The Queen Geek Social Club by Laura Preble

Book Info
The Queen Geek Social Club by Laura Preble
©2006 Berkeley Jam Books, New York, NY
ISBN 978-0425211649

Plot Summary
With a mad-scientist for a father and a Jetsons-esque robot named Euphoria for a nanny, life certainly wasn’t normal for San Diego teen Shelby Chapelle, but it was good. She was perfectly happy not being the most popular person in school and though she mostly kept to herself, she still managed to keep an active dating life. Since the death of her mother just three years before, she was missing the companionship of a good female friend, until the freakishly tall and tattooed new girl Becca Gallagher came to town from edgy Los Angeles. Shelby and Becca became fast friends, uniting in their atypical geekdom and they figured why stop there? There must be more of their kind out there! And so the “Queen Geek Social Club” was formed, and thus Shelby and Becca are transformed from wall flowers to social butterflies while finding their way through the twists and turns of high school.

Reader’s Annotation
Shelby is a self proclaimed geek, and perfectly content being a geek army of one, but when the edgy new girl Becca moves to town, Shelby’s no longer alone. The two form the “Queen Geek Social” club, and set out to find more of their kind and shake things up as they find their way through high school.

Critical Evaluation
While being a nerd is increasingly becoming considered more and more “cool” by society’s standards, they are still rather underrepresented as heroes, heroines and in romance as the wooer or the one being wooed. As a self-proclaimed nerd myself, I always wanted to see a romance novel where nerds are the main characters in contrast to the typical muscled men and buxom blondes. While The Queen Geek Social Club isn’t exactly what I had in mind, I was really excited by the premise and what it would mean for nerdy teen girls. Though, after reading the book I was left feeling that the “geeks” weren’t quite geeky enough. The main character Shelby has a scientist for a father and a robot for a friend, but I found her and Becca to be much more on the girly side. Even still, this novel taps a niche market that is still relatively untapped and I thoroughly enjoyed it and welcome further contributions by Laura Preble.

Information about the Author
Laura Preble is a journalist, singer, teacher, and writer from San Diego, California. Her first novel in the series, Queen Geek Social Club, is in its second printing and Queen Geeks in Love marks the second book in the series. A third, Prom Queen Geeks, was published this year. She has written one other young adult novel, Lica’s Angel. Preble is the winner of a 2005 Kurt Vonnegut Fiction Prize, and has won numerous awards for her journalistic writing and teaching.

She has held many jobs in her life. They include the following: pool cleaner, text book repair person, office assistant for the French department at Ohio State, babysitter, retail Indonesian clothing sales clerk, library assistant, maker of big structures using refrigerator boxes, publicity director for a theatre company, curriculum writer, software writer, journalist, columnist, playwright, singer, and high school teacher.

She is married to Chris Klich, an accomplished and very talented jazz woodwind player and college professor. They have two sons, Austin (13) and Noel (almost 4).

Visit the author’s website.

Genre
Realistic Fiction, Chick Lit, Nerd Lit

Curriculum Ties
N/A

Booktalking Ideas
Discuss the relationship between Shelby and Euphoria.

Reading Level/ Interest Age
14+

Challenge Issues

  • Mild sexuality.

Defense options

  • Be aware of your library’s collection development policy.
  • Be familiar with the material in question, and the context of the questionable content.
  • Assert the principles of the ALA Library Bill of Rights, and standards of intellectual freedom.
  • Consult online book reviews, and others who have read the book.

Why Included?
I met this local San Diego author at an author event at my library and was intrigued by the premise of her series. I thought it would be good for adding variety within the chick lit genre.

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