The Low Down: Dylan Schoenfield is the popular princess of Castle Heights High School. She has all the right things: the most popular guy, Asher, is her boyfriend; she has two best friends, Lola and Hannah, that are her perfect backups; and her father owns a shopping mall, so she has access to all the best clothes. Which brings us to her current problem: who can she talk into pulling her waterlogged designer purse out of the fountain at the mall?
Next thing she knows, there’s a boy literally at her feet. Well, he did trip over Lola’s bag, but still. He retrieves her purse in exchange for a promise to let him film Dylan and the other Castle Heights populars for a documentary he wants to make. Josh eats, drinks, thinks and sleeps film, and he desperately wants to get into film school at USC. Agreeing (with her fingers crossed behind her back), it isn’t until Josh shows up at her house because she won’t return his calls, and she sees him bonding with her father over (gross!) Neil Diamond of all people, that she finds she will be doing the documentary. Father’s orders.
Dylan has a list of demands regarding what Josh can shoot and what he can’t (no shooting from the right), and once she has Josh’s cell number, she is always bombarding him with a barrage of “helpful” instructions and outright demands via text. This is going to be a long, long month for Josh. But what neither of them expected? They actually become friends. Josh is there for her in a way that Asher, Lola and Hannah aren’t. Then Dylan realizes that Josh would be the perfect boyfriend for someone – he just needs a little help in the clothing/grooming department, and, when he’s not talking about movies, he has some conversing issues. (OK, maybe the constant hypochondriac-ish behavior can get a little much, too.) He’s got a crush on someone; that much she knows. Can both Dylan and Josh get something out of their unconventional relationship?
All good things must come to an end, as they say. But some ends are completely unexpected. And some are completely right.
Best Thang ‘Bout It: Having just read Cindy Ella, I knew I was in for a fun read. If you have a tween/teen girl living in the house, then you might have caught the Disney movie that was based on Geek Charming. In the book, they certainly don’t downplay the fact that Dylan thinks other people are self-centered, but doesn’t see it in herself. Her slow awakening seems very real, and is equal parts sad and uplifting. Of course, this isn’t just about Dylan’s realizations; Josh is stuck in his film geek existence because that’s where he feels the most comfortable. He, too, has to realize that there’s more to life than spending all of his time in a movie theater or in front of the TV watching films. He has to live his life.
I absolutely, both-thumbs-up, love the ending to the story. (Don’t read any more if you don’t even want a whiff of what goes down.) So real, so perfect. If it had been done any other way, it would have totally negated anything that either of the main characters had learned over the course of the book.
The Bottom Line: A fun, sweet book that will warm the very cockles of your heart. Or whatever is the 2000s version of cockles.
Geek Charming by Robin Palmer was published February 5, 2009 by Speak. Ink and Page picked this book up from the library, so no one had a choice about whether it was reviewed.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction Contemporary Romance
Ages: 12 and up
You Might Want to Know: Some underage drinking
See my previous reviews of books by Robin Palmer: