- Page Count: 256
- Release Date: June 14, 2016
- My Rating: 5 stars
John Hughes meets Comic Con in this hilarious, unabashedly romantic, coming-of-age novel about a teenager who is trying to get his best friend to fall in love with him from the author of Three Day Summer.
Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy…
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.
So pretty sure I had a giant grin on my face the entire time I was reading this precious little book 🙂
If you’re not into the whole Comic Con scene, you might not love this quite as much as I did… BUT good news for everyone else: this is easily the best “geek” story I’ve ever read. I feel like a lot of YA authors will throw in the occasional nerd culture reference as a kind of prop to strengthen their characters, but I swear Sarvenaz Tash has lived this life because the atmosphere was perfect. She clearly understands both the pain of missing out on panels despite waiting in line forever, as well as the very serious discussion of Ned Stark vs. Boromir.
The plot: Graham is a total nerd who wears Clark Kent-style glasses, loves comics, and is in love with his best friend Roxana. He plans this perfect weekend at the New York Comic Con, but things don’t really go as planned. Roxy meets a cute British guy at the speed dating thing instead, some friends tag along, and everything unfolds from there. The side characters like Casey, Felicia, and Roxy’s little sister were really fun too.
The story is told through Graham’s hilariously witty POV. He seemed like a totally normal nerdy teen who’s a bit confused but also very insightful at times:
“Certainly everyone here – dressed up as aliens, and wizards, and zombies, and superheroes – wants to be inside a story, to be part of something more logical and meaningful than real life seems to be. Because even worlds with dragons and time machines seem to be more ordered than our own. When you live for stories, when you spend so much of your time immersed in careful constructs of three and five acts, it sometimes feels like you’re just stumbling through the rest of life, trying to divine meaningful narrative threads from the chaos.”
This whole story was so, so much fun and COMPLETELY believable. There were several scenes where I was laughing out loud! Every single character was well developed and the conflict was necessary/made sense (read: no forced teenage angst). The whole plot flowed seamlessly and the end felt perfect without being predictable. It was kind of hard to get a well-rounded sense of Roxy, but that choice also makes sense and actually helped the story because we just see her through Graham’s POV.
I am seriously blown away by how much I got into this book — like I related to everything SO MUCH. And honestly, people who aren’t total nerds could still relate to the story & Graham’s growth. The story was surprisingly inspirational and just plain fun, so I totally recommend it to anyone looking for something lighthearted to read this summer!
Oh, and random side note to end on… I’m so glad a female author FINALLY said this in a book:
“Please don’t let anyone ask me what it’s like to be one of the only women in my field… it’s a stupid question. It’s like me asking you: Graham, what’s it like to be one of the few redheaded writers.”
Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC!
Check out my Q&A with the author