelyne Summers looks like your typical blond cheerleader--perky, popular, and dating the star quarterback. But inside, Maddie spends more time agonizing over what will happen in the next issue of her favorite comic book than planning pep rallies with her squad. That she's a nerd hiding in a popular girl's body isn't just unknown, it's anti-known. And she needs to keep it that way. Summer is the only time Maddie lets her real self out to play, but when she slips up and the adorkable guy behind the local comic shop's counter uncovers her secret, she's busted. Before she can shake a pom-pom, Maddie's whisked into Logan's world of comic conventions, live-action role-playing, and first-person-shooter video games. And she loves it. But the more she denies who she really is, the deeper her lies become...and the more she risks losing Logan forever.

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Author information

Mother, wife, and YA author living on a windy hill in Natchitoches, Louisiana, Leah Rae Miller loves fuzzy socks, comic books, cherry coke, and brand new office supplies. The Summer I Became a Nerd is her first novel.

Customer reviews

By Kate @ Fictional Thoughts 08 Jun 2013 4

I found myself connecting with Maddie. I know what it's like having older brothers and because of them finding a love of things others would find geeky or nerdy. But unlike Maddie - I never had a complete transformation like she did. Upon the biggest humiliation of her life, Maddie decides that popularity is the most important think to her and reinvents herself. No more Spectrum girl and the Pigments. Now it's country music and cheerleading!

But one summer, and the delay of the final issue of her favourite comic, Maddie finds herself entering the local comic book store in disguise. And within the sacred sanctum of all things geektacular, Maddie finds her true self and a boy who just might bring out her best of her secret identity.

This book is cute. And it's fun. And it's a celebration of all things geeky - there's comic books, mentions of anime and sci-fi AND LARPing (Live Action Role Playing). And I loved every moment of it. Maddie is learning to be true to herself and had a bit of difficulty finding the way but she makes it. I love the chemistry between her and Logan - bonefide nerd who has the geek chic thing going on in spade. The cheerleaders and football players for the most part are fairly stereotypical with the exception of Maddie's best friend, Terra.

I think what I liked most about this book was the message - that no matter what your interests, you should accept yourself for who you are.

The Summer I Became a Nerd is a cute book that I had a lot of fun reading. And please - don't hold my artistic stylings against what is a great summer read.

By Jennifer McDaid 17 May 2013 5


I was so very excited to be a part of this tour and to read this book. This book absolutely grabbed me from the moment I saw the book and couldn't wait for the chance to read the book. This book did not disappoint in a any way. The book was amazing, cute, fun, and so sweet. I loved the characters, I loved the story, and I loved all the nerdy parts.

Long Story Short:

Maddie is a closet nerd. She has been hiding the fact that she loves all things comics since she was very young. Events happen and she ends up at the local comic book store, trying to be incognito, to purchase the latest and last volume of her favorite comic. If that isn't bad enough the boy behind the counter is a boy from her school and of all boys, her long time secret nerd boy crush, Logan. Of course he recognizes her and they end up talking, end up friends, and the rest is history.... oh and of course I can't forget.... the football boyfriend, the popular best friend, the lying to the parents, and the alter secret life. Yes of course it all came crashing down on her Maddie, but before it did there is some amazing fun and nerding out.

My Thoughts:

I really don't think I can express how much I adored this book. It was amazing. First off we have the cute story, and secondly we have awesome characters, and last but not least we have all things nerd! I am a huge GEEK and loved reading about the normal parts of my life. I believe I developed a smile from page one and kept it on my face til the very last word, then I switched off my Kindle, petted the cover, and made a pouty face because it was over. Bitter sweet. I just couldn't put it down.

The story is just cute and I mean super cute. Maddie was able to bury herself deeper and deeper every moment she was awake and all of her trouble came form one simple fact, she didn't want to show off who she really was. This was so crazy to me. Being a nerd is not that big of deal, especially if you are cute too, oh and have the attention of a very cute and sweet nerd boy. I still can't figure out for the life of me why she wanted to keep all of this under wraps but she did and it led to one heck of heap of trouble.

