Reni's Review! How to Date a Nerd (How to #1) by Cassie Mae

How to Date a Nerd (How to #1)

by Cassie Mae

Published: September 2013
When I read it: July 2013
Genre: YA
Series/Stand Alone: Series
    * How to Date a Nerd
    * How to Seduce a Band Geek
    * How to Hook a Bookworm
Pages: 247

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Zoe has a great pair of legs, perky boobs, and wears exactly what she needs to show it all off. She works hard for the easy sleazy ‘you only wish you were me’ reputation, burying who she really is—an all-out nerd.

The only time Zoe gets to be herself is when she hides under her comforter to read X-Men comics, sending jealousy stabs at everyone who attends Comic-Con. Keeping up her popular rep is too important, and she’s so damn insecure to care about the consequences. But when Zoe’s sister takes her car for a ‘crash and burn into a tree’ joyride, her parents get her a replacement. A manual. Something she doesn’t know how to operate, but her next door neighbor Zak sure as heck does.

Zak’s a geek to the core, shunned by everyone in school for playing Dungeons and Dragons at lunch and wearing “Use the Force” t-shirts. And Zoe’s got it bad for the boy. Only Zak doesn’t want Popular Zoe. He wants Geek Zoe.

She has to shove her insecurities and the fear of dropping a few rungs on the social ladder aside to prove to Zak who she really is and who she wants to be… if she can figure it out herself.

Here we go again with this big, goofy, stupid looking grin. I can’t wipe it off my face. Trust me, I’ve tried. My husband is beginning to worry about my sanity. It. Just. Will. Not. Leave. My. Face! My cheeks literally hurt. Cassie Mae, you are a frakking genius! The way you write… The storylines you dream up... All of it serves to further my opinion that YOU are a nerdy mastermind, hell bent on taking the literary world by storm. (Ha. Storm made me think of X-men which totally fits in with the storyline. Maybe you’re not the only genius running around out here in cyber space.)

Yeah. I’m a total closeted nerd.  
I’m not cool with pity glares in the hallways, painful jabs, and social scars. No thanks.  
It’s much easier to keep my true nature hidden beneath layers of eyeliner, skimpy outfits, and even I must admit to myself, a rockin’ body.

Zoe is living a lie. Literally. Being queen of the nerds in middle school wasn’t cutting it. The summer before high school changed all that. Armed with enough romantic teen comedies to entertain a troop of 12 year olds, Zoe begins her research into non-dorkdom. Leaving behind her nerd ways meant leaving behind her friends, too - one in particular, Zak, the nerd next door – king of the dorks.

Problem – Zoe is in freakin’ love with Zak. Like, flat out, head over flipping heels, love. All her booty shaking and underwear flashing, doesn’t seem to faze him, and keeping up her “popular persona” is becoming a chore she could do without. It’s exhausting trying to hide your obsession with X-men, Harry Potty and Star Trek. If only she could let her freak flag fly, but being her dorky self is just too scary. What will people say? How will she survive? Then there’s Zak… Maybe being a dork is worth it; maybe being herself is worth it, if she gets to do it with him.

I’m a freaking horrible person who made out with some random guy before stumbling after a guy who I’m face over feet for and I don’t know why. And I just… I miss being me.

I cannot give this book high enough praise. We’ve all been to high school, and maybe some of you are there now. It’s one of the best and worst times in a young person’s life. It’s so easy to feel insecure about yourself. If I could go back 14 years, (Holy hell! 14 years…) to my senior year of high school, I’d tell my very apprehensive self, to just be, me. To do what makes me happy, and forget about everyone else. AND…that’s exactly what I wanted to scream into my kindle for more than half of this book. If people don’t like you for who you are, they’re obviously not worth your time. Life is too short for that nonsense. It makes me think of that quote… You know, the one by Bernard M. Brauch.
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.” 

Just like my dad said, there will always be people who don’t understand who I am or what I choose to do with my life. But screw ‘em. I totally get what I’m about to lose today when I walk through those doors, But unlike yesterday I won’t let the whispers and the laughs get to me.

It never ceases to amaze me how much I can get out of a little ol’ novel. In each of her books, Cassie Mae challenges us to think deeper, to love harder and to accept ourselves, warts and all - especially in How to Date a Nerd. I have yet to read anything of hers that I haven’t fallen in love with. She has a beautiful voice, and I am so glad she feels driven to share it with us all!

I don’t care if everyone thinks I’m a friggin’ nerd. I am a nerd, but I like it. I like this. All of it. All of him. And he likes me too.

How to Date a Nerd did not disappoint. In fact, it left me with the need to confess something. I… um… Geez, this is harder than I thought it would be. I… I play… oh, come on woman, spit. It. Out. Okay, fine. I play World of Warcraft occasionally. Happy now, world?! You know my deep dark secret and I blame it all on this fabulously written, fun loving, uplifting piece of brilliance.

Cassie Mae (sometimes writes as Becca Ann ;)) is a nerd to the core from Utah, who likes to write about other nerds who find love. Her angel children and perfect husband fan her and feed her grapes while she clacks away on the keyboard. Then she wakes up from that dream world and manages to get a few words on the computer while the house explodes around her. She loves friend requests :) And talking about Teen Wolf.

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