My Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Trixie Watson has two very important goals for senior year: to finally save enough to buy the set of Doctor Who figurines at the local comic books store, and to place third in her class and knock Ben West–and his horrendous new mustache that he spent all summer growing–down to number four.
Trixie will do anything to get her name ranked over Ben’s, including give up sleep and comic books–well, maybe not comic books–but definitely sleep. After all, the war of Watson v. West is as vicious as the Doctor v. Daleks and Browncoats v. Alliance combined, and it goes all the way back to the infamous monkey bars incident in the first grade. Over a decade later, it’s time to declare a champion once and for all.
The war is Trixie’s for the winning, until her best friend starts dating Ben’s best friend and the two are unceremoniously dumped together and told to play nice. Finding common ground is odious and tooth-pullingly-painful, but Trixie and Ben’s cautious truce slowly transforms into a fandom-based tentative friendship. When Trixie’s best friend gets expelled for cheating and Trixie cries foul play, however, they have to choose who to believe and which side they’re on–and they might not pick the same side.
From what I could tell about relationships and love and all that noise, it needed to be more than just mathematically reasonable.
First of all, that synopsis from Goodreads gave too much details. I think it already sold it at the second paragraph, so the last one could have been left behind because it tells a bit too much. Second, I don’t read comic books and watch Doctor Who, ALL THOSE REFERENCES MADE ME FEEL INADEQUATE for this book. And third, GOSH THIS BOOK IS EVERYTHING, I LOVE IT TOO MUCH.
I’m going to talk about the different aspects of this book starting of with,
So Trixie and her classmates go to this Private School for geniuses, wherein you need to pass an entrance exam to be accepted. It’s basically nerd-school with tons of classes and homework. This book literally got all of my feels about school, I don’t go to a school for geniuses but I could totally relate with all the schoolwork. Trixie, spends most of her time doing homework and studying for quizzes that she barely gets enough sleep at night but of course she still finds time to read her most beloved comic books. THAT IS BASICALLY ME, JUST SUBSTITUTE THE COMIC BOOKS WITH YA NOVELS.
At MESS (the school), the class list with their ranks is posted every month. Since it’s senior year Trixie is determined to out-rank Ben, her “nemesis”, and claim the third spot on the list. Again, super relatable though I couldn’t imagine the pressure of the monthly class list, Rankings at my school is posted every quarter and it always makes me want to runaway and hide in shame.
OUR MAIN CHARACTERS TRIXIE AND BEN. Trixie is smart, nerdy, witty, and a bit stubborn. While Ben is equally smart and nerdy, and he has grown a handlebar mustache over the summer (this in particular made me internally cringe). Trixie and Ben have been sworn enemies since first grade, and every single time they see each other there’s definitely an exchange of quick and witty insults, mostly geeky references. Most of the time their exchanges are really funny but there were times when it was just below the belt, especially Trixie’s comments. I actually felt sorry for Ben sometimes. Trixie’s bestfriend starts dating Ben’s bestfriend, and their group of friends started hanging out together, now if you expect them to play nice then you’re wrong. They drove their friends crazy with the heated banter everyday.
BUT WHERE DOES THE ROMANCE START? Well, you go read and find out. All I’m going to say that it wasn’t insta-love. It started very tentative, with shared fandoms and interests, exchanging comic books, they eventually became friends and then developed into something more. AND OH MY GOODNESS, THEIR RELATIONSHIP WAS LIKE THE EPITOME OF GEEK LOVE! It was so good, it made me smile like an absolute idiot. They were so compatible for each other, I felt all warm and fuzzy on the inside.
COMIC BOOKS, FANDOMS, AND DOCTOR WHO? I personally don’t read comic books and watch any of the TV shows mentioned here, so I was basically very clueless with all the references. BUT I DIDN’T CARE! And if you’re like me, you also shouldn’t. It is really not overwhelming and most of the references were explained. But if you are a big Comic book reader, I’m sure that you’ll love this book so much!
FRIENDSHIP AND LOYALTY. I truly loved the friendship in this book, every single character played a role. I LITERALLY WANTED TO BE FRIENDS AND EAT LUNCH WITH THEM. Every character was unique and distinguishable. And their friendship was tested a lot of times especially since they’re studying at a very competitive school but their loyalty for each other was super admirable. This book isn’t just about Trixie and Ben, it was about everyone, no nerd was left behind.
THE MYSTERY, which I totally didn’t expect. In a school that puts so much pressure on their student’s shoulders desperate measures may be done.
“If anyone cheated it’d be because of their ranking. Because we’ve been told since we got here that we aren’t worth anything unless we’re properly ranked. So, whether or not anyone is actually cheating, it’s the school’s fault for making us all feel like crap to start with.”
(Okay this quote hits a direct stab in my heart. Rankings have always put so much pressure on me, and I try to not take it too seriously but you know, the impact is strong.)
So as Trixie and Ben’s relationship slowly unfolds, one by one their classmates are being suspended and accused for cheating. In a school full of nerds, cracking under the pressure is totally terrifying because who knows what these geniuses can do. THE MYSTERY HAD ME AT THE EDGE OF MY SIT, I couldn’t stopped reading because I wanted to find out who was hacking the school’s system. It was so brilliantly twisted, I guiltily accused and suspected everyone (including Trixie, lol), but of course in the end I couldn’t solve it because my IQ isn’t high enough.
I have no words on how much I loved and enjoyed reading this book. 2016 is becoming a great year for YA contemporary books. This is really a strong debut novel by Lily Anderson, her writing style was phenomenal and the lines were all so witty, I would surely read all of her future works.
To conclude, this is an amazing read. It has sweet, witty, and nerdy characters. A clever and gripping story. And a lot of geeky references! Just read it please, you won’t regret it. It’ll leave you wanting more once you’ve finished it. JUST READ IT, and then come find me so we can geek about it together.
“Enemies to lovers. It’s a very common trope”