For What It's Worth

For What It's Worth

Monday, December 5, 2016

review: the nerdy and the dirty by b.t. gottfred

27779274Pen Lupo is sick and tired of hiding who she is. On the outside, Pen is popular, quiet, and deferential to her boyfriend. On the inside, however, Pen is honest, opinionated--and not quite sure that she's like other girls. Do they have urges like she does?

His classmates may consider him a nerd, but Benedict Pendleton knows he's destined for great things. All he has to do is find a worthy girlfriend, and his social station will be secured. Sure, Benedict is different--but that's what he likes about himself.

When fate intervenes, both Pen and Benedict end up at the same vacation resort for winter break. Despite their differences, the two are drawn together. But is there such a thing as happily ever after for a nympho and a nerd? ~
Goodreads

Source: ARC provided by the publisher via ALA16 in exchange for an honest review


Review:

The Nerdy and the Dirty is a quirky little story about two teens that seem improbable together.

Benedict Maximus Pendleton is objectively handsome and the smartest person in any room (except when his dad is in the room – because then he’s THE smartest) and Benedict knows it. And let’s anyone in the vicinity know it.  He’s not an asshole, on purpose, although he is, he’s just straightforward and logical. Think Sheldon from Big Bang Theory. He’s waited until he was 17 to date – because his famous father, who writes self-help books, said to. But no girls seem to be interested in Benedict now that he’s ready to go. His best (and only) friend Robert finally lays it out to him – “We will never have girlfriends. We are losers. We are the biggest nerds in school!”

Benedict Maximus Pendleton refuses to believe this. Because he is the smartest person in the room. And objectively handsome.

Pen has the perfect catholic boyfriend and is popular at school because of him but she feels trapped. She thinks of sex a lot. She has sex with Paul but then the catholic guilt sets in afterwards. Pen is always holding a part of herself back, afraid to lose her boyfriend and friends, knowing people will label her a freak if they knew how often she thought of sex and masturbated.

Then, through a series of circumstances, Pen and Benedict end up vacationing with their respective families at the same place and start up an awkward friendship. Benedict doesn’t know how to talk to girls (or anyone really) but Pen finds his brutal honesty and self acceptance refreshing. She helps Benedict realize his personality isn’t something he should change but embrace. And Benedict’s logical side gives Pen someone she can be completely honest and open with without judgement. Even her sexual side.

They fall hard for each other until they are caught in the warming hut in a compromising position. Benedict’s father and Pen’s mother both freak out, calling Pen a whore and whisking them away.

Pen and Benedict have VERY screwed up parents that make them feel ashamed and inferior and on the cusp of being discarded if they do anything wrong. It leaves both of them pretty messed up.

I’ve seen a lot of reviews that mention the amount of sex in this book. I guess yes, it’s more graphic than most YA. It describes masturbating and oral sex, but I thought it was done in a very healthy, consensual way. Especially when it came to Pen. Not for shock value and it didn’t seem excessive to me. They’re horny teens – so yeah, it made sense to me. But might be too much for some readers.

As much as I enjoyed Pen and Benedict, I have a few quibbles with this book. It had a great build up but then felt rushed - they're madly in love and everything wrapped up neatly, leaving several important threads unexplored.

Benedict’s best friend Robert was in love with Pen so that’s something that should have raised more conflict. And Pen learns something pretty important about her mom that’s just glossed over.

There’s also some language that’s going to bother people like the use of the r word and fat shaming. I don’t have a problem with that if it’s said by people where you know it’s wrong and those people are jerks but when it’s said by the protagonist's ehhh. Not cool. They both realize they’re wrong later but…fair warning.

And Benedict is really hard to stomach at first but he has to learn how to communicate and he does. Give him a chance - he's really the sweetest!

The author did a neat little thing where he tagged the alternating Pen/Benedict chapters and changed Benedict’s name – becoming less pretentious as he evolved.

23 comments:

  1. Oh, hello. This sounds like a ton of fun. Though, I wish the roles were reversed. Hahah!

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    1. I liked it being the girl who was sex obsessed for once. Nice twist. But I could see this working either way.

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  2. I can see how this could be a hard book to stomach although it's AWESOME that sec is explored in a meaningful way, and not just showing the act of doing it like some books do. I think I would like the Benedict since you compare him to Sheldon teehee!

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    1. Benedict is so pretentious at first. If you don't wait for him to grow then it's hard to see any redeeming qualities in him.

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  3. That's for the heads up on this one, I hadn't heard of it before!

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  4. wow that sounds like a cute book :) I like it when its sex positive

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  5. Aww the book you were reading when those guys showed up

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    1. lol Yes. Not the book to have on display when 4 strange men are in your house

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  6. I hate the build up and then the rushed ending. However, this does seem to be a bit more realistic for teens. That alone makes me curious about the book and if it would be a good fit for anyone on my holiday list. Might have to check this one out.

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    1. It wasn't so much rushed as *neat*. Everything just got ties up in a nice bow even though certain things weren't really addressed.

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  7. I had a friend who read this (she isn't much of a reader) and asked if all books did that rush ending thing. I told her to let her teenager read it that I think they like the quick ending type of thing LOL

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    1. It was a very quick - everything is wonderful ending lol

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  8. I like the title but yeah definitely not for me. Good to know.

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  9. Sounds like it might be a cute red despite some quirks.

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  10. This sounds wonderful Karen. It feels as though most YA books shy away from including sex in their storylines, which is unrealistic. So many teens are sexually active and usually the only time books explore teen sexuality is shaming by other characters. I love the realism and really looking forward to grabbing a copy soon. Trying to figure out what the R word is though. Brilliant review Karen and so glad you enjoyed this one <3

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    1. I also answered this on more detail below but the R word is retard/retarded.

      This was a lot more graphic but true to life than most YA I've read. No fading to black and explicit talk about sex and what they each wanted. I thought it was refreshing and made perfect sense for their characters.

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  11. Yet another new-to-me book. You made me curious about this story. I appreciate YA author than doesn’t shy away from teenage sex. I also like that the author break stereotypical gender roles and wrote a heroine who thinks about sex. Great review! Second Kelly in trying to figure out what the R word is.

    Sorry for off-topic, but I want to thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment on my blog. I don’t have time to actively search new blogs to follow lately, but I’m so happy to find yours. I like your writing style and it looks like our tastes in books are similar. You have a new follower here. Have a good weekend, Karen!

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    1. Retard/retarded. Benedict can seem very aloof and socially awkward and several people (mostly the bullying kids but also including Pen) called him that.

      I'm glad we found each other! I'm having a hard time finding new blogs too. I saw you comment somewhere else and clicked on your link.

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  12. This does sound like fun, and these characters really unique. I keep wondering if a Sheldon-type character in text works as well as the TV version, but I guess it does. Great review!

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