Jolene B Perry, author The Next Door Boys
I <3 this cover SO much.
I first fell in love with this book when it was suggested by amazon because of some of my recent purchases - you know how pushy amazon can be ;D
LOVED it. I actually featured Cindy's other book "Heart on a Chain" on For The Love of Contemporary not long ago as a "fabulous indie find."
GEEK GIRL is NOT a typical "girl/boy makes bet to date boy/girl and it turns to disaster."
I bought it when it was still self-published, and as I recommended it to other people, I heard it got picked up by MY publisher :D YAY!
Here's the beginning (because I still believe language to be the best seller of books, or, I guess I believe that it SHOULD be)
"Think I could turn that boy bad?"
My two best friends - my only two friends, really - Ella and Beth follow my face and laugh. We are sitting on the outskirts of the cafeteria, outcasts physically and socially. We are proud of this. We strive for this.
"Trevor Hoffman?" Beth scoffs. "No way, Jen."
"I bet I can," I say, chewing a painted black nail as I gaze at my intended target.
"No way," they both agree.
I look at Trevor Hoffman and my grin widens. He is such a nerdy, goody-two-shoes. Kinda cute actually, but with his shirt always buttoned to the top, a straight-A student who all of the teachers adore. He's the Junior Class something or other; not the president but one of the other officers. He's a little different than the other geeks in that he's sort of . . . cool-geek, I guess. No glasses, asthma wheezing or too-short pants for him. But he's firmly entrenched with the geek-squad, a nerd to the core himself.
"I bet I could," I say, shrugging. "Might be fun."
I hope you all enjoy this book as much as I did!!!
Karen "For What It's Worth"
A nice twist on the genre - Loved it! April 10, 2011
I really enjoyed this book. In a bit of a twist it's the girl who is trying to take down the geek boy and ruin him. The only problem is that there may be more to Jen's rebellious goth persona. It just may be that the geek boy, Trevor, is getting to the goth girl instead. Jen is a very troubled girl, having been shuffled through the foster care system, abused, abandoned and unloved. She's with a family that
loves and wants to adopt her now but she doesn't trust in happy endings so she tries to sabotage it. When Jen goes after Trevor as part of her project and bet to turn a good boy bad, he starts to break down her walls and makes her hope again. It was very funny watching Jen try to learn Klingon terminology, Battlestar Galactica and turn from outsider to being accepted in the geek inner
sanctum. Trevor is perfect and always knows just how to handle Jen as she slowly opens herself up to him. Of course they have some issues once Trevor discovers Jen's initial plans for him and they were both a bit too stubborn, Jen a little too desperate and the ending resolved a little too quickly for me but it was a wonderful story and I highly recommend it.
Such a fun read April 8, 2011
Actual Rating: 3.5
The bet was to turn the geek boy to a bad boy. Instead, Jen finds herself falling for the nerd and trying to live up to his expectation. Major role change here, huh?
Jen has been living with many foster parents from early teen, and has a bad attitude toward life. Whereas Trevor, the neat, well brought up geek is a hardworking, strong willed young man. After Jen takes the bet, she did what she has to do to lure Trevor in--and obviously she got him under her spell in no time. But instead of changing him into the bad boys, she was turning into the geek girls--wearing less gothic clothes, being easy with the makeup, stopped partying a lot, etc. And the change happened gradually without failing to show its realism. Geek Girl is worth your time. It's a fun, easy, fast paced read that won't disappoint. You'll enjoy it if you're in for humorous dialogues, slow and subtle relationship development, predictable yet entertaining, and a little suspense read. It'll make you smile and leave you content. But, the story rushed certain places in the book for me. Quite frankly, I didn't like her prose. If it wasn't for the story, it wasn't a book I'd enjoy. In fact, her writing kinds of reminds of Susan Colasanti's books except this one is a little advanced. I expected to see more of Jen and Trevor's friends and family involvement, but the story mainly centered Jen and Trevor.
In spite of its flaws, you'll enjoy this book; you should give it a try.
