Monday, March 20, 2023

Book Review - The Wrong Kind of Weird by James Ramos




The Wrong Kind of Weird by James Ramos is about a high school “nerd” who falls for the popular girl at his school. Cameron Carson is a proud member of the Geeks and Nerds United (GANU) club. He proudly lets his geek flag fly until he catches the attention of Karla Ortega. Karla is the revered student council president, cheerleader, theater kid, and the most popular girl at their school.

The unlikely duo meet one summer while working together at a local coffee shop. They kept a respectable distance from each other at first, until they realized that they had a lot more in common with each other than they initially thought. Cameron finds himself falling head over heels for Karla.  Their summer romance starts to bloom and grow. However, Karla isn’t interested in taking their relationship public and acknowledging his presence at school.

The reader is then introduced to Mackenzie Briggs, the fourth and newest member of the GANU club. She wears her heart on her sleeve. She doesn’t care what other people say about her, nor is she afraid to express herself.  When Mackenzie first joined the club, she and Cameron had always bickered back and forth. Cameron realizes that Mackenzie has a lot in common with him and he feels that he is able to be his true self when he is around her. After Cameron repeatedly gets ignored at school by Karla, he finds himself drawn to Mackenzie. How will this love triangle end?

The book is an easy and quick read. The novel is littered with Japanese anime and manga along with other pop culture references. I was familiar with the majority of the references but they could be overwhelming at times and hard to follow especially if you are not familiar with them. I felt that at times the dialogue and writing didn’t flow as smoothly. At times, the dialogue felt forced.  Then at times the book included a lot of unnecessary details and it felt choppy.  

The story was predictable and had no unexpected twists. I felt that there weren't any antagonists nor any protagonist I was rooting for.  Instead the story just seemed to be about young adults who are trying to find their place in the world while exploring intimate and romantic relationships with other people. The only unique aspect of this novel was perhaps the anime and manga references.While I thought the book was an okay read, I felt like it had already been done before, and there was nothing in this book that hasn’t already been explored in other teenage love triangle novels.  I felt that the book was missing something to make it memorable.


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