When you hear the words “nerd”, “geek”, and “dork”, what images come to mind? Perhaps you think of the stereotypical kid with thick glasses, horrible acne, a slightly hunched back, and a neatly tucked-in checkered shirt with a pocket protector front and center. Maybe you imagine a genius solving a hundred math problems a minute or a programmer with their face glued to a computer screen. You might even imagine a person decked out in full cosplay gear, dressed as their favorite Star Wars character with a five-syllable name. These nerds are often looked down upon by the public as intelligent yet completely awkward and strange. In the anthology Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd, edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci, tales tell the real truth about the complex world of nerds.
The product of many well-known and accomplished authors of young adult books, this anthology covers every aspect of nerds, from academics to romance. Each story is completely different from the next, but they are all connected by the unique characters that live on the fringes of teenage society. One page will deal with a debate team drowning in relationship drama, while the next will cover an awkward real-life meeting between two people from an online game. Each story is separated by a special comic detailing other facets of geekdom, including etiquette at an anime convention or a guide to doing homework while playing video games.
Whether you define yourself as a nerd or not, this anthology gives a completely new face to the idea of a geek. After reading the book, you may begin to define yourself as a geek in ways you never thought possible. With a helpful appendix at the back to clarify any unfamiliar terms such as LARP or Klingon, anyone can enjoy all of the stories. Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd ensures that you will never again think of one stereotypical image upon hearing the word “nerd.”
Review by Emma, teen blogger