The Wrong Kind of Weird

This diverting, witty young adult novel from James Ramos (That Girl, Darcy) features a high school senior who falls in love with two young women.

Cameron, a member of Geeks and Nerds United (G.A.N.U.) is in a secret relationship with Karla, Hilltop High's student body president, cheerleader and "premier golden girl." As they sneakily hook up, Cameron works to infiltrate Karla's friend group in hopes they'll accept him as potential boyfriend material. As Karla repeatedly rebuffs Cameron in public, he begins to develop feelings for fellow nerd and regular antagonist, the "I'm-so-over-it" Mackenzie. The complicated situation leads to complex emotions for the young man, forcing him to consider not simply which partner he might want, but what will make him happy.

The Wrong Kind of Weird touches on issues of divorce, misogyny and sex positivity while also delving into the uncomfortable and often upsetting experience of being socially awkward and outcast. Cameron, Karla and Mackenzie are all complex and thoroughly lovable characters. Cameron's vulnerability is on display as he stumbles through understanding his feelings; Karla, though an overachiever, has a soft side; Mackenzie's sarcasm breaks away to unveil her easygoing, friendly demeanor. Ramos skillfully appeals to nerds of every age with their knowledge of popular anime shows and in-group references. This helps build and animate Cameron and his friends, as when Jocelyn and D'Anthony argue about "dubbed anime instead of subbed anime" (the latter being preferable). Other characters, such as Karla's ex-boyfriend and her clique, bring a touch of skepticism, uncertainty and revelation to Cameron's perplexing dilemma. --Kharissa Kenner, children's librarian, Bank Street School for Children

Powered by: Xtenit