Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pub. Date: Oct 2009
Age Range: Young Adult
Source of copy: from the publisher - Feiwel & Friends
It's Jessie's sophomore year of high school. A self-professed "mathlete," she isn't sure where she belongs. Her two best friends have transformed themselves into punks and one of them is going after her longtime crush. Her beloved older brother will soon leave for college (and in the meantime has shaved off his mohawk and started dating...the prom Princess!)... Things are changing fast. Jessie needs new friends. And her quest is a hilarious tour through high school clique-dom, with a surprising stop along the way--the Dungeons and Dragons crowd, who out-nerd everyone. Will hanging out with them make her a nerd, too? And could she really be crushing on a guy with too-short pants and too-white gym shoes? If you go into the wild nerd yonder, can you ever come back?
Into The Wild Nerd Yonder was such an endearing book. Something as cute as a cookie. Julie Halpern did not just deliver a fun story of a girl trying to seek her real place but also gave the "nerd" label a totally different look. You think being a nerd is embarrassing? Think again.
New school year began and Jessie thought everything would be as interesting as it always was. It'd have, had it not been for the fact that everyone was changing and she remained the same old girl. Now she realized that maybe her bestfriends weren't the true ones, and perhaps she didn't want to be with these kinds of people even from the beginning. Jessie's story of how she broke away from her comfort zone to find the place she belonged and the ones she wanted to be with was joyful and witty.
Simple as it might sound, Into The Wild Nerd Yonder had more than just a message of "just be yourself". I liked the way the author explored such sentiment in Jessie. All the doubt she had for love, all the fear she wanted to surrender to, unnecessary prejudice she built. The seriousness of those sneaked in between moments of laughter and chuckle, so at no time would the readers feel heavy with the story. In fact, all you'd have was excitement and the attractiveness of the so-called nerdy game - Dungeons and Dragons. Julie Halpern, in my opinion, made nerds proud with this book. Nerds are kind, lovely, unique people; there is nothing to be embarrassed if you're called a nerd. The label doesn't make you. You make it. And the nerd crowd Jessie just joined made it so fantastic.
Jessie was undoubtedly an honest protagonist. Although she wasn't specifically powerful or loud as other female heroines I'd met with, she didn't fall boring or flat. Her voice sometimes was a bit childish but I liked cute characters so to me that wasn't a big deal. Actually, Jessie was like a little sister that you wanted to be with all the time. Her love story with Henry was just as sweet even when it failed to impress. My other favorite character was her older brother. Ones that I disliked? Bizza and Char.Seriously, I'm tired of seeing selfish, attention-hungry, stupid friends in like almost every novel. What's wrong with those girls?
To sum up and to say it again, this is a really cute book. You'll adore it.