Thursday, May 16, 2013

Blog Tour: The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller - Review, Interview, & Giveaway


Hi everyone!! I am so excited to be taking part in the blog tour for The Summer I Became a Nerd. Ever since I first saw the cover and read the synopsis I was looking forward to this book. I have my review and and an interview with the author on my stop today!

  • Publisher: Entangled Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/21/2013
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher for tour/review
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

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.

 My Thoughts

When I first read the synopsis for this, I was so excited for it!! We all know how judgmental kids are in school so I thought it was cute that she has her inner nerd that she lets out when she thinks no one knows. This book was so fun and great to read, and I loved the romance. It was seriously so cute and sweet. Another thing was how present the parents were. I love when parents are a big part in YA books!

Maddie didn't start off as a very likeable character to me at all, but by the end I totally loved her. She starts off, obviously hiding her love for comic books and all things "nerdy" and is pretty oblivious to things going on around her. How other people feel, what others are dealing with. How petty her need to keep up her appearance as the perfect, popular girl really is. She has worked to mold herself into the perfect high school girl. Cheerleader, pretty, dating the quarterback (even if they don't really like each other and it's all for show), and hangs out with all the right people. Only she thinks that none of them would like her if they knew she loved comic books and video games. She had an embarrassing situation years ago, and refuses to ever let herself be laughed at again. She makes stupid decisions and mistakes, but that is what makes her so real.  When she starts talking to, and then hanging out with Logan, I loved seeing the change in her and how much she developed. That was the Maddie that I came to love by the end. The one that Logan was able to bring out.

Logan was awesome from the first moment he was introduced in the book. He was sweet, charming, geeky, and funny. I loved getting to know him. My favorite thing about him was, what you see is what you get. He lays it all out there. Well, except one thing, which is his true identity on his radio show, but I thought that was so fun, and loved that people loved him so much. If they had known it was really him at first, I don't know that they would have. It kind of reminded me a bit of the Disney Channel Movie Radio Rebel. (which was a cute movie) Anyways, he really brings out the good side of Maddie, even when she resists it. He won't let her be embarrassed or ashamed of who she really is. He is also a super awesome older brother. He dotes on his little sister and what is more swoon worthy than that right?

I also loved how family was so present in this. Logan's mom especially, but Maddie's parents were a big part too. It wasn't just in passing, or they were mentioned here and there. They were part of things. You got to see the family dynamics. It was really important to the story to have the parents be very much a part of it and I am so glad that they were. Logan's mom was among my favorite characters in this book.

If you are looking for a fun, romantic, and entertaining book, this is one you have to pick up. It is very realistic to the way high school is, how kids can be very judgmental, and how the people you care about will be there for you and help you through. I thought that the situations were captured very well, and nothing seemed too easy or convenient. This book was fantastic and I loved it!





Interview



Hi Leah, thanks for doing this interview!!

I know this is a common question, but what gave you the idea for this book?


I wanted to write about something fun, something I love. “Comic books” was the first thing to pop into my head. I also love teenage romantic comedy films and combining those two things sounded like a no-brainer.

Did you have a rough outline of the book before you wrote it, or did you just write it as it came to you?

I didn’t have an outline for the book. I ended up writing a big portion of it before plotting it out. I’m definitely a pantser. I need to have the feel of the characters and the story before I can go too in depth in the plot.


Maddie loves comic books and feels the need to hide it. Why did you choose comic books as her inner nerd thing?

Because comics are awesome! I also felt like it would be a unique thing. Unfortunately, there aren’t a ton of girls Maddie’s age that are into comics.

I was really into comic books at her age too. I wouldn't say as much as her, but I really loved them too!!  Comics are awesome!

The comic book store where Logan works sounds awesome! Is that based off of a real place, or was it all made up?

It is based on a real place that doesn’t exist anymore, unfortunately. When I was little, The Phoenix was a comic shop in Natchitoches and I used to love it! But, much like in the book, it had a hard time being successful.

LARP takes place in this book. What type of research did you have to do for it? Have you taken part in it?

I didn’t need to do any research on LARP because I’ve done my fair share of it. I used to LARP in my early twenties. I played Vampire: The Masquerade and D&D. I have so many good memories from those games!

That sounds really fun. I have never done it, but always wanted to. I think I would get really confused about all the rules and stuff though lol!

Maddie is so worried about people finding out about her hidden self that she becomes very self absorbed. Did you do that intentionally, or did she kind of just go that direction on her own?

She pretty much did that on her own, but I understood why she was that way and went with it, if that makes any sense. I thought being so concerned about keeping a secret could potentially cause a person to lose sight of things around them.

I found Maddie a hard character to like at first. Is she supposed to come across that way? Maybe it's just me lol!

I don’t think it’s just you, at all. It was just hard for her not to be unlikeable at first considering the predicament she’s gotten herself into. I was concerned that it might be a turn off for people, but I’m hoping the development she goes through makes up for that initial feeling of “OMG, sometimes I want to smack her.” 

I totally did have a feeling of wanting to smack her a few times, but by the end of the book I really liked her and who she became.

So even though I had a hard time liking Maddie at first, I thought that she grew tremendously. What she did at the end was pretty amazing. Was it planned that she would do something like that?

That’s another part that kind of just happened organically. It just felt right, ya know?

