Going Geek is the first novel that I’ve read by Charlotte Huang, although I have heard amazing things about For the Record. When I heard about this one, I was excited to read it, because I thought it sounded like an incredible contemporary (and okay, that cover is so pretty), and I was curious about it. I love books set in boarding school settings!
Skylar was really looking forward to her senior year at Winthrop, a prestigious boarding school where she has been the queen bee, along with her friend Whitney. She is excited to return, especially after her summer, which was spent waiting tables at the country club instead of lounging around reading movie scripts with her mom, looking for the next big hit.
However, one letter changes everything – Skylar will no longer be in Lincoln, the dorm she had been in since she was a freshman. Unsure as to how this has happened, she just knows that it is going to be a difficult year without all of her friends. When she finds out that she is going to be in Abbot House, the dorm with all of the “geeky” kids in it that is practically off the map, she is crushed. When she gets the news that she will have a roommate, she doesn’t know how she is going to take it.
To make matters worse, Whitney has invited her best friend Lila to come to the school for their senior year, and when Skylar ends up getting booted from the dorm, she wonders if it is because Lila has taken her spot. To add to it, Lila also plans on fighting Skylar for her position on The Calendar, which is the most popular club at Winthrop – the one that determines which social events will be allowed to happen on campus. Oh, and when it gets out that Skylar lied about her summer? Yeah, her perfect boyfriend dumps her, too, leaving her all alone and essentially friendless.
While everything seems like a nightmare for Skylar, she eventually comes to learn who her best friends are, and what’s really important.
The quirky cast of characters in this book made it even more enjoyable. Along with the “popular” girls, you get to meet some of the more “uncool” members of the school once Skylar gets moved to Abbot House and gets new roommates. These roommates include Opal, who loves yoga and has been trying to get a yoga class going for ages, and Declan, a boy who doesn’t live in Abbot House, but is still considered somewhat geeky by those in Lincoln. As Skylar slowly stars to make friends with these and other characters in the book, it’s amazing to watch how she grows as a person and gets her priorities in order – she stops caring so much about things that used to be important to her, and starts caring about the real important things, including real friendships.
Going Geek felt like it had an air of high school politics going on it, what with the Calendar and the whole petitioning for social events thing. While that’s not usually my thing, it did work here, making for an interesting read.
When I first started reading, I did question whether or not I was going to enjoy this; I do like contemporary YA novels, but for some reason, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get into it. I did think that it started off a little slower than I would have liked, but we get a good bit of background and introductions into the characters. Well, a few chapters in, I found myself pretty hooked on this – the story itself was sweet, and the writing what really shone through. If you’re a fan of contemporary YA novels, then this is one that you won’t want to miss!
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About the Author
Charlotte Huang is a graduate of Smith College and received an MBA from Columbia Business School, which is clearly something every aspiring writer should do. When not glued to her computer, she cheers her two sons on at sporting events and sometimes manages to stay up late enough to check out bands with her music agent husband. Charlotte lives in Los Angeles and is the author of For the Record(Delacorte, 2015) and Going Geek (Delacorte, September, 2016).
Represented by Adriann Ranta of Foundry Literary.
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