All tagged Entangled Teen

Review: The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

I had no idea that a book in which LARPing receives so much page time could be so endearing and fun. 

Leah Rae Miller's debut novel, The Summer I Became a Nerd is lighter fair done right. While it's not breaking any ground, there's a lot of merit in reading a breezy book that's so engaging. I often find myself disinterested or just plain bored with this type of novel, particularly in YA, but this hits a lot of sweet spots with fun humor, a believable teen voice and a warm story about the importants of being true to oneself.

Following a traumatic experience as a middle schooler, Maddie has ​hidden her love of comic books, science fiction and all things "nerdy" from her friends in pursuit of popularity and fitting in. She's a cheerleader, she dates the quarterback, she listens to the "right" music that her popular group of friends listens to. 

This carefully-constructed facade starts to crumble when the final issue of her favorite comic book is on backorder and she forces herself to go to the local comic book store (in "disguise," naturally) in search of the book.

There’s only one place in town that would have a copy. Is the risk of being seen and losing my place atop Natchitoches Central’s elite worth it? No. Absolutely not. It’s been a long, hard climb to the top of the popularity ladder. It took a lot of deceit and subterfuge to get people to forget The Costume Incident.

It turns out the comic book store is owned by the family of a nerdy boy from Maddie's school, Logan, who isn't fooled by her disguise or her feigned coolness. Quickly, the two begin spending time together, as Logan introduces Maddie to his world full of LARPing, video games and comic book conventions.

Review: The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding

We walk outside to the parking lot. Sunshine and blue skies. Again. I open my mouth to let her know about the name mistake, except that I really like the thought of being Devan Malcolm. And if I tell her, she’ll call up New City, get it fixed, and I’ll have to go back to being Devan Mitchell. And suddenly she’s the last person I want to be.

When just the right book comes along at just the right time, it's a real treat. Such is the case of Amy Spalding's debut, The Reece Malcolm List, which ticked so very many of my want-to-read boxes. 

Devan Mitchell finds herself suddenly thrust into an unfamiliar world when she's shipped to Los Angeles from a small town near St. Louis to live with the mother she never knew following the death of her father. Devan knew very little about her mother, aside from that she's a best-selling novelist who seemingly never had an interest in a relationship with her daughter.

When she arrives in L.A., Devan's world transforms. Always an accomplished singing and hardcore musical theater fan, she's enrolled in a private performing arts high school where rather than being the weird musical girl, she's kind of, well,normal

Devan chronicles the little bits of information she learns about her unusual mother in a notebook, while navigating her new, vibrant world. There's a bit of romance and a lot of unusual and realistic family issues explored in this memorable debut with a knock-out authentic teen voice. 

If I were to make a Devan-style list about The Reece Malcolm List, my review would look something like this...

Things I Love About The Reece Malcolm List

On Monday, we chatted with author Amy Spalding about her quest to oversee all aspects of the cover design for her new debut novel, The Reece Malcolm List (Entangled Teen 2013).

The Blurb

Things I know about Reece Malcolm:

  1. She graduated from New York University.
  2. She lives in or near Los Angeles.
  3. Since her first novel was released, she’s been on the New York Times bestseller list every week.
  4. She likes strong coffee and bourbon.
  5. She’s my mother.

Devan knows very little about Reece Malcolm, until the day her father dies and she’s shipped off to live with the mother she’s never met. All she has is a list of notebook entries that doesn’t add up to much.
L.A. offers a whole new world to Devan—a performing arts school allows her to pursue her passion for show choir and musicals, a new circle of friends helps to draw her out of her shell, and an intriguing boy opens up possibilities for her first love.

But then the Reece Malcolm list gets a surprising new entry. Now that Devan is so close to having it all, can she handle the possibility of losing everything?

The Cover

What do you think?


If you’ve ever checked out our policies page, you’ve probably noticed that we generally don’t take part in blog tours and cover reveals—it’s just not our thing. However, Amy Spalding made us a pitch we couldn’t refuse, in which she mentioned that both Friday Night Lights and Something Like Normal are favorites of hers. And then she told us her story of art directing the cover for her own book, The Reece Malcolm List. We’re all extremely interested in cover design (and have a lot of opinions about it), so it was great to chat with Amy about this project. We’ll be revisiting Amy on the 13th to see what the final cover looks like. 

First off, I know your book, the Reece Malcolm List, won’t be released by Entangled Teen until next year, but I’d love to hear a little bit about your debut young adult contemporary novel.

Absolutely! The Reece Malcolm List is about Devan, who—after the death of her father—is sent off to Los Angeles to live with the mother she’s never known. And, oh right, who’s a bestselling and semi-reclusive author. Figuring out her new family situation is tough, but at least she’s attending a performing arts high school where she lands one of the leads in the fall musical. And of course there are new friends, enemies, and boys to deal with, as she tries to figure out the seemingly impossibly-complicated Reece Malcolm.