BEDITSHOA: Into the Wild Nerd Yonder

A few months ago, my friend Natalie Whipple wrote a wonderful, gushy post about Julie Halpern's Into the Wild Nerd Yonder. Here's Natalie's quick plot description (the Amazon descriptions all have spoilers!):

"Jessie is in between social groups, what with her friends going punk while she'd prefer to sew skirts out of Pikachu fabric. But when her supposed best friend does the unthinkable, the nerd crowd starts looking way more appealing than it should . . . especially that freakishly cute boy with the flooded pants and white sneakers."

My interest was piqued, and I scribbled the title on my (loooong) to-read list.

Later that same week, Julie contacted Natalie, having read her post, and she asked if Natalie would be interested in an interview. (Proof that authors DO use Google Alerts. Be careful what you say about us. We're listening. Mwahahahaha!) The result was this interview which had so much heart that it vaulted her book to the top of my list.

Two choice quotes for aspiring writers:

". . . finding the right editor is like finding a mate—it’s not easy, there is only one of them, and you have to fit together. This is the one person who decides to make or break your book, so if they don’t like the book initially, then you probably wouldn’t like working with them anyway! It’s just a matter of finding the right editor or agent to work with, and that can take time. Don’t give up if you really want it!"

"If you like what you write, someone else will like it, too."

I especially love that second one. It's so true! If I can't make myself happy, how could I possibly make anyone else happy?

Anyway, so I took Into the Wild Nerd Yonder to the beach, and I read it in one glorious sitting. And here is the honest-to-goodness email I sent Natalie right after:



Passionately. Like, I have a bad habit of dog-earing my pages, especially if I want to talk about a book with someone, and nearly a third of it is dog-eared! And that was me holding back! Thank you so so so so SO much for talking it up on your blog. I can't wait to read her first book. It sounds right up my alley (but in a totally different way).


Also, I want to date Jessie's older brother. And make out with him. Of COURSE there will be making out!!

Ha ha ha! It's safe to say that I enjoyed it. A lot.

There's so much about this story that's GREAT, but my favorite thing is how well it deals with one of the more painful aspects of friendship: What happens when you grow apart from the friends you've had your entire life? And how do you find a home with new ones?

There's also a storyline that I see frequently in teen literature (because it happens so frequently in real life), but that's never felt this true to me. You know, that one where you find out that the super-dreamy guy you've been crushing on? Yeah. He's kind of an a-hole.

And, yes, Jessie's orange mohawk-ed older brother was YUM. I still want to make out with him. Especially for how he handles the a-hole situation!

I recommend this book to any teen that might secretly be wondering if one of her friends isn't really a friend anymore, to anyone who walks on the nerd-side, to anyone who has ever had a crush on a guy in a band, and to anyone who thinks the following sentences are as funny as I do:

"I look back fondly on my Arbor Day beret."

"That would be like me stopping from fantasizing about Rupert Grint just because I had real make-out sessions with real people."

"I punctuate the word like I'm touching dirty underwear."

"Bob Dylan is playing over the PA system, 'Lay, Lady, Lay,' which is a song I always liked as a kid because I thought he was saying 'Lady Elaine,' like that scary puppet from Mr. Rogers."

"The Sandwich Maker is perhaps the greatest invention of all time."

"I'd like to think that as [my pet goldfish] faded away, his forgiving fish soul would tell me, 'It's okay, Jessie. You are just a young girl. My life was a short but happy one. Godspeed. I see a bright light ahead . . .' But what he probably would have said was, 'Why didn't you clean my bowl, bitch?'"

Just like Illyria (recommended on Tuesday), I checked it out from the library and ended up buying my own copy. I've also heard great things about her first YA novel, Get Well Soon, and I'm excited to read it!

And Julie . . . if Google Alerts has led you to my website . . . thank you for writing such an awesome, hilarious novel. Consider me a fangirl.

TINY COOL THING: I nerdgasmed while browsing Julie's website, when I ran across this picture of her with Joss Whedon. LUCKY!!

TINY WARNING: If you read this book, you will never think about Krispy Kreme donuts the same way again.


  1. WILD NERD YONDER is sitting on my TBR pile, and ILLYRIA is on hold at the library for me ... based on your rec last week.

    Can't wait to read them ... after MOCKINGJAY!!!

    Happy Bedit... you know.

  2. Oh my gosh, I read Into the Wild Nerd Yonder earlier this year and LOVED it. Jessie actually reminds me of you, Stephanie, if someone turned you into a character in a Y.A. novel. (I mean that in the best possible way.) And I second the crush on her older brother.

  3. I liked that book a lot. Jessie reminded me of Mia from Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries series. Very nerdy, but she kind of tries to resist that nerdiness sometimes. :) Yes, I liked that book, but I've stopped eating Krispy Kreme donuts all together. That part just grossed me out. Blech.

  4. Yay! More love for Into The Wild Nerd Yonder! Love this book so much, still. I gobbled up this post and it got me all smiley about the book all over again.

    I have a SIGNED copy now:) Neener neener.

  5. The book had me when she quoted Built To Spill song Car "I wanna see the movies of my dreams."

    And the Krispy Kreme things was just to cruel. TO CRUEL!

  6. I read this a couple months ago, and it was indeed a complete delight. But OH, did it ever make me REALLY regret that I never accepted that cute guy's invitation to join his D+D group back when I was in high school. WHY 16 yr old me? WHY?? Am still kicking myself for not venturing into the nerd yonder when I had the opportunity.

  7. Hang on... will this make me think about Krispy Kremes in a good way or a bad way? Because I can't afford to think of them in a bad way. It would totally ruin my monthly bout of comfort eating.

    The book does sound right up my alley, though- firmly in the nerd world and proud of it ;) I've never quite sewn anything out of Pikachu fabric, but I did once knit this five foot, multicolored scarf that shed *everywhere*...

  8. LOL at the Bob Dylan quote! My thought process was EXACTLY the same when I heard that song, from thinking he sang Lady Elaine to the Mr. Rogers connection. I MUST read this book now. Thanks for the recommendation.

  9. Sou ds brilliant. The cover had me but the Rupert Grint line sold me - excellent!

  10. Loved this book too- glad to hear you enjoyed it! I love that this book is getting so much love all over the place; it really deserves it. Julie is an awesome writer and such a sweet person. I had that same warning about Krispy Kreme in my review too, though I had some again just a couple weeks ago because I forgot all about it, just like I mentioned in my review, lol. I have a horrible memory so I figured it wouldn't scar me for too long. :P

  11. Stop it with the book recommendations, would you? My TBR pile is already too high! (just kidding). Like the other Lisa, (the cool one, the smart one, the funny one) I'm going to read WILD NERD YONDER and ILLYRIA now. Well, not now. Someday. :)

  12. I loved this book too! Thanks for the link to the interview.

  13. I think I started crying while I read that bit about the Krispy Kreme donuts. :-)
    I seriously like INTO THE NERD WILD YONDER, but I seriously loved GET WELL SOON.
    So effing hilarious!

    Love, Hannah

  14. P.s. HA! You do it, too!
    Many of my book-hugging buddies are the type who keep every book in pristine condition.
    And it's not like I go around cutting up my books, (nor do I use them as kindling for my s'mores) but I'm not afraid to jot down anything or, God forbid, doggy-ear a page that I especially appreciate it. :-)

    BTW, what pages did you mark? I don't have my copy with me (it's currently residing at a friend's!) but my lovely GET WELL SOON copy has lots of folds.
    Like on page 27-28, 75-76, and much, much more. :-)