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Book Review: Reasons to Love A Nerd Like Me, by Becky Jerams

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Scotty Williams is the nerdiest 17-year-old at Havensdale College – and proud of it. However being a nerd can have its downsides, particularly when you’re constantly being targeted by the school bully Taylor Raven and his cronies. As Scotty tries to navigate his final college years with the aid of his best friend Olive, he also finds himself on the radar of the mysterious and intimidating Vincent Hunter, toughest guy in the Sixth Form. Is Vincent really as bad as he seems? Will Scotty’s darkest secret ever be revealed? Can he ever just finish his last few college years in peace? But most importantly… will any guy ever find the reasons to love a nerd like him? – Wattpad Description

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Book – Reasons to Love A Nerd Like Me

Author – Becky Jerams

Star rating – ★★★★★

No. of Pages – 508

Cover – Nice

POV – 1st person, 1 character

Would I read it again – Yes

Genre – LGBT, Wattpad, Romance, High-School/College

** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK, BY THE AUTHOR, IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW **

*Warning: deals with serious physical and emotional bullying, cheating, homophobia and pressure to be perfect*

Let me start by saying that I converted this to Kindle so that I could mark highlights for quotes and my notes, so I won’t be commenting on the formatting, which has probably been changed in the conversion. However, there was nothing really in here, formatting wise, that drew my attention or change the way I read the book.

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I’ll start with my negative, because I hate to end on a sour note. I’ll admit, I thought this book took place in America until it mentioned British weather. Everything until that point, in terms of the way it treated college and the terms used, were completely foreign to me in a way that normally all American high school books are. I’m in Scotland and our school system is so completely different to England that it was hard to follow. Though this book takes place in Britain, I didn’t understand a word of the school terminology. The whole thing about the college – sixth form, a 17 yo in college, and ‘years’ – didn’t make sense to me.

In Scotland, you only go to college after high school (aged 18) or if you leave high school early. And it’s certainly not set up like this. So, to be honest, the only way I could make sense of what happened in this book was to think of it like a high school. Unfortunately, all of the important dates and events were labeled in terms of “Year 11” and so forth, which makes no sense to me, so I couldn’t follow how old the people were supposed to be at the time. I just made it up in my head, following the logic of ‘college’.

However, there were parts where it was mentioned that these kids had been going to school with each other for years (I assume that means high school, before college) but there are also people younger than our MC, Scotty, in this ‘college’, so it’s nothing like any college I know. This is why I had to sort of super-impose the high school image onto it, because everything about the story screamed “high school” apart from the insistence that this was college. *shrugs* It confused me a lot, as you can probably tell.

There was also the use of the word “clinch” in relation to sex. Now, I’ve never, ever heard of this and I had to look it up, because I was so confused. All I could find was a relation to grappling and wrestling, so it doesn’t provide the connotations I’d expected for how it was used. It certainly doesn’t make the ‘sex’ sound good at all.

And, yes, there are a few spelling/editing mistakes. It’s small enough that I just completely ignored it, in terms of my rating, because it didn’t affect my reading at all. But I noticed it, so I’m mentioning it. It was unimportant, when weighed up in the grand scheme of things.

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Now onto the positives. 🙂 Yay!

Personally, without giving too much away, I loved the way that the bullying was treated within the story. The way it was explained, handled and endured by Scotty was one thing, but also the way he ended up feeling about it, how he ended up treating Taylor, the bully, as well, were all so well done.

The geekiness was on point. The flirtations, the romance, the awkward teenager thing, even the cool bad boy, the cruel bully and the way that the cool bad boy suddenly began freaking everyone out by acting weird, were also on point. It was all so normal, believeable and completely explained, in a way that made me trust this was how it was supposed to be. It’s exactly as I remember high school, with a little more drama than I experienced.

When it came to romance, I have to confess that I spent half of the book flip flopping about whether I wanted Scotty to be with Vincent or Taylor. Vincent was the bad boy with an attitude, but a softer side, while Taylor was the soft, sweet boy who had turned into an evil bully, but who evidently loved Scotty a lot. The other half of the book I spent wondering if maybe Scotty should just ditch them both and be better off on his own. The way these boys confused me! Gee, I don’t know how I managed to finish, with all the drama and the tension and the anticipation, without having a heartattack.

Thankfully, this book was completely YA. I hate when a book “needs to be” YA (because of the setting, characters and just how right it is for the whole book) but isn’t. This book is exactly what it needs to be, in all the right ways. Sure, there’s violence. It deals with bullying in a very direct manner and that means some heads are going to be knocked, some assess will be kicked and there will be pain and sadness. Those emotions are dealt with on a very real level that we get to see and experience, without ever making us uncomfortable.

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Honestly, I’m not sure what more to say without giving away spoilers.

Overall, this was a fantastic teen romance that hit all the right buttons. Our MC, Scotty, was a great person to hang out with and his thoughts were a jumble of chaos and an attempt at control that made him feel like any normal teenager. The love interests – Vincent and Taylor – were both equally matched in how messed up they were, but also how much they loved Scotty, which was made it so hard for me to decide who I wanted to succeed.

The side characters – Olive, Alexis, even Patricia and the D.O.C. gang – were all amazing. They each added their own element, without just hanging around and becoming a surplus character.

The romance and flirtations were sweet, adorable and kept me smiling, while still be entirely appropriate for the story and the characters. The drama and bullying, while often sad to read, made me cry and wince and want to scream, but they were also very real and gave across the message that it’s important to report bullying when it begins, because you can never anticipate when or how much it will escalate. It also gives off a nice message about keeping secrets and how they often do more harm than good, especially when kept from people you love.

So, why is it a 5 star when I had some negatives? Why does it get a 5 when it wasn’t perfect? Because life isn’t perfect and neither are these characters. Because I laughed out loud, cried and fell in love with these characters and the feeling that gives you, when you end a book feeling distraught that it’s over but relieved that it all worked out, is priceless. The problems I had were nothing important enough or detrimental enough to the story that I felt the need to remove a star from my rating. Any book that makes me root for the bad guy(s) deserves some props.

Jerams tells us, at the very end, that there will be another book “Could You Love An Apple?”. All I can say is that I can’t wait. I’m looking forward to reading it. And please, please, please, can it be about you-know-who getting his HEA? Because as bad as he is, he’s also amazing.

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Favourite Quotes

“This was my own personal hell. And no one was noticing at all. In fact, no one would have noticed if Taylor had stabbed me in the head and I’d died on the table.”

“Then I saw you that day and I swear to God, I thought you were the most adorable thing I ever saw in my life. You were like…the one person in the whole school I didn’t want to punch.

“Steady on,” I said. “That’s a pretty heavy statement to make if you don’t really mean it.

He laughed out loud. “God, you really make me laugh.””

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