I remember telling one of my library teens that “geek” was not a great insult at this point because it’s actually super cool to be a geek. I mean, Jason Segel was on Freaks and Geeks and is now a YA author! Whether its love for a beloved TV show, making a webseries based off a classic novel, or being placed in a theater production, I will never get tired of reading about my people.
Once again, all titles in alphabetical order 🙂
by Emma Mills
(out December 5th!)
When Claudia accidentally eavesdrops on the epic breakup of Paige and Iris, the it-couple at her school, she finds herself in hot water with prickly, difficult Iris. Thrown together against their will in the class production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, along with the goofiest, cutest boy Claudia has ever known, Iris and Claudia are in for an eye-opening senior year.
Smart, funny, and thoroughly, wonderfully flawed, Claudia navigates a world of intense friendships and tentative romance in this book about expanding your horizons, allowing yourself to be vulnerable, and accepting–and loving–people for who they really are.
Theatricality factor: 10/10
Hate-to-friends factor: 10/10
Buy it for the one who likes: Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan, Morgan Matson
by Ashley Poston
Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale.
Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first. Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons–before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake–until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.
Cinderella factor: 10/10
Vegan Food Truck Fairy Godmother factor: 10/10
Buy it for the one who likes: A Cinderella Story, Jennifer E Smith, Alex Approximately by Jenn Bennett, having a ball
The Geek’s Guide to Dating
by Eric Smith
You keep your action figures in their original packaging. Your closets are full of officially licensed Star Wars merchandise. You’re hooked on Elder Scrolls and Metal Gear but now you’ve discovered an even bigger obsession: the new girl who just moved in down the hall. What’s a geek to do? Take some tips from The Geek’s Guide to Dating. This hilarious primer is jam-packed with cheat codes, walkthroughs, and power-ups for navigating the perils and pitfalls of your love life with ease. Geeks of all ages will find answers to the ultimate questions of life, the universe, and everything romantic, from First Contact to The Fellowship of the Ring and beyond. Full of whimsical 8-bit illustrations, The Geek’s Guide to Dating will teach fanboys everywhere to love long and prosper.
Fun factor: 10/10
Buy it for the one who likes: Literally just read the blurb
Tash Hearts Tolstoy
by Kathryn Ormsbee
From the author of Lucky Few comes a quirky teen novel about Internet fame, peer pressure, and remembering not to step on the little people on your way to the top After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers, Natasha “Tash” Zelenka suddenly finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, Unhappy Families, thrust in the limelight: She’s gone viral. Her show is a modern adaption of Anna Karenina–written by Tash’s literary love Count Lev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy. Tash is a fan of the 40,000 new subscribers, their gushing tweets, and flashy Tumblr gifs. Not so much the pressure to deliver the best web series ever. And when Unhappy Families is nominated for a Golden Tuba award, Tash’s cyber-flirtation with a fellow award nominee suddenly has the potential to become something IRL–if she can figure out how to tell said crush that she’s romantic asexual. Tash wants to enjoy her newfound fame, but will she lose her friends in her rise to the top? What would Tolstoy do?
Tolstoy! factor: 10/10
Golden Tuba factor: 10/10
Buy it for the one who likes: Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia, webseries
The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love
by Sarvenaz Tash
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.
Football for People Who Hate Football factor: 10/10
Shippy Ship factor: 10/10
Buy it for the one who likes: Morgan Matson, Emery Lord,
Queens of Geek
by Jen Wilde
Charlie likes to stand out. She’s a vlogger and actress promoting her first movie at SupaCon, and this is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star Reese Ryan. When internet-famous cool-girl actress Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.
Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with her best guy friend Jamie–no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about a fan contest for her favorite fandom, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde, chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, is an empowering novel for anyone who has ever felt that fandom is family.
Love story factor: 10/10
Geeky fun factor: 10/10
Buy it for the one who likes: Comic-Con, Stephanie Kate Strohm
The Square Root of Summer
by Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Gottie’s heart has been broken three times. One, when her best friend moved away without saying goodbye. Two, when her beloved grandfather died. Three, when her first love wouldn’t even hold her hand at the funeral.
As Gottie spirals deeper into grief, her past literally comes back to haunt her when she is inexplicably sent back in time to good memories and bad, revisiting afternoons of kisses and days she wanted to forget forever. This summer, Gottie’s past, present, and future are about to collide–and she’s the only one who can figure out why.
The Square Root of Summer is an exponentially enthralling story about love and loss, from debut YA voice, Harriet Reuter Hapgood.
Math factor: 10/10
Loveliness factor: 10/10
Buy it for the one who likes: Emery Lord, Siobhan Vivian
This Adventure Ends
by Emma Mills
(Paperback release December 5th)
Sloane isn’t expecting to fall in love with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida–especially not a group of friends so intense, so layered with private tragedies and secret codes, so all-consuming. Yet that’s exactly what happens. And it will lead her (and, um, her dad) on a life-changing adventure.
Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera’s twin brother and the most serious person Sloane’s ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins’ late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines–and ever deeper into the twins’ lives.
Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romance, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story from Emma Mills (First & Then) is about finding the people you never knew you needed.
Friend Group factor: 10/10
Fandom Father factor: 10/10
I promise this post isn’t sponsored by Emma Mills