Made me laugh and smile—I couldn't put it down! March 19, 2011
There four stars are all for the goofy smile I had on my face while I read this book. It's a light, quick read and not particularly original or ground breaking, but I'm ranking this based on my enjoyment as I read. I read it in one sitting and couldn't stop thinking about the chemistry between Jen and Trevor for the next two days. I started reading the first 10 chapters for free on the author's website after reading Erica's review, and about 12 pages in, I knew I was going to need to find a copy. This work was originally self-published. The author recently got a publishing deal for the book, making it difficult to find a copy of this since it's going to be republished. Geek Girl does have some thoughtful messages, mostly a "discover who you are and then love yourself" and "don't be afraid to change, but change for yourself and not for someone else" message. As Jen tries to bring Trevor to the dark side, she begins to change, but she doesn't do it for him--she does it because she's discovering who she wants to be and that she's let the terrible circumstances of her life mold her too much. With the love and support of Trevor and her foster family, she becomes someone new. I loved seeing the transformation, even though it was painful and heart-wrenching at times. Trevor's perfect for much of the book, but he does reveal his big flaw for the last fourth of the book--that boy can hold a grudge! I had to fight to keep liking his character for the last few chapters, but he did redeem himself at the end. The author does a make-my-heart-flutter job of letting the love simmer and build, creating realistic timing for the attraction and chemistry between the two main characters. They actually spent time together and *gasp* had conversations before falling love. Bennett's pacing kept me coming back for more and more, until I was so captivated by this book that I couldn't put it down without knowing the conclusion. Yes, Geek Girl's a little cliche and predictable, but if you're looking for a light, make-you-laugh-and-smile book, check out the first 10 chapters on the author's website and see if this book is for you. I was addicted after 12 pages!
Shannon L. Yarbrough
Great Book for the Geek in All of Us!
I took a chance on Cindy C. Bennett's Geek Girl mostly for two reasons. It didn't have any vampires. And it seemed like a book that teaches acceptance among teen peers, and I think that's an important subject these days after all of the school bullying we've seen in the headlines. Our narrator is Jen Jones, a seventeen year old "goth" girl who is a foster child living with the Clarks.She's been in and out of several foster homes thanks to her behavior. Like most kids in the system, she doesn't have pleasant memories of her real parents or childhood. She dyes her hair, wears tight clothes and chains, likes piercings, and parties with her friends on the weekend. When she lays eyes on Trevor, a somewhat geek of a kid whose smart, wears shirts buttoned all the way up, loves sci fi movies, and volunteers at the senior center, she bets her friends that she can turn Trevor "bad." Trevor has killer green eyes and is not too geeky looking though, and his inner charms and appeal begin to sway Jen in the other direction. She finds herself enjoying the geek films they watch, hanging out with his friends, jumping on the trampoline, and generally spending more time with Trevor than with her own friends. She doesn't want to admit it, but she's actually falling in love with Trevor, and as the title suggests, she's becoming more of a geek girl rather than turning Trevor bad. I stand up and applaud Mrs. Bennett for creating such well rounded and multi-faceted characters. Not only does Jen yearn to stick to her old ways by dressing goth and wearing lots of make-up, but she accepts the fact that she likes to go bowling on Family night with her foster family and with Trevor's. Her toes curl when he kisses her, but she still can't say no to a bong that gets passed to her at a party. She's stubborn with her foster parents and their cheerleader daughter, but loves the hugs that Todd, Trevor's brother with Down syndrome, bestows upon her every time he sees her. Then there's Trevor. He has excellent grades and is a busy teen. There's movie night with friends, two bowling leagues with his brother, he volunteers and plays piano at the senior center, and he's on the student council. Yet, when Jen approaches him at a dance to begin her woeful ways, he's not easily nor sexually seduced by her. He invites her to hang out with him and his friends. He hardly ever has time to go to the parties she wants him to go to. Eventually he does succumb and finds himself with feelings for her. He goes to her kind of parties because she wants him to, all the while, blind to the true reason Jen first came into his high school life. We also get to see even story lines of both Trevor's and Jen's family. We witness