Sunday, June 18, 2017

Review: Natalie and the Nerd by Amy Sparling

by Amy Sparling
YA Romance
244 pages

Natalie’s school work is the last priority on her long list of things to worry about. Since her parent’s divorce, her mom’s boutique—their only source of income—is about to go under, and Natalie spent all summer and most of her senior year trying to save the little shop. Now that she’s in danger of failing high school, the assistant principal (who happens to be her evil step mother) is making Natalie join daily tutoring sessions with Jonah Garza, the school’s valedictorian. 
Taking math lessons from the rich nerdy boy is the last thing Natalie wants to do, but Jonah needs these community service hours to get into Harvard, so he’s not going to give up on her. In addition to working at the boutique and studying with Jonah, Natalie’s lifelong crush just started paying attention to her. She’s being pulled in so many directions, she doesn’t think to question why the son of the biggest business mogul in town is suddenly trying to win her affections. 
When her crush betrays her and the store goes into foreclosure, Natalie has to choose between fighting harder to keep her mom’s dream alive, or fighting to pass high school and start a future of her own.


What a sweet romance for young adults and perfect for a Summer read!

Natalie is about to graduate high school. . .maybe. Her grades stink,  she's always ditching class, and her and her mother's store is sinking faster that a submarine made of pure concrete. When the school forces her to tutor sessions and extra credit work, she's anything but thrilled. But if she doesn't take the chance, she's saying goodbye to every dream she might have had.

There's a lot to love in this book, and it isn't just the guy Natalie falls for. The author weaves in several things, which the young adult audience can easily identify with and take Natalie in as if she were one of their own best friends. Natalie's life is messed up, but it's not really her fault. Not completely. She's trying her best to protect something that is important to her and her mother--their dreams. Natalie is simply in over her head and needs a life-line to pull her out. This love for family and trying to fight despite the bad odds makes Natalie a true heroine despite her mistakes. She's a nice girl, and one worth cheering for until the very end.

The romance works parallel to Natalie's family struggles, letting both sides of the story weave together without one over powering the other. The romance is not love at first sight and needs to be worked for and discovered. The opposite side--an seemingly easy relationship--is dropped in as a harsh comparison. Between both this romance struggle and Natalie's family one, a message comes through clear - things worth having require effort, patience and determination.

There are other messages as well, but these flow along with the heart-touching plot. The read is easy, comes across smooth, and never has a boring moment. Fans of YA high school romance are going to enjoy this one.

And here she is. . .

Amy Sparling is the author of The Summer Unplugged Series, Deadbeat & other awesome books for younger teens. She lives in Texas and has an addiction to sparkly nail polish, taking photos of her cute dog, and swooning over book boyfriends.

You can find and contact Amy here:


Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Romance, struggling with grades, family issues. This sounds like a book to pull teenagers in for sure. Good review, T., as always. (I deleted the comment the first time because a spelling error slipped through.)