The one thing I loved about the trouble Maddie created was the fact it never ended the way she anticipated. The people she thought wouldn't understand did and the one she thought she wouldn't hurt she did. She definitely had a lot to learn and by the end of the book she was on the right track.

Maddie was full of trouble and had some pretty lost thoughts on how she should live life, but I liked her. I liked that she loved comic books, had a secret crush on a super cute nerd boy, watched geeky show marathons with her dad, did things she hated with her best friend just because it was her best friend and she really did love everyone she loved. She had a big heart.

Logan was dreamy for sure. I love nerd boys! I would have swooned for sure over Logan in high school. He worked in a comic story, he played an elf in the local role playing games, he was completely devoted to his friends and family, and he had a wicked sense of humor. My kind of guy. I really don't think he got stupid though out the entire book either. Amazing! He was super sweet and very forgiving.

The romance was just perfect. Paced well, started as a crush to friends to something more. Nothing rushed, it built over an entire summer and there was never love mentioned just head over heels normal teen summer love. It was very sweet, very innocent, and I loved it.

The story was full of laughs, good times, and oh so many sweet moments. It was a very quick read. The writing was just right for a contemporary romance and I think its a perfect summer romance read.

In The End:

I will absolutely be reading this book again and again!

By Emily Ever 15 May 2013 3

I should first mention that I got this book as an ARC in return for a honest review.

Okay, I have some mixed feelings about this book.

The monetization of geek culture has been rampant in the last couple of years (Big Bang Theory being exhibit number one) but this never really bothered me. If more people got into what I was into, how would that hurt anyone? I love the fact that more people are into comics/science/etc and more people are okay with people being into comics/science/etc. Though I never had the experience of being picked on because I was a geek, I'm sure that many have.

That brings us back to this book. I loved the secret life she was living, and the whole, carefully defined boundaries she had set for herself. IN a lot of books where the main character has a "secret" it's pretty eye-rollingly silly.

In this case, due to a traumatic event that is explained in the beginning of the book and which is so relate-able it's painful, as well as heartbreaking and adorable, we totally get why Maddie is the way she is.

Though I find it hard to believe that when she leaves her comic journal somewhere random she is not FREAKING OUT.

Many books that claim to be 'nerdy' or 'geeky' don't really delve that far into the nether-regions of Geekdom, but Miller goes right for the darkest bowls with a dive into LARPing. I definitely approved.


What I didn't like, at the end, was how she had this whole confrontation with her nemesis via LARPing, but it wasn't about her, it was about a boy. Sure this girl was mean to her, but it was more because this girl was hitting on her guy and she wanted to make her pay.

I would have preferred that when she solved the game, it had been someone else, even Dan. She would have proved her place in the LARP community, and made it clear to Logan that she was a nerd through and through, without bringing this whole other element into it.

As it was, her objective was kind of muddled? And we didn't really know what she was doing. It also was a kind of bitchy thing to do, calling out this girl in front of everyone. It wasn't just about the game, it was about humiliating her a little bit. If we're going with the Maddie-is-not-a-typical-cheerleader thing then that was bit off.

Other than that I really liked the book. The chemistry between Maddie and Logan was great - though it took a while for them to get together at the end - and all the characters were believable and fun. I liked Dan, the foul-mouthed side-kick, and Terra, the pop-star obsessed cheerleader with a heart of gold.

Give it a read.

By Isabel Gomez 13 May 2013 5

Seeing the word "nerd" in the title completely drew me in. I just knew I was going to love it. I just knew.


There was never a moment while reading the book where I felt like my expectations were not met. I hate it when a book is supposed to be filled with geekiness but it doesn't go all out. This book did not disappoint me; the overall geekiness was an 11 over 10! How geeky is this book? As in comic book-sniffing geeky. As in Live-Action Role Playing (LARP) geeky. Uh huh. While I had a slightly hard time trying to grasp the concept of LARP (which my brother was very happy to explain to me... I live with a geek.), it didn't bother me one bit. It's the first Young Adult book I've read that completely celebrates nerdom. All the geekiness made the story cuter and added to its charm.

