Saturday, March 3, 2012


ed. by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci

Grade: 2 1/2 stars

Thoughts: All in all this was rather depressing. It started out mostly quite fun, with awesome references to things I love like Buffy and Doctor Who and The Lord of the Rings and Stargate and a myriad of other awesome things. And of course, tons of references to things I wish I knew about, but have not found the opportunity yet, like D&D and Farscape. But it seemed as though as the book went on, the stories got progressively more and more unpleasant. I'm supposing most geeks had a pretty awful  time in school, which I got to miss as I was homeschooled. But that doesn't give you an excuse for being downright cruel, as the girl in "The Truth About Dino Girl" by Barry Lyga, who completely destroyed another girl's life, or the boy in "Quiz Bowl Anitchrist" by David Levithan, who was constantly taunting another boy with nasty sarcastic comments. And many of of the stories contained, if not main characters that were cruel, at least situations that were highly unpleasant and disturbing, like "The King of the Pelinesse" by M. T. Anderson or "Secret Identity" by Kelly Link.
And somehow, I found these had a different feel than the more disturbing books that I sometimes like. You see, I like gritty stuff. I like realistic stories where bad stuff happens, and even stories with cruel people who destroy other people's lives--like "Evil Genius" by Catherine Jinks (although I'm not sure that book is exactly realistic...). But these stories were different. They seemed to be trying so hard to lift the geeks out of social disgrace, that they ended up embracing, along with the geek passion and uniqueness, the tendency towards revenge on people who were unkind to them and also many alternative lifestyles. While the stories I like, even if unpleasant or tragic or terrible, have some sort of view of the world as a Good place. I'm not sure how to describe it exactly. So there it is.

But among this there were a couple stories I actually liked. "One of Us" by Tracy Lynn was rather fun. "Definitional Chaos" by Scott Westerfeld wasn't awesome, but all the discussion about alignments was really interesting. (Although I definitely disagreed with the basic premise, which is that Neutral Good is boring and tepid. But I won't discuss that further as I could go on for quite a while about that.) I was somewhat disappointed in Garth Nix's story solely because I almost always adore him, and in this case, "The Quiet Knight" was really good, but not quite as memorable as I usually find him.

Anyway. Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up: I had hugely high expectations for this book, considering it was all about geeky stuff, and featured authors such as John Green and Garth Nix. But the good stories were not nearly frequent enough to make up for the stories I disliked, of which there were many. And some of them were downright disturbing.
Thus: disappointment.

P.S. WHY did they keep calling Doctor Who "Dr. Who"??? Seriously? They're supposed to be geeks! They should know better!!!

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