Published by Henry Holt and Company (BYR) on November 15th 2016
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Social Themes, Dating & Sex
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His classmates may consider him a nerd, but Benedict Pendleton knows he's destined for great things. All he has to do is find a worthy girlfriend, and his social station will be secured. Sure, Benedict is different--but that's what he likes about himself.
Pen Lupo is sick and tired of hiding who she is. On the outside, Pen is popular, quiet, and deferential to her boyfriend. On the inside, however, Pen is honest, opinionated--and not sure that she's quite like other girls. Do they have urges like she does?
When fate intervenes, Pen and Benedict end up at the same vacation resort for winter break. Despite their differences, the two are drawn together. But is there such a thing as happily ever after for this unlikely pair?
The Nerdy and the Dirty is one of those books that kind of amazes you – it’s so frank and honest about sex, which is a blast of fresh air since most YA fades into black so in that respect it’s completely different to any YA novel I’ve ever read, but it is, also, in the way Benedict and Pen act. They’re unfailingly honest – about everything. Perhaps a bit too much sometimes, but let me tell you this: once you’ve read this book, you most certainly won’t forget it.
I admit to struggling a little bit with how much I liked the book – on the one hand, it definitely got better the more I read, and the short, sharp chapters are a great bonus; but on the other hand? The insta-love? PLEASE. I just didn’t understand how Pen became completely enamoured with Benedict, simply because they were in the same place on vacation? Was that all there was to it? Because pages earlier she was calling him a retard (which perhaps was edited out in the end? But I fear not?) and I can’t comprehend her having such a quick change of opinion, it just seemed too quick for me, no matter HOW nice it was for Benedict to talk to her.
Benedict kinda made the book for me – with his wry humour, his Sheldon-Cooper-like way of dealing with things (ie. with his mind, not his emotions). But I liked seeing him understand he has issues with being sociable, and the way he tries to be more sociable is pretty impressive as it would have been SO easy to just keep going as he was.
The Nerdy and the Dirty is such a thought-provoking read that will leave you with tons of questions, and I genuinely liked it’s frankness, it was just the quickness of the love story that didn’t entirely make sense to me. HOWEVER, the best part of this book isn’t even really part of this book – it’s the acknowledgements. They are the BEST acknowledgements I’ve ever, ever read in my life. Like seriously, authors: The bar has been set and I dare you to try and beat B.T. Gottfred’s fantastic acknowledgements. It’s worth reading for that alone, but it is an interesting, fast-paced, honest read.