I liked how Maddie, the main character, was written. She's a big nerd inside but she strives to stay popular 24/7. At times it was frustrating how Maddie would do anything to keep her status. Sometimes she just seemed shallow but when she brought out the nerd, I'd forget about it. She's just too cute! I especially loved Maddie's obsession with comic books because you can see how much of a nerd she really is with the way she described the comics she reads - how it felt in her hands, how vibrant the illustrations were and even how they smelled. I don't know if it's just the nerd in me but Maddie was a very relatable character all throughout. She may have had issues but let's face it: she was going through a common struggle in high school. And I think the author did a really great job at presenting it through the eyes of one very lovable and spunky Maddie Summers.

Aside from the insane dorkfest that went on, readers will certainly fall in love with the very adorkable Logan. Unlike most of the nerdy guys I read about in books, Logan is not wound up, he's not a loner, he's not clueless about girls. Sure he's not so smooth all the time but at least he's not too nerdy to function. He's funny, easy-going and incredibly swoon-worthy. I loved how he put on "the moves" without Maddie even realizing it. There were just these "moments" that were happening between them even before they recognized it and I think that's exactly what made me love their story even more. I got the feels I always look for in love stories and it's all because of how adorkable Logan was and even more adorkable when he's with Maddie.

This book is so fan-freaking-tastic that it gave me a hangover. Yes, a hangover!!! Deep down I know I'll always be craving for more of Mattie and Logan and all their nerdiness combined. I want more. It's been days since I've read it and I still want more. The Summer I Became a Nerd is instantly one of my favorite books this year. It has a great set of characters, lots of nerdiness, a lesson every teen should learn and a love story that made my heart jump for joy plenty of times. I don't see myself getting over this book any time soon.

By Patrícia Pilar Pecegueiro 12 May 2013 4

I don't remember having this much fun reading a contemporary since... well, since a very long time actually. The Summer I Became a Nerd got me into laugh mode to-the-point-my-tummy-would-hurt right from the first few pages, and that was a sensation that accompanied my until the very end. Several are the reasons why this is such an awesome, amazing book. The writing style is simple and utterly funny, the main character is one of the most adorable of young teens I've ever read, and the plot itself is quite interesting for all the little twists and turns that bump in to Maddie's way of becoming her true self. When you hide behind a popular curtain, it can never be easy to go back to what you were, right?

I, personally, am not a big fan of comic books, but somehow the author caught my full attention, even when she was using comic stories I know nothing about as references and analogies to her own story. In fact, those we some of my favourite moments mainly due to a certain hilarious and easy vibe strongly present throughout the book. The truth is that this ends up being a really funny and relaxed read, especially 'cause of the way it matches perfectly all these nerdy topics with a more social concern, seeing that Maddie is a geek of heart but does not want to be, again, a social pariah. She's this smart, incredibly popular, beautiful girl who does her best to keep the cooler side of her personality a secret instead of simply embracing it, with fear of being rejected by her peers, but her love for everything comic related and her curiosity towards this little candy-shop-like called The Phoenix are going to be her demise, and that's when the true fun begins! Plus, Logan is so adorkable! He actually is the kind of guy I would admire in High School 'cause he doesn't care about what anyone thinks of him or of what he likes, but at the same time, he has this vulnerability that makes him even cuter to the eye and to the heart. And he's really talented too, which also helps. And, together, they both make the sweetest couple ever, so of course I would be rooting for them all the way!

Ultimately, The Summer I Became a Nerd is a very cool, summery like, type of book. Perfect for all ages and all kinds of readers, this is the ideal story for a beach day or to enjoy in somewhere sunny. Full of awesomeness, with extremely nerdy activities and characters that will stick with you, us, for a long time, this book is also a must-read due to the highly recommended messages that brings up to the surface. Don't try to be someone you're not, and don't hide yourself because of what High School kids can or will do to you. Confront them and embrace your true self... being you a nerdy kid, a popular jock or cheerleader, or the one who no one ever remembers. It doesn't matter now and sure won't matter later, 'cause High School is so not the worst thing you'll face in your life. So heads-up!