I'm super stoked to join the blog tour for The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love today. Not only did I love Sarvenaz's Three Day Summer last year, I also love any book that celebrates geek culture!
Read on for my thoughts + pre-order incentives + a super fabulous giveaway!
Expected publication: June 14th 2016 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Format read: ARC via publisher
Archie and Veronica...
Althena and Noth...
...Graham and Roxy?
Graham met his best friend, Roxana, when he moved into her neighborhood eight years ago, and she asked him which Hogwarts house he’d be sorted into. Graham has been in love with her ever since.
But now they’re sixteen, still neighbors, still best friends. And Graham and Roxy share more than ever—moving on from their Harry Potter obsession to a serious love of comic books.
When Graham learns that the creator of their favorite comic, The Chronicles of Althena, is making a rare appearance at this year’s New York Comic Con, he knows he must score tickets. And the event inspires Graham to come up with the perfect plan to tell Roxy how he really feels about her. He’s got three days to woo his best friend at the coolest, kookiest con full of superheroes and supervillains. But no one at a comic book convention is who they appear to be...even Roxy. And Graham is starting to realize fictional love stories are way less complicated than real-life ones.
Graham is basically the young, male embodiment of younger me: he's a nerd who loves all things geeky, and is also in love with his best friend Roxy.
While he plans to make their trip to this year's New York Comic Con (NYCC) unforgettable - including hopefully, getting a sacred wristband to a panel for the creators of their favorite comic - life keeps interfering. And Graham quickly begins to learn at a con where everyone dresses up, he might begin to learn the truth about both himself and Roxy...
There are so. many. things. to love about this book. First and foremost: Graham and Roxy aren't just geeky, they're passionate geeks. They know that they love comics, they know that they want to become comic artists - they have a goal of appear on their own comic con panel by aged 23 - and they completely own it from beginning to end.
Too often, young teens who like nerdy things, are still made out to be oddballs in popular literature and media, so the fact that Tash wholeheartedly embraces this aspect of Graham and Roxy's identity - and also shows them working toward career goals, to boot - is fabulous, inspirational and really helped set the tone for the rest of the book.
As Graham, Roxy and their friends begin to delve into the organized chaos that comes with Comic Con weekend, Tash also does an exceptional job of balancing both Graham's internal struggles with wanting to share his feelings with Roxy at the micro level, and the actual experience of being at the con at the macro level. There's such a wonderful emphasis on the idea that this is the place where people who do think the same as you; do enjoy the same nerdy culture as you; are all kindred spirits, and this is where you find friends, and make extraordinary things happen.
Consequently, it's not too surprising that both Graham and Roxy find new people who not only understand them very well, but may actually seem to understand them just a tiny bit better than each other - at least on a broader level. Without giving spoilers away, Tash uses these friendly interlopers to really emphasize the idea that the world is a very big place, and we often meet people who challenge us to think boldly, and to explore aspects of ourselves - sometimes for better, and for a little worse - that we may not have considered otherwise.
This idea helps push multiple narratives across the book, including some sweet subplots involving Roxy and Graham's friends. But it's Roxy and Graham's journey from beginning to end. And while Tash incorporates several key scenes on male/female friendships that would have done Nora Ephron proud, Tash also wraps up their story leaving readers with the firm conviction that no matter what, they will always be there for each other.
Outside of Roxy and Graham, it's geeky good fun. I grinned like an absolute dork at all of the con references, and am now weirdly desperate to go to San Diego Comic Con.
Sarvenaz Tash has written a warm, hilarious story that not only celebrates geek culture and the elusive allure of cons; she's also crafted a great story about learning how to grown with the people in your life. Throughout the con, Graham learns more about what he values and how he fits in with those in his life, and does so in a way that's a testament to friendship, all things geeky, and staying true to yourself.
Cannot recommend this enough. Highly recommend for all readers. However, be warned: you're likely going to want to book your tickets for a con after this. #InigoMontoyaSmackdown
Anyone who pre-orders The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love or purchases it the week of release (up through Sunday 6/19) will receive an exclusive swag pack featuring a signed book plate, bookmarks, a postcard, and some adorkably nerdy stickers. All you have to do is to email your proof of purchase and mailing address to email@example.com. (This is international). More info here.
Check out the rest of the tour + giveaway!
Tues. 6/7 Prose and Kahn
Wed. 6/8 Read. Breathe. Relax
Thurs. 6/9 The Hiding Spot
Fri. 6/10 The Reading Nook <- Hello! *Waves merrily*
Mon. 6/13 Adventures of a Book Junkie
Tues. 6/14 Green Bean Teen Queen
Wed. 6/15 Word Spelunking
Thurs. 6/16 Andi’s ABCs
Fri. 6/17 What a Nerd Girl Say
Winner will receive:
* An autographed copy of The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love (from Sarvenaz)
* An autographed copy of Three Day Summer (from Sarvenaz)
* Two pendants from me!
About the author:
Sarvenaz Tash was born in Tehran, Iran and grew up on Long Island, NY. She received her BFA in Film and Television from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. This means she got to spend most of college running around and making movies (it was a lot of fun). She has dabbled in all sorts of writing including screenwriting, copywriting, and professional tweeting. Sarvenaz currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.