Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Geek Charming by Robin Palmer

Dylan Shoenfield is the princess of L.A.'s posh Castle Heights High. She has the coolest boyfriend, the most popular friends, and a brand-new "it" bag that everyone covets. But when she accidentally tosses her bag into a fountain, this princess comes face-to-face with her own personal frog: selfprofessed film geek Josh Rosen. In return for rescuing Dylan's bag, Josh convinces Dylan to let him film her for his documentary on high school popularity. Reluctantly, Dylan lets F-list Josh into her A-list world, and is shocked to realize that sometimes nerds can be pretty cool. But when Dylan's so-called prince charming of a boyfriend dumps her flat, her life and her social status comes to a crashing halt. Can Dylan with Josh's help pull the pieces together to create her own happily-ever-after?
Forgive me for putting off my inevitably long review for Stray, but I read Geek Charming last night and I'd much rather write about a silly teen read than an adult read. So, to get to the point: Is it totally terrible that I hated Dylan, the queen bee who is later de-throned because the king bee (king bee? really? I must be tired) just dumped her, from the first page to the last page. I think we were supposed to see that popular people are just like geeks, but I didn't get that; I got that Dylan Shoenfield is a bitch, Josh Rosen is way too forgiving and Hannah and Lola were even bigger bitches. Sure, by the end I wanted to slap Lola and Hannah for being so terrible to Dylan, but mostly because it was infuriating the way they got their way. And yeah, sure, Dylan got what she 'deserved', getting kicked off the Ramp (how overly obnoxious was it that the popular kids are actually elevated at lunch?), but she gets to be best friends with Josh, who, despite his makeover, remained pudgy and pale, in my imagination. Last complaint: I totally thought the book was going one direction; it was so freaking obvious that (spoiler) something was going to happen between Dylan and Josh. Half the time they seemed to be flirting, and then that party scene totally made me scream when the author decided, no, they weren't going to be a couple, just best friends. Ugh. Okay, so, as a pessimist disguised as an optimist, I'll look for some redeeming points. I loved the movie references in the book, they just added so much, and I must admit, I'm fairly sure I've seen every movie mentioned, despite their geekiness. And, while I grumble beneath my breath, I'll admit to liking the whole documentary thing. It was believable, while a lot of books where geeks turn into princes do it so unbelievably I'm groaning as I read it. My main complaint is that there was no real closure.
2.5 stars (a bit harsh maybe) and a recommendation to those of you looking for a quick, light, frustratingly popularity-based novel.


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