Don’t Hate the Player by Alexis Nedd Bloomsbury YA Publication Date: June 15, 2021 ISBN: 978-1547605026
Sixteen-year-old Emilia Romero has a secret life. By day, she’s a high-achieving Latinx student who takes AP classes, leads the field hockey team, has a popular jock for a boyfriend, and will even be running for student council as vice president to her best friend Penny (who is Black). By night (and on weekends), she’s part of Team Fury, an e-sports team competing in the virtual reality game Guardians League Online, who has just been tapped to participate in a live tournament with a pot of two hundred thousand dollars. No one at school knows her secret, and she’d like to keep it that way. But when Jake Hooper, who is also playing in the tournament on another team, shows up as a new student, Emilia’s two worlds threaten to collide.
Off the Record by Camryn Garrett Penguin Random House / Knopf Books for Young Readers Publication Date: May 18, 2021 ISBN: 978-1984829993
Josie Wright is seventeen years old, Black, fat, a future Spelman College legacy student (fingers crossed), and a brilliant writer already getting some exposure. When she wins the chance to write a feature article for an important magazine on a young up-and-coming actor, Marius Canet, Josie is determined to make the most of her time on his film’s cross-country press tour, even if it means ignoring her growing feelings for Marius. Just when Josie thinks she’s got her work/life balance under control, a young actress on the tour discloses the horrible truth about a powerful director and asks Josie to break the story of his on-set abuse.
One of Us is Next: The Sequel to One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus Delacorte Press / Random House Children’s Publication Date: January 7, 2020 ISBN: 978-0525707967
Bayview High School is no stranger to dead
teenagers, blackmail, gossip, and cover-ups. When a new “Truth or Dare” game
pops up, it appears someone is trying to keep Simon’s legacy alive. If you
choose not to play, a dark truth is revealed. If you choose dare, beware.
Things could become deadly.
Perhaps the ever-fabulous John Green said it best in a vlogbrothers video from 2009 when he summed up a nerd as someone who is “unironically enthusiastic about stuff.” For bigger-picture context, John had just seen the latest Harry Potter movie and was thrilled not only by the movie itself, but also by the sense of community and camaraderie he experienced in the theater while waiting for the movie to begin. And while this post isn’t about Harry Potter, the quote (and video) did make me think about exactly what it is to be a nerd.
For me, being a nerd is something I am immensely proud of. It’s come to be a defining factor in my life, something I embrace openly and enthusiastically. Tuesday nights find me at my local tabletop game store playing Carcassonne or Dominion with friends. Weekends are for sci-fi movies and 8-hour video game marathons. I own a Batman backpack, TARDIS lamp, and Master Sword/Shield of Hyrule/Ocarina combo. I pride myself on loving my fandoms passionately, even obsessively.
But what I’ve learned is that just because I read a lot of Batman comics, that doesn’t necessarily make me an expert on the universe. What I love about nerd culture and fandoms is that there is always something new to learn, to obtain, to work toward. But even for someone who already has a base-level knowledge, it can be daunting to jump into a fandom without some guidance. It’s dangerous to go alone, dear readers, take these resources to guide you on your journey! Continue reading How to Nerd: Nonfiction Titles for This Quest We Call Life