the Mrs. Cleaver-ness of Trevor's Mom when Jen joins his circle. And we see the love and support of the Clarks as they prove to Jen that they want her to stay. They want to give her a real family, and even support her when she reaches out to her imprisoned birth Mom. It's when Jen's bet is finally revealed to Trevor (not by her choice), that the reader reaches the unfortunate climax that we knew was just around the corner. But before we get there, Bennett gives her readers a teen story filled with young budding romance (no sex) and a foundation of friendship and acceptance for being different from the in-crowd. I never got bored following Trevor and Jen down their odd path together. And even after their relationship hits the rocks, Jen finds an unlikely friendship in another new kid that gives her that boost of esteem and confidence she was lacking with the absence of Trevor. There's even a prom night kiss! The novel has minor flaws, mostly wrong words or misspellings, which didn't distract too much from the reading and could be cleaned up with another good edit. What I enjoyed most was Jen's sarcastic tone which she mostly shares with the reader as she tells the story. We have scenes like this at the bowling alley when Trevor stoops to tie Jen's shoe: Then he bends down to tie it for me. I push back the little warm fuzzy that tries to surface at this completely humble gesture. By now, though, Trevor's parent(s) have wandered over and are introducing themselves to my fosters. Then the fosters are introducing their biologicals and everyone knows everyone and we're all a big happy family. Gag, choke and retch. And then scenes like this where Jen starts to succumb to her true feelings: I was as honest with them as I could be, leaving out my feelings for him. I told them that I decided I like hanging with him so they're off the hook with the bet. They completely don't get it. They think I've sold out, which I guess is true to some degree. I'm okay with that because I'm liking both myself and my life better these days. School librarians, listen up and take note! Geek Girl should be front and center in your library. If you have kids who are "different," geeks, foster children, or other troubled teens who could use a connection that sometimes only a book can give them, then Cindy C. Bennett has written you a heartfelt resource guide for the underdog - both boys and girls. This book is totally awesome!
Ms. Bennett has not only accurately written a story that encompasses the problems encountered within teenager relationships, but she has managed to hit on points most teenagers don't encounter. Mainly the heartache of foster children caught in the vicious cycle of the system. Her depiction of a teenage girl experiencing the heartache of not feeling wanted or being wanted is pretty much an eye-opener. She touches on the sense of despair and anger that being a "throw-away" child engenders in the foster child. Whether it is a young child or an older child, the outcome can be pretty disastrous when the child finds they are tossed about in a system that produces foster parents who only see fostering as a means of acquiring an "income." It was heartwarming to read a story with a happy ending, where a foster family was genuine in their reasons for fostering, and they accepted the child who acted out, and made her a part of their loving family. A child that clothed herself in the armor of self protection that hostility and anger afforded. Ms. Bennett's story instills the hope that a child can turn their life around when they find themselves heading down the wrong path, with the help of love and acceptance from those around them. She manages to instill the lesson that our destiny is indeed held in our own grasp, no matter our age, dependent on the direction we chose to follow and the decisions we ultimately make. She also accurately touches on the friendly, joyful personality of a particular young man with Down Syndrome. Excellent job, Ms. Bennett. This is a story worth reading for its life lessons, not only for teenagers, but for adults as well.
I really liked this book and I would certainly recommend it to others. I did however feel that the book's resolution was a bit too easy considering all the hardships that the heroine suffered. However, Trevor and Jen are both well written and you really do care about them.
J. Whitus (Book Junkie)
Beautifully written & absolutely wonderful
This book was absolutely wonderful. You can't help but fall in love with Jen as she goes on a journey of acceptance, enlightenment & forgiveness. Your heart aches as Jen reaps the consequences of her actions, and you cheer for her as she finds her own strength. The lessons Jen learns on her journey are so valuable at an age when kids can be so cruel. Geek Girl has light hearted humor that balances out well the more serious content of the book. I highly recommend this book for ages 13 & up. It is a story I hope my own girls will read when they are old enough.
