“I have a 3.73 grade point average and my body looks like a baked potato. My eyes are brown, my hair is brown, and sometimes when I snack on too many fig bars and run real fast in PE, I end up with brown streaks in my underpants, too. I’m not just un-cool; I’m anti-cool. I mean, I even know how to properly use a semicolon in a sentence. What could be more pathetic than that?”
The above is the opening paragraph to Nerd Girls: The Rise of the Dorkasaurus, a book for teenagers about 3 “nerd girls”, Maureen, who is addicted to fast-food, Alice, who is allergic to everything, and Barbara, a clumsy beanpole. These three girls decide to take on the popular girls of the school in a performance tournament, proclaiming that they are dorks, and proud of it.
I have remarked again and again that even though this trend of nerds-taking-on-popular girls might reinforce stereotypes, I think I would have liked reading this when I was a 13-year-old myself. You know, not being a popular kid, you kind of need this encouragement at that age. I like the message of making the most of a situation, respecting people for who they are, even if the message of accepting the popular girls at the end seems a little forced and fairytale like, I could even enjoy the message the author was trying to get across.
So, yes, I enjoyed reading this book. What I liked best that behind these stereotypes of “fast-food addict”, “clumsy beanpole” and “allergy girl” are hidden real stories of struggles of teenagers, but also a very emotional event in the life of one of the girls. In the first half of the book, the stereotypes are used in a “funny” manner, in almost every scene, Barbara bumps into something and Alice has to use her inhaler. I admit, I could see that it was used for a comedic effect, but it soon got a little tiring. However, in the latter half of the book you discover the back stories and these “stereotypes” turn into quirks of a person just trying to deal with life. And so they become persons. And while the first half of the book was okay, the latter half made me go from “okay-ish” to “liking” the book. I did not love it, but I did enjoy it, and I think many girls around the age of 13 will too.
One more thing, I personally would have prefered the title “Nerd Girls” to the added subtitle “The Rise of the Dorkasaurus”, somehow, I never really warmed to that word.