Geekhood – Close Encounters of the Girl Kind
By Andy Robb
I was acutely aware, even as I volunteered to read and review this book, that I am not exactly in its target audience. I fully admit that a novel about a 14 year old boy, Archie, and his struggles with Life, Love and Geekdom would not have been my first choice.
And yet, from the moment I started reading, I realised that perhaps I had judged the book by its cover because I was easily drawn into Archie’s world. It is written in a way that instantly produces a feeling of empathy for him and his situation. No easy task, when this reader’s demographic aligns more with the protagonist ‘s mother.
The first quarter of the story has some hilarious elements and had me laughing out loud (this is a Very Rare Thing when I’m reading). It’s brilliantly, painfully insightful and I feel oddly that I now know quite a lot about the author! Then, as the romantic element starts to unfold and the ethereal Sarah is introduced, every part of me was willing it to work, all the time convinced that being In Love For The First Time wasn’t necessarily going to be a pleasant experience for our hero. But the story is not just about romance – it’s a beautiful study of all of Archie’s relationships: his lovely mum, his annoying but well-meaning stepdad, his hapless father and his geeky friends.
There are points where there is more detail about the intricacies of The Game than I felt I needed for the story to come to life, but they did not lose me as a reader. If you are a player of games such as D&D, no doubt these points in the story will both titillate and transport you down Memory Lane.
I laughed, I cringed, I felt protective of Archie, I wanted to warn him when it was blindingly obvious he was heading for a fall, I wanted to scold his petulance, but most of all, I wanted him to catch a break.
You really don’t have to be a teenage boy to enjoy this book…. you don’t have to be a geek. You don’t even have to be male. It’s a thoroughly wonderful peek into the mind of a boy, written in language that appeals to adults and a romp through the full spectrum of teenage emotions. When I finished it, I was left with a feeling of absolutely having to know what happens next.
Now. Where’s that sequel..? Ah yes. It’s here……
get your own copy here