I am a geek-girl. I picked this book up specifically because of the title. I figured it would be good to read between classes or whatever. In the last 24 hours, I have read 85% of the book. It was a great book. I never thought I would like it as much as i have.
One of the best Ya books of the year
I for one think that this is one of the best YA books of the year. Geek Girl keep me turning the pages, and when I was not reading Geek Girl I was thinking about it. The writer really draws you into this book. Has you remembering what it was like being in high school. Really had me going back because I too was a goth in high school before I meet my Geek Boy and changed. This is a beautiful story about falling in love for the first time, learning to be loved by someone else and learning to live through heartbreak. Learning to trust other people and just learning about self-discovery. I would not just recommend this book to teenagers. I would recommend it to anyone who likes fast paced stories about love. But there is more than just love in this story. It is about learning to get over low self-esteem. Great debut novel but a very talented writer. Please do read this book.
Fast read... very good!
I really enjoyed this book. I don't read many books just because I'd rather watch a movie or play a video game but with me being a geek boy myself, I saw this title and it seemed interesting. Jen and Trev... I mean Trevor really had a good character development through this story and it was a fun relationship to read about. I couldn't help but get sucked in. I also really liked the geek humor and all the references to all things geekdom. The girl that befriends Jen about half way through the book was a great change in pace from most other stories about romance in the way that she was a shining light in Jens darkness even without Trevor in her life. I highly suggest readers of all sorts check out this book!
Debra L. Chapoton "Author of EDGE OF ESCAPE"
Wonderful Story of First Love
Geek Girl, by Cindy C Bennett, pulls us into the life of Jen, a snarly, confused Goth girl with plenty of attitude. Her preference in boys would be a guy with long stringy black hair, tight black pants riding low, black eyeliner, pierced ears, tongue and lip. He would be tall and skinny and weird and, usually, high. She sets her eye on Trevor, though, a geek whose life and looks are as opposite as possible to hers. She bets her friends that she can make him "bad" with the payoff being a new lip piercing if she succeeds. I was quickly brought into the story by the easy narrative and dialogue which seemed spot on (I've known a lot of girls like Jen as well as dorks like Trevor) and I found myself smiling and nodding at the realistic situations and uncomplicated humor. Jen's feelings, her confusion, her rebellion and her transformation are all expertly handled by the author. The story is told through Jen whose thoughts vividly reveal a very likeable girl under all that make-up and bluff. I thought I knew exactly where the story was heading right away and I wanted to keep reading not only to see if I was right, but to see what surprises the author would bring to the tale. I wasn't disappointed and I can't imagine anyone who likes YA could find fault with this engaging and appealing story. If I gave this book fewer than 5 stars it would not reflect the excellence of Geek Girl. Thank you, Cindy Bennett, for a wonderful story of first love.
Great read - could not put it down
This book was much more than expected. The story is complex and unpredictable. It is a story of rebirth and joy. After reading for only 15 minutes I was already caught up in this sweet story. The author did an excellent job of catching the reader’s attention and taking them down an emotional roller coaster. From extreme pain to happiness and then back down into sorrow again. Jen, the main female in the book is at once unlikeable and lovable at the same time. The two main characters are both in high school, and complete opposites. It brings back recollections of high school with all of its uncertainty, pain and fun. This book has a great ending and when I finished it, I was a bit unhappy, as I wanted the story to go on and on. I highly recommend this to all readers even though it may be targeted to the teen reader. I cannot wait for the next book from author, Cindy Bennett.
Sunni Morris "FaerieMound Books"
A very fun read!
The reader will find themselves back in high school again with all the drama associated with those trying years. We all remember the "cool" kids and the "not so cool" kids, our struggle with classes and trying to fit in, always wanting to do the right thing in any given situation, yet being very unsure of ourselves especially when out of our element.
