Geekhood: Mission Improbable by Andy Robb
Author: Andy Robb Website|Twitter
Published: 1 April 2013 (Stripes)
Buy the paperback: Amazon|BookDepository
Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Archie is a Geek to his core - and despite having a Close Encounter with Sarah at the beginning of term, he's still completely clueless about girls. Enter Clare - an older woman (she's sixteen) who Archie meets on his weekend trip to see his dad and his nightmare step-mum, Jane. Clare and Archie hit it off - and she's got a brilliant, foolproof way to get their crushes to notice them: pretend to be going out with one another! What can possibly go wrong? In the midst of school, getting Sarah to forgive him and dealing with his insane family, Archie and his mates step-up the nerdiness and go Live Action Role-play gaming. Ladies and gentlemen, we are entering a new era...
I absolutely adored the first Geekhood book and this has been sitting at the top of the to-read pile next to my bed for a few weeks. I got to the point where I couldn't wait any longer and just had to dive in! Geekhood: Mission Improbable follows Archie, Beggsy, Ravi and Matt as they take their geeky exploits to a whole new level with a bit of LARP - Live Action Role-play. There's still the issue of Archie's feelings for Sarah but he has a plan to win her over.
When you go into the second book in a series having loved the first book, I suppose there's that nervousness that the book won't live up to its predecessor. I'm very relieved to say that I loved this book as much, if not more, than the first! I ate it up in practically a day and every time I put it down (which I only did because of those annoying necessities such as work and sleep) I would miss reading about Archie and his adventures, and I couldn't wait to get back to it.
When writing down notes in my book journal during my read of Geekhood: Mission Improbable, the most common word in my notes was "hilarious". Because this book made me laugh. So much. I don't think I mentioned it in my review for the first book (because there was so much to fit in that I literally could have written an essay if I hadn't held back!) how much I loved Archie's "Inner Monologue" which he uses to express those thoughts he can't say out loud. What made me giggle away during this book was that his IM spends a lot of the time singing the Mission Impossible theme. Seriously, I was laughing so much at that. Of course it means if you read this book you'll have it stuck in your head for days afterwards, but I think it's a small sacrifice to make...
I loved how Geekhood 2 takes Archie and his friends' geekiness to a whole other level. I just got so wrapped up in how excited they got about the live action role-play and how the build up to the big event really drove the plot. Again, Archie questions himself over his geekiness and whether it's something to be embarrassed about but his excitement totally outweighed that and this book was all about the geek pride!
I really enjoyed seeing the relationship between Archie and Tony and Archie and his dad play out throughout the story, because it seems the roles of the two father figures has flipped a bit and now suddenly it's his dad acting weird. There were some hilariously (there's that word again!) embarrassing moments between Archie and each of them that are moments I imagine all teenage boys dread and would relate to (like when it comes to Tony preparing Archie for the big wide world i.e sex) that were so funny and so brilliantly done. It was also so freaking funny seeing Facebook come into play like with Archie's dad using text speak (my mum does it too and it drives me mad!) and Tony adding him on Facebook. These are the real ways to embarrass your kids these days, people.
What was super awesome and got me really excited were the scenes set in York! I live in York and I think everyone will agree that reading about somewhere where you live is pretty cool. It was taken to a whole new level when Archie bumps into some York locals (apparently, according to Archie, all York girls are attractive so reading this book gave me a confidence boost = winning) and reflects on their accent. I laughed so hard. Seriously. Because I have a Yorkshire accent and if there's one word that people take the micky out of me for saying, it's the word phone (which Archie accurately observes comes out a bit like "phern" when you're talking all Yorkshire.). And then Archie ends up picking up on that exact word and I was kind of jumping up and down and laughing at the same time because it was such a freaking accurate reaction. Kudos to the author for that one!
I loved how Archie's crush on Sarah is carried through to this story. He's still totally smitten so when he meets a pretty girl on the way to his dad's who offers the chance of a fauxmance to make Sarah jealous, Archie jumps on board. I really enjoyed seeing Archie deal with both his fake relationship and his feelings for Sarah. As well as that, Archie's friends are exploring the world of girls as well, and I loved seeing how they all coped with that. It was awesome that some the girls got involved with the LARP geekiness, too.
This book was definitely all about friendship and the friendship between Archie, Ravi, Beggsy and Matt is one we should totally all be jealous of. I want to be friends with all of them because I'd just laugh all day long and you'd know they had your back. There were some great ups and downs for the guys in this story and it was really good seeing them tested and seeing how they reacted.
What was great about having the LARP plotline was that you got some pretty kickass scenes towards the end that you would expect from a fantasy novel, only this time it's people in costumes kicking some orc backside. It still made for a pretty exciting conclusion to the story! I loved how the other storylines were tied up too.
Basically this book is one I will be thrusting into people's hands in the future and urging them to read. Not enough books make me laugh out loud and this one certainly did! And it's just so refreshing to find such true to life characters instead of all these glamourised ones we're supposed to aspire to. There need to be more Archie's in the YA world, please. If you still haven't grabbed this book and you loved the first then go and track it down now! You won't regret it. I promise.
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