Geek Girl by Cindy C. Bennett
published by Cedar Fort Publishing
published December 2011
"Think I can turn that boy bad?" 17-year-old Jen turns her life upside down when, out of boredom, she makes a bet that she can turn school geek Trevor into someone like her. Instead, the goth girl finds herself sucked into his world of sci-fi movies, charity work, and even-ugh!-bowling. To truly belong with him-and with her new foster family-she must first come to terms with her violent past.
Because of a bet (for a new lip piercing), Jen's whole life changes. Jen is a goth girl, dressed in black, combat boots and with red and black striped hair. She is among the group of kids who are more the outcasts and she likes it that way. Her volatile home life leaves her a victim and thrust into the foster care system, changing homes every year. Jen doesn't want to rely on anyone and she doesn't want anyone to know what happened to her real parents and the incidents leading to her placement in foster care. Basically, she shuts everyone out and puts up this wall on the outside to protect herself.
One day at school she bets her friends that she can turn good boy Trevor into a bad boy. She goes above and beyond to get Trevor to notice her and eventually they start hanging-out together and doing things Jen never thought she would do, like watching sci-fi movies, volunteering at the senior center and family bowling night. During what should be Trevor's transformation, it becomes clear that the person truly changing is Jen. Through Trevor she can see that her foster parents really care about her, and all those activities she thought were lame....well they are actually fun and being a part of a family is more important to her than she realized.
Jen's growth through the book is the true story here and it takes a few bumps along the road of life for her to see who she is and wants to be.
I thought this story was an original and entertaining read. Even though Jen should be the 'bad guy,' she is very likeable. It is her troubled past that opens her up to the reader, showing us her pain and why she acts the way she does. The book is not all roses and candy, there are hurtful moments but there is also growth and forgiveness. If you are looking for a YA Contemporary, this book should be on your to-read list. I rate this book at 4 Stars!