Geek Girl brings all these struggles of the teen years back to life as the pages unfold. We probably all remember struggling with acceptance, jealousy, feeling resentful of the "cool" kids and becoming anguished over break-ups and elated when we caught the eye of someone we really cared about.
Our main character, Jen, is a Goth girl who's had to struggle all her life in ways most of us couldn't even imagine doing. With a dead father and her mother in prison, she finds herself in one foster home after another. She has a handful of Goth friends at her current high school and on a bet with them; she pursues a geek boy at school with plans of turning him as bad as she is. The two are a very unlikely pair, being opposites in every way. The geek, Trevor, wonders why Jen even wants to be seen with him because he knows he's a nerd, but Jen intrigues him so he doesn't really ask many questions as they hang out and get to know each other. His friends are appalled and her friends want a progress report. What ensues is a nicely written love story that will make you laugh and cry as you go through the highs and lows of teen romance.
Cindy Bennett has written a lovely book that's suitable for all ages. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and it's been years since I was in high school. Good job.
Books4Betty reviewed Geek Girl
A MUST Read!!
Every so often a great Young Adult book lands in my hands and Geek Girl by Cindy C. Bennett is one of those said books. I read this book from cover to cover within a twenty-four hour time period, amazing right? It may only be 316 pages, but each page is deliciously satisfying and little bit heart wrenching. Geek Girl is not easy to put down. I ate my meals with one hand and kept the other on this book. This review is going to be so short, yet so sweet, because I want all of the readers to go out and get this book. It really is one of a kind!
The basic premise revolves around Jen, a 17 year old Goth girl with a tortured soul. Her story unfolds throughout each page and Bennett tastefully wrote out the haunting details in an age appropriate way. It is very tricky writing books geared towards younger readers when the topics are gritty. I have come across many books that I would not pass down to my teenaged niece, yet this one I would. Bennett, I believe, knows how to write a story about "real life" without laying on the gory details. Jen's past is very upsetting, yet the younger (teenage) readers will sympathize and appreciate Jen for who she really is. I, as the reader, was rooting for Jen and was keeping my fingers and toes crossed for her "happily-ever-after!"
Jen, and her Goth girlfriends, make a bet that she can turn school geek, Trevor Hoffman, into a Goth like she is. Once Jen approaches Trevor, she is swept into his life of goodness and somehow finds herself liking being geeky. Trevor, with his geeky sweetness, manages to turn Jen's "woe is me" attitude around. Turn that frown upside down, as some would say, and Jen finds herself doing just that.
Geek Girl is a MUST read! I cannot say it any other way. Please go out and purchase this book. It is really sweet, funny, and heart-breaking. Jen's past is filled with pain and sadness, yet throughout the pages she learns to live, to trust, and to love.
Two thumbs up to Cindy C. Bennett for writing such a gem.
gatorsmom reviewed Geek Girl
Felt just like being back in high school again! Which can be a very scary thought. Easy to relate to all the characters. I didn't want to put it down once I started it! This book is a great read for all ages! Go ahead try it and you may be surprised about finding the "geek" in YOU!!
By B. Williams "B"
I was hesitant to get this book because it didn't have any reviews or ratings and I usually like to read paranormal romance, and this one seemed like it might be straight romance.
It was a love story and it was wonderful, it had me giddy and excited. I found it interesting compared to my paranormal romance, because there wasn't any vampires, or werewolves or witches to worry about that the love developed over time as it would in real life and not at lightning speed as it would in other books. That was a nice change.
But this book wasn't just straight romance, it was about love and learning how to love, to be loved, how to get through heartbreak. I am 30 years old but this book brought me right back to younger years and I could totally relate.
I love that the author wrote this book for and with her daughters. I think it is a great read for young girls and totally appropriate, inspiring, realistic and relatable.
If I could give this 10 Stars I would. Instead I had to give it all I could.
This book was simply amazing. Both Geek Girl and Heart on a Chain are the best books I have read since Twilight.