I think that the cover for this book is awesome!! Did you have any say at all in the final cover?

I could have had a say if I wanted to say anything, lol. But I’m like you, I love this cover and think Heather Howland did a fantastic job!


Random questions

Who is your favorite comic book character?

Jean Grey. If I could have any super powers, I’d pick hers.

Have you ever dressed as a comic book character for Halloween?

I don’t think I’ve done a comic book character. I have done a lot of fictional characters, though.

If you could be in any comic book, which one would you choose?

OMG! Such a hard question! I’d have to go with the X-Men universe. And Jean Grey and I would be BFFs and Professor X would teach me to harness my powers and there’d be witty banter between Wolverine and I andandand… Okay, I’ll stop now 

If you could marry any comic book hero, who would it be?

These questions are killing me! So tough! Okay, hmmm… Bruce Wayne might be nice to be married to, but that might be like marrying a cop. Lots of stress. Gambit would be nice, but ugg, talk about the gambling debt. I can’t pick anyone with a super long life span like Clark Kent or Wolverine because that wouldn’t be fair to them. You know what, looks like I’d just have to be single! I can’t pick just one!

I think I would choose Iron Man, but that could just be because Robert Downey Jr. plays him in the movies and he's pretty swoon worthy!

Okay, that's all I have. Thank you again for taking the time to answer some questions for me!!

I also have the book trailer if you want to watch it!



About the author

 Born and raised in northern Louisiana, Leah Rae Miller still lives there on a windy hill with her husband and kids. She loves comic books, lava lamps, fuzzy socks, and Cherry Coke. She spends most of her days reading things she likes and writing things she hopes other people will like.

Links: Twitter ~ Website




Tour Giveaway

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This book was received from the publisher for an honest review.  

19 comments:

  1. Just read this one and loved it!!! Logan was so adokable and sweet! Loved him right away. I was sad Maddie hid so much of herself but I could understand. It is hard being different and being made fun of. I thought she did a great job of eventually realizing she wanted to be the real her and fixing her mistakes. I was also impressed with how much the families were involved. Doesn't happen often in YA!

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    1. This book was fabulous!! It was definitely fun and I loved the family involvement. A few books I have read recently were like that and I love that it's becoming more common. Logan was so awesome!!

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  2. OKAY. I'm sold. This review and interview make Summer I Became a Nerd cute and simply amazing. I got my copy some time ago and havent began but it's great to know that the MC developed to a likeable character in the end!

    Awesome review, Amy! <33

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    1. OMG you have to read it soon. It's such a great book!! HOpe that you enjoy it when you get to it.

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  3. Yay that this book won your love! I can't wait to dig into this one. It's such a rarity nowadays that girls (especially teenagers) love comics and the fact that she grew on you as a character - it speaks volume for me. I love the sound of Logan as well:-) When I was little, I collected these Grafield comics from newspapers and glued them into a notebook. Ha. I sometimes read some on newspapers now, but no comicbooks for me. I also like the cover and I do think that the comic idea is unique. There're probably mentions of comic lovers here and there in fiction, but none of the ones that come to mind have characters loving comics so much. Kudos to Leah for that:-) Lovely interview, Amy!

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    1. I loved that she was a "nerd" inside, and Logan was able to really see that and help her let it out. I thought this was sweet, cute, and fun.

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  4. So glad to hear that you enjoyed this book too, Amy! I loved it for its cute nerdy nature! I didn't like Maddie at first either, but she ended up really growing on me by the end! Like you, I pretty much fell in love with Logan as soon as he was introduced!
    Great review, Amy!

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    1. This is such a fabulous an "feel good" book. I was smiling so much while reading this!!

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  5. Oh man this sounds really good! I hadn't looked too much into it but the cover does always catch my eye. Love how it sounds like the MC changes so much throughout the story. I think this one is on NG right now *runs off to request*

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    1. Reading all the comments and responding is making me want to go read it again so I can experience it all over. I really enjoyed this one!

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  6. Aw, I really want to read this! I seriously need more time. The story sounds fantastic and I love that parents are present!

    Btw, I used to live in the same town as the author and it makes me happy to see her mention Natchitoches in the interview!

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  7. This one sounds so good! I am definitely adding it to my WL!
    I love that interview too. I'm not into comics, but thanks to movies I'm somewhat familiar with the characters. Wonderful review and interview!

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  8. Awesome review and post! This sounds like a super cute, fun read. I totally want it. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  9. I've been seeing a bunch of good reviews for this one lately it's making me pretty curious I love these types of cute, fun reads to change the pace once in a while. I love parental presence!! How refreshing! Plus this whole deal calls to my nerdy side--which is kind of dominant >.<

    Know what? 3 months tomorrow until we see each other for realz! :D

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  10. I'm wanted to read this from the moment I saw it! Great review.

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  11. Okay, I definitely need to read this one when I have time to fit in a fluff read. Nerdy boy named Logan = I am there. *swoons*

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  12. Oh yay! I'm so glad you liked this one. I've had my eye on it, but I wanted to see a few more reviews. You sold me!

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  13. Great review! I've been so excited for this book for months so I'm really happy you enjoyed it. I also really like when a story makes the parents have a presence. I can't wait to read it!

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  14. This is highly recommended for adults and young adults alike. An excellent light summer read! No angst, no drama, just pure unadulterated fun!

    Mariz
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