Monday, July 19, 2010

Geek Abroad by Piper Banks - Book Review #54

Monday, July 19, 2010
Geek Abroad
by Piper Banks

Looking for love in all the wrong countries?

Miranda Bloom's life has never been better. She finally has an almost-quasi-boyfriend, Dex McConnell, the star lacrosse player of Orange Cove High. But when holiday break rolls around, she jets off to visit her mother in London, and Dex suddenly seems to lose all interest in her. Then there's Henry, the very cute and very available British guy who complicates matters by making it clear that he's very interested in Miranda.

Things don't get easier for her when classes start back up at Geek High. Between the dreaded Math Team competitions, an annoyingly love-struck best friend, and a stepmother who seems to delight in making Miranda miserable, it doesn't take a genius to see that the semester ahead is going to be tough.

I was disappointed in the second installment of Geek HighGeek Abroad. It still had all the reasons, as about the first book, why I shouldn’t have liked it and also new ones piled up on top.

First of all, by the title – Geek Abroad, I safely assumed that the whole book will be set during Miranda’s winter vacation in London. Unfortunately, barely the first third of the book is set in London. Also, during Miranda’s vacation nothing really happening. The only point is – Dex - her almost-quasi-boyfriend seemed to lose the interest in Miranda. And do we really need to spend a third of the book to make this point?

Second, during at least a half of the book, maybe more, nothing is happening. At first, as I already said, Miranda is in London where she is roaming the streets, retelling to us events from the first book – Geek High and getting as usually angry at her mother for not spending time with her. After Miranda is back to Florida and her classes started, again nothing much is going on either. She is going to her classes – Math, Modern Literature, Geology, etc. She is interacting with her friends and she keeps retelling us all the details from the first book.

I should’ve given up on the book at that point, but I had not more than hundred pages to go, so I decided to stick with it. And oh boy, I’m glad I did, because otherwise I would have missed unforgettable experience of Math competition (it was sarcasm). Don’t get me wrong – at the last third of the book, things started to happen, plot started to move, which made me think that unfortunately Piper Banks had a story for only a third of the required length of the book. So there was nothing really wrong with a story per se by that point. What shocked me was the kind of questions that has been given on that Math competition. Ok, I understand that this competition is between all the schools that like to participate and most of these schools are regular public schools. Let’s assume that the situation with the math in regular schools is so bad that those questions might present a challenge to most of the participants. However, I could not believe that supposed fifteen-sixteen years old math geniuses from Geek High had any difficulty answering a fourth grade questions that resulted solving simple linear equations.

I was under impression that I’m about to read a chick-flick that involved some smart teenagers set in London. Unfortunately, only one of these conditions stayed true – it was a chick-flick and not a good one. I’m still undecided if I would want to give a chance to the third book in the series.


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