Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Friday, August 23, 2013

Plot Summary:
To all of the nerds, past, present, and future, there is nothing more mortifying and embarrassing then falling in love with a guy, or girl, from the opposite side of your nerd herd.  After waking up from a night of serious partying, Arizhel (Chung Ae), ended up waking up in a room with a Jedi. O-M-G! Clearly, the Blood wine she and her fellow Klingons concocted the night before was not such a good idea after all. After introducing himself, the Irish Jedi (Thomas) ordered breakfast to kill the nasty hangover and, after chatting for a bit, Thomas and Chung made a connection. Granted, they may have had been a little intoxicated due to the awesomeness of the Con and Blood Wine, but, underneath the make-up, the outfits, and the persona, are two teenagers who willing to look past their "differences" and are willing to defy the social norms that their groups have constructed. Sometimes, when nerds are not taking over the world, they can also be our greatest asset. For Montgomery, she has enlisted the help of SPRIGGAN (Springfield High's Genre and Nonsense Club). Montgomery is Springfield's head cheerleader and she has no idea what she is getting herself into. Apparently, her boyfriend (the Quarterback) is a hard core Trekkie and gamer. Granted, Mica, David, and Ezra are thrilled to assist the exceptionally popular and gorgeous girl, Ellen is furious. After accepting her proposal (and $100 fee), the group gives Montgomery a crash course in everything nerd; each member will teach her the basics about popular science fiction, comic books, video and computer games, books, television shows, etc. Although Montgomery is an eager student, she seems to lack the understanding of what makes a fan passionate about the subject. Just when things couldn't get an weirder, Montgomery starts to appreciate her new tutors and actually considers them friends. There are many, many more stories in this collection, like these, that will have readers rolling on the floor laughing and loving the fact that we are all nerds, geeks, dorks, etc., deep down inside and that is worth celebrating and loving.

Critical Evaluation:
I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS BOOK! I don't know how else to express my joy with this book. Although I am adult, a lot of these stories resonate with my own adolescence and it's refreshing to see that teens have support. Teens who are looking for a break from the monotony of life and the usual teen fiction, will find the dose of laughter they need. There is a great selection of YA authors who contributed to this collection who not only share their own experiences (through their characters), but some of these stories, especially the collaborations, are some of these best stories out there. The lesson that readers will learn is that there is no shame in being a nerd. Furthermore, it is highly recommended to not only explore our inner geek, but to seek out those who can help us cultivate that passion. Many non-nerds wonder why nerds are so weird, but what they are missing is that it's not about being weird: it's about expressing our passion and ourselves. Honestly, it take an immense amount of courage to step out into the real weird in full cosplay regalia, not to mention the time and energy it takes to make that outfit. Nerds not only spend countless hours researching, they also spend quite a bit of money purchasing goods and supplies in order to better understand what they love. Some call it hording, some call it collecting, and some call it investing, but, to the newly outted nerd, it is those enthusiasts and collectors who become valuable resources. I highly recommend this collection to any teen, especially those who are constantly put down for being different. Teens need stories like these because they need to know that they are not alone and that it is more important to love themselves and be proud of who they are. We live in a age where it's cool to be different and stories like these will only reaffirm what it is to be awesome despite the criticisms and the outright jealousy of those who wish they were cool.

Information about the Author:

According to her website:
Holly Black is the bestselling author of contemporary fantasy novels for teens and children.
Her first book, Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale, was published in 2002 by Simon & Schuster. Tithe was called "dark, edgy, beautifully written and compulsively readable" by Booklist, received starred reviews from Publisher's Weekly and Kirkus Reviews, and was included in the American Library Association's Best Books for Young Adults. Holly has since written two other books in the same universe, Valiant (2005), and the sequel to Tithe, Ironside (2007), which spent five weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Valiant was a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award for Young Readers and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature.
Holly has also been a frequent contributor to anthologies, and has co-edited three of them: Geektastic (with Cecil Castellucci, 2009), Zombies vs. Unicorns (with Justine Larbalestier, 2010), and Bordertown (with Ellen Kushner, 2011). Her first collection of short fiction, Poison Eaters and Other Stories, came out in 2010 from Small Beer Press. She has just finished the third book in her Eisner-nominated graphic novel series, The Good Neighbors, and is working on Red Glove, the second novel in The Curse Workers series. White Cat, the first in the series, is out as of May 2010, and is about capers, curse magic, and memory.
Holly lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Theo, in a house with a secret library.
About Cecil Castellucci:
Cecil Castellucci is the author of books and graphic novels for young adults including Boy Proof, The Plain Janes, First Day on Earth, The Year of the Beasts and Odd Duck. Her picture book, Grandma’s Gloves, won the California Book Award Gold Medal. Her short stories have been published in Strange Horizons, YARN, Tor.com, and various anthologies including, Teeth, After and Interfictions 2. She is the YA editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books, Children’s Correspondence Coordinator for The Rumpus and a two time Macdowell Fellow. She lives in Los Angeles.

Genre:
Teen Short Stories


Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 & up


Books Similar to Geektastic:
  • Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black & Justine Larbleister
  • 21 Proms edited by David Levithan & Daniel Ehrenhaft
Awards & Recognition:
From Amazon.com

Grade 9 Up—From Trekkers to science geeks, Buffy fanatics to Dungeon Masters, nerds of all persuasions are sure to find themselves in the pages of this anthology. It contains fun reads such as Black and Castellucci's "Once You're a Jedi, You're a Jedi All the Way" in which a Klingon wakes with a Jedi in her hotel room while at a sci-fi convention, and Tracy Lynn's "One of Us," in which a cheerleader enlists the school nerds to teach her the basics of geekdom so she can impress her Trekker boyfriend. The collection also includes more profound fare such as Kelly Link's moving and masterful "Secret Identity" about a 15-year-old girl who has pretended to be her 32-year-old sister on an online RPG. She must face the consequences of her lies when she arranges to meet the man with whom she has developed a relationship. Also included are stories by YA lit greats such as John Green, Libba Bray, Scott Westerfeld, and M. T. Anderson. Each story is followed by a comic-book-style illustration offering information or advice such as "What Your Instrument Says About You" and "How to Look Cool and Not Drool in Front of Your Favorite Author." Simultaneously addressing the isolation and loneliness that geeks can feel as well as the sense of camaraderie and community that can be found when one embraces a world or ideology in which he or she can completely invest, Geektastic is a completely dorky and utterly worthwhile read.—Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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