Thursday, July 7, 2011

Review: Nerd Girls by Alan Lawrence Sitomer

Title:Nerd Girls: The Rise of Dorkasaurus
Author:Alan Lawrence Sitomer
Publisher:Disney- Hyperion
Pub. Date:07/05/2011

Maureen, a thirteen-year-old self-proclaimed dork-a-saurus, is totally addicted to cupcakes and hot dogs and thinks that her body looks like a baked potato. Allergy-plagued Alice can’t touch a mango without breaking out in a rash, and if she eats wheat, her vision goes blurry. Klutzy to the extreme, Barbara is a beanpole who often embarrasses herself in front of the whole school. These outcasts don't have much in common—other than the fact that they are often targets of the ThreePees: the Pretty, Popular, Perfect girls who rule the school.

But one day Maureen discovers that the ThreePees are planning to sit next to Allergy Alice in the cafeteria and eat peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches on whole wheat toast with mango marmalade for lunch. And Maureen decides that it's time to topple the eight-grade social regime. She joins forces with Alice and Barbara and the Nerd Girls enter the school talent show, determined to take the crown from the ThreePees. Will their routine be enough to de-throne the popular crowd? Or will their plan backfire and shake their hold on the bottom rung of the social ladder?

(Summary and cover via Goodreads)


When I first started reading this, I thought I was going to hate it. The beginning really turned me off. I'm glad I stuck with it however, as there were a lot of really good things about it. I'll start with what I didn't like first. The main character, Maureen, was not that sympathetic. I understand self-deprecation, but Maureen was a little too harsh on herself and everyone else she saw. Also, she didn't really read like a female character. It really did come across as a guy trying his best to get into the head of a tween girl, and it just didn't quite succeed for me. 

I loved the general story though. Trying to get back at the mean girls is probably not the best motivation in the world, but it worked well in how it gave the Nerd Girls a chance to form true bonds of friendship. I liked that the ending wasn't completely resolved, but it still made me feel good about what happened. I think the idea of acceptance of people no matter their quirks is very important, and I think it was handled really well in this book.

Overall, I ended up enjoying the book a lot. That surprised me when I considered how I felt in the beginning. I think that girls will really enjoy the "girl power" in this book, and hopefully it can help them feel better about loving themselves as they are. So over all, I give this book the thumbs up.

Galley provided by publisher for review.

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