Well they are not paranormal books, the story lines are both about life’s lessons and woven around the most beautiful romance. I would recommend these books for anyone looking to read a feel good story about perseverance and love!
I really can’t find a way to express enough the thoughts that came to mind when I read this book.
Even though I have never personally had experience with the things that Jen went thru in this story, I was amazed at how the writer gave you the most vivid insight into the way that Kate felt and the things that she had been thru and I was just as amazed with the way that she entangled the tragedy and triumph with a magnificent love story between a boy and a girl.
I would like to encourage all those that are looking for something awesome to read in the way of romance and triumph over adversity to not hesitate to read this book!
It was great. My daughter read it and gave it to me and she said that the romance was as entrancing as Twilight.
You should also definitely pick up Heart on a Chain as there is a very neat connection between the two stories that you will find if you watch for it near the end of Geek Girl. Pay attention and you just might see something very interesting .Jen and Kate have met...that’s all I’ll say.
I really loved this book. I normally enjoy stories, like this one, in which the male character is very nice and understanding, so that he conquers the unsure girl's love step by step; the risk in this kind of stories is that they can turn cheesy. I can honestly say that this one instead is totally realistic, all characters have their flaws and make mistakes during the plot's development and you can easily relate to them, feel their insecurities and understand even their worst choices.
True to life
Cindy Bennett has a wonderful ear for dialogue and detail. I have been a teacher for nearly twenty years and I have seen the types of relationships presented in this book. It would have been too easy to present the characters in this book as stereotypes, but Ms. Bennett avoids this. What could have been a predictable young adult novel becomes a true representation of the difficult and challenging dynamics between young adults and their peers, as well as the adults in their world.
I look forward to reading more from Ms. Bennett.
It’s a fun read!
This book is a fun read and just heart warming. I bought this book one morning and finished it that night, I couldn’t put it down!
People like Jen, let’s admit you automatically think they aren’t good people or they aren't as thoughtful or smart as a geek. Most of the time they are the kindest people and most of the time the only one that is willing to do anything to help you mainly because they are not afraid. They do have a wall up or a cover on because they have been through some stuff, and that's just the way that they deal with it.
To me this is a story of a girl finding out she can show who she really is, she can break that wall down she doesn't have to wear those clothes. Of course she got help from a geek who she ended up falling in love with, which is amazing. That journey of course had some hard times. This book is hilarious, and it is fun to read about Jen breaking down that wall, showing herself, a side that nobody expected of her.
Cindy C Bennett is an amazing author her other book Heart on a Chain is even better.
I adored this book. It was gorgeous and intense, and it was so refreshing to fall in love with a nice hero, who wasn't broken at all. Jen was a sympathetic heroine, and even her mistakes made sense. This book was perfect. It swept me up and I read it in one sitting. I recommend this for readers of Jennifer Echols or Sara Parr.
Absolutely worth it!!!
I thought this book was wonderful. Both Jen and Trev were flawed and beautifully written. The love story isn't a perfect one, which is one of the reasons that I loved this book. It was relatable to all ages. I absolutely loved it.
Sherry Gammon, Author Unlovable
Geek girl! Got to love her!
Geek Girl is a touching story of Jennifer... I mean "Jen" as she rises to the top like cream despite her despicable upbringing. It shows the strength of the human spirit, and what a difference love can make in someone's life. I loved this book, as did my 18 year old daughter! The author is a gifted storyteller!
This book was such a delight to read! It's equal parts funny and heartbreaking and sweet. The heroine is so shockingly snarky to begin with, I couldn't help but laugh. Enjoy!
I don’t usually write book reviews, but I LOVED this book. It’s made it to my top five. This book seemed like it could have been split into two books - the story was long - but in the end made me enjoy it even more. It didn’t drag and I couldn’t put this book down. I read it in two days, because I couldn't stand having to wait for what would happen next. If you like teen romance, this is a book for you.
The best book!
This is one of my favorite books i have ever read!! This is a book I will definitely read again!