The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz TashThe Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash

The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love

bySarvenaz Tash

Paperback | June 13, 2017

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John Hughes meets Comic Con in this novel about a teenager who is trying to get his best friend to fall in love with him that’s an “unabashed love letter and delightful inside joke for comic enthusiasts” (Kirkus Reviews).

Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy...
Archie and Veronica...
Althena and Noth...
...Graham and Roxy?

Graham met his best friend, Roxana, when he moved into her neighborhood eight years ago, and she asked him which Hogwarts house he’d be sorted into. Graham has been in love with her ever since.

But now they’re sixteen, still neighbors, still best friends. And Graham and Roxy share more than ever—moving on from their Harry Potter obsession to a serious love of comic books.

When Graham learns that the creator of their favorite comic, The Chronicles of Althena, is making a rare appearance at this year’s New York Comic Con, he knows he must score tickets. And the event inspires Graham to come up with the perfect plan to tell Roxy how he really feels about her. He’s got three days to woo his best friend at the coolest, kookiest con full of superheroes and supervillains. But no one at a comic book convention is who they appear to be...even Roxy. And Graham is starting to realize fictional love stories are way less complicated than real-life ones.
Title:The Geek's Guide to Unrequited LoveFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:272 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.7 inShipping dimensions:8.25 × 5.5 × 0.7 inPublished:June 13, 2017Publisher:Simon & Schuster Books for Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1481456547

ISBN - 13:9781481456548

Appropriate for ages: 14


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Cute, but not a new favorite I honestly thought that The Geek's Guide To Unrequited Love was going to be a surefire win for me. After all a book about fandoms, comic cons, and being proud of your nerdiness with tons of pop culture references thrown in should be something I'd really enjoy. However, I felt like this one really missed its mark for me, and while I did enjoy the story for the most part, it wasn't the amazing contemporary novel I was expecting, and isn't one that I'll be listing as a new favorite. The premise of it being about a sixteen year old guy named Graham who's in love with his best friend, and the elaborate lengths he goes to let her know his feelings at New York Comic Con sounded adorable, and swoon worthy. The reader can definitely tell that the author is very familiar with the con experience, as this whole ideal vividly comes alive on the page from chapter to chapter. However, the story starts to drag for a lot of the con experience, and it felt like the same things kept happening over and over again without much plot development around them. I loved that this book includes a pretty electric cast of characters, and I really enjoyed Graham, Samira, Felicia, Amelia and Casey. Unfortunately, where this one really fell short for me was in the character of Roxana herself. Right from the start, she really grated on my nerves, and I had a hard time understanding what Graham thought was so special about her in the first place. She comes across as selfish, and entitled, and I much preferred the chapters where Graham is experiencing the con without her by his side. The reader isn't given much to determine why exactly Graham is so convinced he's in love with Roxana in the first place, and honestly I thought he had better chemistry with another girl he meets at the con than he did with the girl he's known half his life. The whole relationship angle just seemed flat and undesirable, and it definitely hindered my enjoyment of the overall story. This would have honestly ended up being a two star read for me, if not for the ending. Contrary to a lot of other reader's opinion, I actually adored the ending. It left me feeling satisfied, and I felt it was a lot more realistic than if the author had chosen to go a different route. The ending is the main reason I bumped this one up to a three star rating. I can't say I'll be personally recommending this one, as I felt the execution didn't match the expectations I had for it, and I found it to be slightly dull and boring throughout most of the middle of the book. However, it was fun to read a story based around New York Comic Con, and to see a book celebrating nerd culture the way this one so effortlessly does.
Date published: 2019-06-10

