Book Review

[REVIEW] Natalie and the Nerd by Amy Sparling

Natalie and the Nerd banner
Hello, welcome to my bookstagram blitz for Natalie and the Nerd by Amy Sparling! This bookstagram blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. You may see other bloggers, and bookstagrammers’ tour stops here.

Natalie and the NerdNatalie and the Nerd
By Amy Sparling
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Rating: 4/5
Release Date: 30 May 2017
Blurb:
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 stepmother) 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.

Review

If you love Sarah Dessen’s writing voice and storytelling, then Amy Sparling’s Natalie and the Nerd should definitely your next read! NatN delivers a solid story around Natalie and her struggles as a high schooler while the world happens around her. It’s a great coming-of-age read with the right amount of romance and sparks that will reel you in.

The thing that I loved most and surprised me is Amy Sparling’s writing voice. For the past few years, I’ve been staying away from YA because I find most authors’ voice to be rather annoying and their storytelling lacking. The stories I enjoy reading has the complete package – finely crafted world, well-developed characters, and engaging storytelling. I don’t think that’s too much, right?

Natalie and the Nerd is a surprising delight because from the first page to the last, Sparling’s clear voice and engaging words will smoothly transition you into the complicated life of Natalie Reese. I also love how rich and real Natalie’s character is. She is trying her best to survive high school while saving their store. The story never veers away from her crisis and does not use her crisis as a mere backdrop to her romantic storylines. For me, YAs with this kind of focus are the best kinds of stories.

Jonah Garza is the typical YA love interest. I kinda don’t like how perfect his character is, to be honest. He didn’t even have his own kind of crisis. (The ex-girlfriend one does not count. It was practically a blip in the story.) The story could have been made richer if Jonah had more to his character. And it probably could have brought an extra layer of crisis to his and Natalie’s relationship.

Their romantic relationship, too, feels a little too conveniently flawless. I feel like the story could have been better if it were longer. A lot could have been touched upon and discussed more but it was all cut short with the very abrupt ending.

Everything was fixed within a chapter of conclusion. If I didn’t love how rich and powerful the book started, the ending would have brought my entire review down to two stars. I wish Sparling had shown more how Natalie reconciled with her stepdad, how they found the solution to her mom’s problems and the confrontation between Natalie and her mom. These are all great and big emotional landmarks that should not be relegated to a couple of paragraphs mentioned in passing.

Maybe it’s the word count limit, but as it is the novel could have been longer and better. Don’t get me wrong, I love what it had right now. I’d definitely read more Amy Sparling books in the coming days, that’s for sure. I’d just love for her to get the right amount of her story in ink and page to get that satisfying story out.

You can find Natalie and the Nerd on Goodreads

You can buy Natalie and the Nerd on Amazon

Amy SparlingAbout the Author:
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:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads

Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the bookstagram blitz for Natalie and the Nerd. One winner will win a $20 Amazon Giveaway + a signed paperback of Natalie and the Nerd by Amy Sparling.

To enter this giveaway you need to make a picture of the book Natalie and the Nerd by Amy Sparling and post it on social media with the hashtag #NATNGiveaway.

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