Geekhood: Close Encounters of the Girl Kind

Fourteen-year-old Archie is a Geek who spends his Friday nights engaged in Role Playing Games, and whose Interior Monologue reveals the thoughts he can’t share with his friends and doesn’t dare express around his mum and her boyfriend, ‘Tony the Tosser’. This self-deprecating hero understands that when a girl – a pretty girl, at that – approaches him, he doesn’t have a chance. In his fantasies he’s suave, but in real life his Exterior Monologue has a tendency to shut down at the moment it’s most needed. But Sarah, aka the Beautiful Goth, seems to want to be his friend – and to help Archie get in touch with his Psychic Self.

The stereotypical image of the Geek is depicted, dissected, defended, and despaired of as Archie’s encounters with Sarah ripple through the other relationships in his life. Tension arises when his friends find out Sarah is joining their Game, while Tony’s awkward attempts at being a cool almost-stepfather are both embarrassing and infuriating – and the school bully isn’t too happy about Archie’s newfound friendship, either…

There are plenty of pop culture references woven in throughout the narrative, but none so esoteric as to alienate the non-Geek reader. The tone of Archie’s Interior Monologue and its many marvellous one-liners make this fiction debut from actor Andy Robb laugh-out-loud hilarious. It’s a strong addition to funny teen fiction for boys (as well as brave girls curious to find out just how boys’ brains really work).