Read from the Book

The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love Chapter 1 When aOnce-in-a-Time-Lord-LifetimeOpportunityPresents Itself,Seize It “I KNOW WE’VE BEEN FRIENDS for such a long time, Roxana. I only have about five years’ worth of memories without you in them. But… ” Here’s where the next panel would come. And in an ideal world, I’d ask Roxy herself to help me figure it out. She would sketch something, sometimes just a ghost of a line, and on the best of days, a dying ember would ignite and suddenly I’d know exactly what came next. I need her. I need her to help me figure out how to tell her I love her. I know what it has to feel like: epic. But also sweet. Like the romantic subplot of a superhero movie. Like that rainy, upside-down kiss in Spider-Man. But knowing what something is supposed to convey and actually getting it to do that is incredibly hard. Ask any writer. My phone buzzes from my nightstand, a longer buzz than I’m used to. A phone call instead of a text? I see Roxana’s hastily sketched self-portrait flash across my screen and feel an inexplicable panic flit across my stomach, blaring a run-on sentence like an LED display: Oh god something must be wrong if she’s calling me is she dead she’s dead or worse oh god she has a boyfriend now and they’re getting married… I try not to let this spigot of crazy flow out into my voice, but as it turns out, I don’t get the chance to say anything. “GrahamGrahamGraham, guess what? He’s coming!” Her voice is completely out of breath, like my stepsister sounds after a track meet, and I have absolutely no idea what she’s talking about. But I smile anyway. Probably one of the stars of the endless British TV shows she’s always binge-watching is going to be in a Broadway play. I should check my bank account to see if I can afford a ticket anytime soon. I grab my iPad and hit the banking app. “Who—” I start, but she doesn’t let me finish. “ROBERT ZINC.” I stop typing mid-password, stunned. “Coming?” Coming where? Surely not to Long Island. Or even anywhere in the eastern United States. Or anywhere at all that could be pinpointed on a map. Zinc hasn’t been seen, interviewed, or photographed since November 3, 1995. Not even five years ago when the reboot of The Chronicles of Althena happened. Not even six months ago when the film adaptation was finally announced, cast, and actually shooting. “To Comic Con. New York Comic Con. Go check the boards. Go check the boards now.” I zip over to my laptop and type in: First message of the forum, in capital letters, is exactly what Roxy has just told me. I can’t believe it. Robert Zinc, creator of my favorite series ever and the J. D. Salinger of the comic book world, is coming out of hiding. Has agreed to an exclusive forty-five-minute, in-person Q&A. And it’s open to the public at New York Comic Con, taking place three weeks from now only an hourlong train ride away. Roxy and I already have passes for the weekend, only… “It’s on Friday,” Roxana says, with an incredulous finality. “At three p.m.” Her voice is flat. “Don’t you think your parents would let you skip school for this?” I urge. “This is once in a lifetime…not even once in a regular lifetime. Once in a Time Lord lifetime.” “Obviously. I know that. And you know that. But explaining it to Maman and Baba… ” She takes in a deep breath. “But I will try. Oh, how I will try.” In the meantime, I’ve frantically clicked over to the NYCC website, even though I’m positive Friday passes have already sold out (they have). Fine, I’ll take care of that later. Right now, I need to figure out how getting into the Q&A is going to work. It’s just three sentences: “Robert Zinc, creator of the once-cult The Chronicles of Althena, will be sitting down for an incredibly rare Q&A with Solomon Pierce-Johnson, the director of the upcoming The Chronicles of Althena movie. This event will need exclusive wristbands that can be obtained Friday morning starting at 9 a.m. at the Javits Center. One wristband per attendee.” “Right,” I say, my brain going into organizational overdrive. Once hologrammed thought projections become a reality, this will be the point at which a large spreadsheet will beam out of my forehead. “Nine a.m. tickets means we have to line up on Thursday night. Probably starting at nine p.m.” I have personally never done this before, but I know, generally, how tickets to hot panels work. If they’re handing them out first thing in the morning, the die-hard fans will line up as soon as the previous night’s convention closes. And really, who is Comic Con made of if not boatloads of die-hard fans? Roxy sighs, then laughs a little bitterly. “No problem, right? Not only can I cut school on Friday to go, but I’ll definitely be allowed to spend Thursday hanging out on a street. In New York City. Overnight. This is the start to an amazing fantasy series.” Roxy’s parents are incredibly strict. She often chalks it up to them being, as she calls it, “maximum Persian.” “We’ll figure it out, Roxy. I promise,” I say fiercely, my brain spreadsheet starting a whole new tab for how to get Roxy to NYCC on Friday. I hear her breathing relax a tiny bit and she laughs again, this time a little more freely. “All right, Graham,” she says. “I don’t know why, but I believe you.” I feel a jolt in my heart at her implicit trust in me, and then, suddenly, my virtual spreadsheet is a siren, flashing blue and red. Comic Con? Robert Zinc? A weekend immersed in practically everything we love as individuals and together? This is it: the perfect opportunity to profess my unrequited love. The spreadsheet explodes into confetti. Because maybe if the gesture is grand enough, and perfect enough, it won’t be unrequited at all and I, Graham William Posner—lanky, pale, glasses, and with a penchant for fantasy worlds—will actually get the girl.

Editorial Reviews

*"As Tash introduces a cast of charming, goofy, and diverse characters, she uses the hopeful voice of a young man in the throes of first love to gently poke fun at fandom while celebrating the passion and camaraderie of the community."