April 12: Ten Books Every Internet Geek Should Read
So… I’m kind of a massive geek. I love shipping, I love fanfiction, I love fan creations, I love fandom… There were many a night where I would stay up late all night doing homework because I just wasted the whole day geeking out over a TV show or an anime series, reading 100,000 words of fanfiction, and listening to fan-made playlists over this pairing or that pairing. When I get obsessed, I am OBSESSED, all capital letters.
This doesn’t stop only with fandom, however. I love video games and would still play them if only I knew how to control myself. I love the internet and all the things it lets you do, like joining a forum or sending emails. If like me, you’re an internet geek, a geek on the internet, and an internet geek on the internet… this list is for you. 😛
1) How to Repair A Mechanical Heart – J. C. Lillis
Eighteen-year-old Castaway Planet fans Brandon and Abel hate bad fan fiction—especially when it pairs their number-one TV crushes of all time, dashing space captain Cadmus and dapper android Sim. As co-runners of the Internet’s third most popular Castaway Planet vlog, they love to spar with the “Cadsim” fangirls who think Cadmus will melt Sim’s mechanical heart by the Season 5 finale. This summer, Brandon and Abel have a mission: hit the road in an RV to follow the traveling Castaway Planet convention, interview the actors and showrunner, and uncover proof that a legit Cadsim romance will NEVER, EVER HAPPEN.
STATUS: Read and loved.
GEEKINESS LEVEL: Probably 5/5. The two main characters are hardcore fans with their own YouTube channel and now they’re on a roadtrip to follow a travelling convention. There’s fandom-speak, “I CAN’T EVEN”s, and “dat ass”s. You guys, I really enjoyed this book and it’s so, so underrated. Fan conventions! Vlogging! Portmanteau shipping names! ❤
2) Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell
For Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to. Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
STATUS: Read and enjoyed.
GEEKINESS LEVEL: 3/5. Cath, the main character, is a fanfiction writer, so her life kind of revolved around the fandom for a bit there. I don’t feel like it’s a huge plot theme, though, so it’s averagely geeky. 🙂
3) Symptoms of Being Human – Jeff Garvin
Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. The thing is…Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in uber-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley’s so-called “normal” life.
On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it’s REALLY like to be a gender fluid teenager. But just as Riley’s starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley’s real identity, threatening exposure. Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in—or stand up, come out, and risk everything.
STATUS: Read and highly enjoyed. Not with giggles, though.
GEEKINESS LEVEL: 2/5. Not as geekish as the other two because this one doesn’t revolve around any sort of fandom, but it does centre around a fictional Tumblr called Bloglr. The main character is genderfluid and writes about her experience on her blog, which later becomes viral.
4) Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.
STATUS: Read and highly enjoyed. With giggles.
GEEKINESS LEVEL: 3/5. Simon is a bit of a geek, but not too much of a geek. There are Harry Potter references, and some parts of the story are told via email. Viva the internet! ❤
5) Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here – Anna Breslaw
Meet Scarlett Epstein, BNF (Big Name Fan) in her online community of fanfiction writers, world-class nobody at Melville High. Her best (read: only) IRL friends are Avery, a painfully shy and annoyingly attractive bookworm, and Ruth, her pot-smoking, possibly insane seventy-three-year-old neighbor.
When Scarlett’s beloved TV show is canceled and her longtime crush, Gideon, is sucked out of her orbit and into the dark and distant world of Populars, Scarlett turns to the fanfic message boards for comfort. This time, though, her subjects aren’t the swoon-worthy stars of her fave series—they’re the real-life kids from her high school. Scarlett never considers what might happen if they were to find out what she truly thinks about them…until a dramatic series of events exposes a very different reality than Scarlett’s stories, forever transforming her approach to relationships—both online and off. (less)
STATUS: On the TBR pile. High priority.
GEEKINESS LEVEL: ?/5. Hopefully very geeky. I’m expecting tons of fandom references like in How to Repair a Mechanical Heart and a strong, authentic sense of fan culture.
6) All The Feels – Danika Stone
College freshman Liv is more than just a fangirl: The Starveil movies are her life… So, when her favorite character, Captain Matt Spartan, is killed off at the end of the last movie, Liv Just. Can’t. Deal.
Tired of sitting in her room sobbing, Liv decides to launch an online campaign to bring her beloved hero back to life. With the help of her best friend, Xander, actor and steampunk cosplayer extraordinaire, she creates #SpartanSurvived, a campaign to ignite the fandom. But as her online life succeeds beyond her wildest dreams, Liv is forced to balance that with the pressures of school, her mother’s disapproval, and her (mostly nonexistent and entirely traumatic) romantic life.
STATUS: On the TBR list. Medium priority.
GEEKINESS LEVEL: ?/5, and hopefully also very geeky. For a book called ‘All The Feels’, and with a tagline like “All is fair in love and fandom”, I’m hoping there will be tons of feels in here–sad feels, happy feels, angry feels, shipping feels…
7) Ready Player One – Ernest Stine
In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.
When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
STATUS: Read and highly enjoyed.
GEEKINESS LEVEL: 5/5. The entire book is reminiscent of all the video games you played as a kid (and still play now as an adult). I used to be a gamer in my teen years and this just took me straight back to those golden years. 😛
8) The Geek’s Guide to Unrequired Love – Sarvenaz Tash
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.
STATUS: On the TBR pile. High priority.
GEEKINESS LEVEL: ?/5. Hopefully very, very high, given that ‘geek’ is in the title! Plus I’m super excited for a male POV character. 🙂
9) The Leveller – Julia Durango
Nixy Bauer is a self-made Leveller. Her job? Dragging kids out of virtual reality and back to their parents in the real world. It’s normally easy cash, but Nixy’s latest mission is fraught with real danger, intrigue, and romance.
When the game’s billionaire developer loses track of his own son in the MEEP, Nixy is in for the biggest challenge of her bounty-hunting career. Wyn Salvador isn’t some lazy kid looking to escape his homework: Wyn does not want to be found. And he’s left behind a suicide note. Nixy takes the job but quickly discovers that Wyn’s not hiding—he’s being held inside the game against his will. But who is holding him captive, and why?
STATUS: Read. Generally ‘meh’.
GEEKINESS LEVEL: 2/5. The whole premise was centred around a video game, and the protagonist makes money by forcing teen players to log off and return to real life. This sounds great in theory but there were way, way too many loopholes, so unfortunately the geekiness is amped down a lot.
10) Gena/Finn – Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson
Gena (short for Genevieve) and Finn (short for Stephanie) have little in common. Book-smart Gena is preparing to leave her posh boarding school for college; down-to-earth Finn is a twenty-something struggling to make ends meet in the big city. Gena’s romantic life is a series of reluctant one-night-stands; Finn is making a go of it with long-term boyfriend Charlie. But they share a passion for Up Below, a buddy cop TV show with a cult fan following.
Gena is a darling of the fangirl scene, keeping a popular blog and writing fan fiction. Finn’s online life is a secret, even from Charlie. The pair spark an unlikely online friendship that deepens quickly (so quickly it scares them both), and as their individual “real” lives begin to fall apart, they increasingly seek shelter online, and with each other.
STATUS: On the TBR list. Medium priority.
GEEKINESS LEVEL: ?/5. Two people, from different ages, meet on the internet and become friends based on their love of a certain TV show. Told in an epistolary format, which I’m not too sure about, but hopefully it works. 🙂
What’s on your TTT this week? Leave me a link or let me know in the comments! ❤