3 out of 4 stars
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The teenage years are difficult enough for anyone, but for those on the outside—the weirdos, the unaccepted, the Nerds—the suffering can be intense. However, nerds, in all their glory, often have the mature mindset needed to rise above the torment and see beyond to the truly important issues. Steve Wollett, in his Sci-Fi mystery Nerd Rage Uprising, beautifully captures the struggles nerds face and shines a light on how bullies evolve, all while building a plot that incites intrigue.
Eiko, a budding teenager, is sent away to a highly commended boarding school, St Ambrose. An avid gamer and general nerd, she is not accepted by the majority of her peers, and suffers at the hands of both her fellow students and her teachers, who seem to believe physical punishment is the best method for keeping children in line. After a run-in with a bully, Eiko and her new friend Dexter discover a breadcrumb that sparks an epic quest to find answers about their mysterious and violent school.
Wollett, a nerd himself, created a beautifully written and strong female character, Eiko. The gamer is tough, smart, resilient, and, most of all, relatable. As a female nerd myself, I instantly felt a connection with Eiko and wanted follow alongside her through her journey in St Ambrose. The awkward dialogue, often a point of criticism, is absolutely perfect in this group of teenagers, adding to the charm and relatability. However, the key compliment to give Nerd Rage Uprising is Wollett’s ability to create curiosity. Once I picked up the novel, I felt compelled to reach the end and find out what the devil is going on in St Ambrose, and I look forward to reading the second book.
While the characterization and plot development of Nerd Rage Uprising are fantastic, the book does have quite a few issues that hinder the reading process. Throughout the book, I noticed quite a few consistency errors, along issues in sentence structures and grammar. Also, I felt the epilogue unnecessary, or at least unnecessarily long. These issues could be easily fixed with editing, and, though they slow down the reading process at times, they do not come close to ruining the book.
I rate Nerd Rage Uprising 3 out of 4 stars. Though the text has its issues, the story is wonderfully crafted and interesting. The topic of bullying is masterfully handled and can help open people’s eyes to what goes on between cliques and nerds. Overall, it was a fun read, and the vivid descriptions and mysterious plot transported me into St Ambrose for a few hours.
Nerd Rage Uprising is a great read for preteens and young teenagers, especially those nerds who live on the outskirts of society. This book represents the nerd class, giving them someone to relate to and showing that being a nerd is cool, no matter what the bullies might say.
Nerd Rage Uprising
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