Author: Andy Robb
Publisher: Stripes Publishing
Release Date: 4 Jun 2012
If you haven't worked it out yet, girls don't do this. They don't come to the Hovel. They don't like goblins and dragons. They don't paint miniatures. They don't play role playing games or re-enact fictional battles. And they don't talk to Geeks like me especially if they're pretty. And this girl is pretty. What do you do if you're a fourteen-year-old Geek, and a Beautiful Girl has appeared in the midst of your geeky world? And she seems to like you... For Archie, the natural reaction would be to duck and cover ... run for the hills ... buy a new model elf... Anything but risk stepping into the Real World. But even Geeks have to put their heads above the parapet at some point. With his mum barely able to contain her excitement that her son is about to join the human race, and his step-father, Tony the Tosser, offering crass advice, it's time for Archie to embark on a daring Quest to win the Beautiful Girl's heart and shake off his Geekhood for good...
I noticed this a while ago in the library, the title and cover attracted my attention and the blurb on the back sounded funny too, but I had too much to read so I never picked it up.
I'm got to the London Film and Comic Con (LFCC) in July and this year they are having a massive author event (cue my geeky excitement) and Andy Robb is on the guest list. So when I was sitting at lunch today, between books I decided to pick this up.
I will admit I don't know anything about Role Playing Fantasy Adventures like Dungeons and Dragons and I was worried that would affect my enjoyment of this story but it didn't. Archie explains enough of his world and hobbies to give you an insight but not too much so it overwhelms you. And I found myself really enjoying his explanations and introductions into the Game.
Archie is 14 and a Geek through and through, he hangs out with 3 other boys and they spend their time at 'The Hovel' a Gaming shop where you can take part in battles, tournaments and buy new figures and extras for your games. It's a world, a place for them to escape from reality. But then Sarah walks into the shop - an actual girl! Never before has Archie and his friends been this close to a girl, and when she talks to him it's like he's left the planet. Hereon starts his journey into a whole different world, but also back into reality.
Archie is really sweet and I couldn't help but like him, he's sarcastic and enthusiastic and a total nerdy Geek, so sweet. This book ends up being so much more than Games and girls, you learn all about Archie and his other issues too - parents divorce, new relationships, friendship, first crushes, bullies and inner demons. We've all questioned who we are and what the point of our choices are, and this book handles them perfectly with a pinch of salt and a dash of laughter.
I read this book in one sitting and found myself giggling along, it's a cute heartfelt story and I am so glad I picked it up. I have now ordered book 2 to read. I want to know what mischief Archie gets into next, and whether Sarah will play a part in that.
So psyched to meet Andy Robb at LFCC now, he's an awesome author with a real wit.