This book is at once unremarkable and completely enjoyable. It deals with no greater subject matter than high school drama, but so wittily that it's impossible not to be charmed by the wise-cracking heroine, her supportive older brother, or her gaggle of new nerdy friends.
While adults may tire of the endless high school angst in YA fiction, it is the reality of adolescence. This story addresses two extremely common problems: the isolation often brought on by the dissolution of long-time friendships as teens grow up and grow apart, and the fear of aligning oneself with the wrong social group.
While the writing isn't going to land this book on any curricula, and the mention of throat gonorrhea was quite cringe-worthy, the heroine in this book stands out with her ability to rise above the pain of her longtime best friend's betrayal and start over. When the evil BFF steals her crush, does the heroine whine and mope? Well, temporarily, but it's completely understandable, trust me. And does she forgive, forget, and become a doormat? She does not. Instead, she confronts her own prejudice against the nerdy tabletop gamers, becomes one of them, finds the fun and social fulfillment she's lacked, and nabs a cute and nice boy in the process. While the plot isn't complex, the author put considerable emotional depth into the characters and their relationships, particularly the close relationship between the heroine and her older brother.
All in all, this book is about finding yourself, standing up for yourself, and seeking healthy relationships. I say hooray to it.
Recommend to: Age 14+ (on account of the throat gonorrhea), girls