2011 Book Review Catch-Up: Part 2

The new year is less than a week away, and I still have four books to review before I present my complete ratings list. So let’s just jump right in, shall we? Today I wanted to review two romance novels: Gone with the Nerd by Vicki Lewis Thompson and The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan.

Image via Open Library

Gone with the Nerd (Rating: 4 out of 5)

I’m not a big reader of romance novels, especially not the embarrassing bodice-rippers with shirtless guys on the covers. But you haven’t read Thompson’s Nerd series, you’re in for a real treat. Currently seven stand-alone novels, the series focuses on women attracted to geeky computer programmers and engineers instead of princes and vampires. Gone with the Nerd, published in 2005, follows the sexual tension between actress Zoe Tarleton and her attorney Flynn Granger. Determined to nab some more serious roles, Zoe travels to California’s Bigfoot country so she can secretly rehearse her lines as a dowdy chemist. Flynn offers to go over lines with her, but what happens when their chemistry jumps off the pages? And what about all the mysterious accidents that keep occurring, including the poisoned food and killer bees? Granted, the plot’s predictable and the dialogue’s cheesy, but the love scenes are ultra-hot and Thompson always promises a happy ending. I also recommend Nerd in Shining Armor, Talk Nerdy to Me, and Nerd Gone Wild.

Image via The New Yorker

The Lover’s Dictionary (Rating: 4 out of 5)

Calling this a romance novel is a bit misleading, but it’s an excellent tale of love and loss. From the author famous for Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and published earlier this year, it’s a unconventional story showing the rise and fall of the narrator’s relationship through word entries like a dictionary. Each letter of the alphabet can have multiple entries, which vary in length from a few pages to a single sentence. You never learn everything about their lives together, but you piece together their ups-and-downs all while learning new vocabulary! Written in a non-linear style, it’s a refreshing take on the person-meets-person plot (it’s even ungendered for universality). Beware, at only 224 pages, you’ll finish this book in one sitting. So wish it could have been a longer read!

One of my favorite entries: autonomy, n. “I want my books to have their own shelves,” you said, and that’s how I knew it would be okay to live together.

So if you’re interested in some good, not-old-fashioned love stories, check out these two. And be sure to read my final catch-up mini-review tomorrow!