Book Review: The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash
John Hughes meets Comic Con in this hilarious, unabashedly romantic, coming-of-age novel about a teenager who is trying to get his best friend to fall in love with him from the author of Three Day Summer.
Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy…
Archie and Veronica…
Althena and Noth…
…Graham and Roxy?
Graham met his best friend, Roxana, when he moved into her neighborhood eight years ago, and she asked him which Hogwarts house he’d be sorted into. Graham has been in love with her ever since.
But now they’re sixteen, still neighbors, still best friends. And Graham and Roxy share more than ever—moving on from their Harry Potter obsession to a serious love of comic books.
When Graham learns that the creator of their favorite comic, The Chronicles of Althena, is making a rare appearance at this year’s New York Comic Con, he knows he must score tickets. And the event inspires Graham to come up with the perfect plan to tell Roxy how he really feels about her. He’s got three days to woo his best friend at the coolest, kookiest con full of superheroes and supervillains. But no one at a comic book convention is who they appear to be…even Roxy. And Graham is starting to realize fictional love stories are way less complicated than real-life ones.
Things that drew me to this book: Great cover. Great title. Interesting summary. I liked Tash’s Three Day Summer. And I’m a sucker for books that take place either all in one place/day or in a tiny period of time. I’ve been DNFing books like a maniac these days, but happily burned through this one in a few hours.
Graham and Roxy are headed to New York Comic Con. It’s the perfect place to finally confess his feelings to her. They’ve been best friends for years. When they find out that reclusive comic creator Robert Zinc, a favorite of theirs, is going to appear, Graham sets his sites on getting tickets to that event, hoping it will help make the perfect weekend for Roxy. Roxy doubts she’ll be allowed to line-up overnight for tickets, chalking it up to her strict parents being “maximum Persian.” But no matter. Graham will go with Casey, his best guy friend, and get tickets. But things don’t go as planned—just the first of many things that don’t quite pan out how Graham had pictured them to. Roxy’s friend Felicia Obayashi tags along to comic con—Graham’s a little confused why she’s there, but another friend being along isn’t a big deal. What is a big deal is Roxy befriending a new person, Devin. Graham is appalled at the obvious attraction between Roxy and Devin, referring to him as a “tall British boy-shaped tumor.” Together, they all spend the con seeing panels, entering costume contests, going to signings, and meeting their idols. Graham is having a good time, but simmering in the background the whole time is his plan for confessing his love to Roxy. The added pressure of Devin being around makes him throw caution to the wind. It’s hard to guess if his confession will lead them to building something new or will destroy what they’ve had.
This funny, quick read with a diverse cast of characters will appeal to fans of comics, fan fiction, fandoms, and geeks of all stripes. (Added bonus: Persian main character with many small mentions of things specific to her culture like language and food. Not sure I can name another Persian character in YA other than in Sara Farizan’s books.)
Review copy courtesy of the publisher and Edelweiss
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date: 06/14/2016
Filed under: Book Reviews
About Amanda MacGregor
Amanda MacGregor works in an elementary library, loves dogs, and can be found on Twitter @CiteSomething.
SLJ Blog Network