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Weird Girl and What's His Name
Cover of Weird Girl and What's His Name
Weird Girl and What's His Name
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IndieFab Young Adult Fiction Book of the Year 2015!
Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Books 2015!
In the podunk town of Hawthorne, North Carolina, seventeen-year-old geeks Lula and Rory share everything—sci-fi and fantasy fandom, Friday night binge-watching of old X-Files episodes, and that feeling that they don't quite fit in. Lula knows she and Rory have no secrets from each other; after all, he came out to her years ago, and she's shared with him her “sacred texts"—the acting books her mother left behind after she walked out of Lula's life. But then Lula discovers that Rory—her Rory, who maybe she's secretly had feelings for—has not only tried out for the Hawthorne football team without telling her, but has also been having an affair with his middle-aged divorcee boss. With their friendship disrupted, Lula begins to question her identity and her own sexual orientation, and she runs away in the middle of the night on a journey to find her mother, who she hopes will have all the answers. Meagan Brother's piercing prose in this fresh LGBT YA novel speaks to anyone who has ever felt unwanted and alone, and who struggles to find their place in an isolating world. Ages 14–up.

IndieFab Young Adult Fiction Book of the Year 2015!
Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Books 2015!
In the podunk town of Hawthorne, North Carolina, seventeen-year-old geeks Lula and Rory share everything—sci-fi and fantasy fandom, Friday night binge-watching of old X-Files episodes, and that feeling that they don't quite fit in. Lula knows she and Rory have no secrets from each other; after all, he came out to her years ago, and she's shared with him her “sacred texts"—the acting books her mother left behind after she walked out of Lula's life. But then Lula discovers that Rory—her Rory, who maybe she's secretly had feelings for—has not only tried out for the Hawthorne football team without telling her, but has also been having an affair with his middle-aged divorcee boss. With their friendship disrupted, Lula begins to question her identity and her own sexual orientation, and she runs away in the middle of the night on a journey to find her mother, who she hopes will have all the answers. Meagan Brother's piercing prose in this fresh LGBT YA novel speaks to anyone who has ever felt unwanted and alone, and who struggles to find their place in an isolating world. Ages 14–up.

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About the Author-
  • Meagan Brothers: Meagan Brothers is a writer, poet and musician best known for her young adult novels Supergirl Mixtapes, a 2012 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults nomination, and Debbie Harry Sings in French, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, which won a GLBT Round Table ALA Award, and was named a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. She was founder and lead guitarist for the punk rock band Steel Pier Sinners. Originally from Spartanburg, North Carolina, she currently lives in New York City.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 27, 2015
    As the title suggests, Rory, who narrates the first half of this book, is overlooked by his classmates, while his best friend and fellow X-Files obsessive Lula, who narrates the second half, can’t stay under the radar. Rory may be overweight, nerdy, and gay—something only Lula and the older lover Rory hasn’t told her about know—but the whole junior class knows Lula, her all-black outfits, and her out-of-date slang learned from the grandparents who raised her. Lula’s grandparents won’t talk about their daughter, and when Lula finds out that Rory has been keeping things from her, too, she runs away. Lula’s story begins after she returns home, and Brothers (Supergirl Mixtapes) effectively mixes past and present as Lula copes with the fallout of her actions and describes her journey, which included minor humiliations, efforts to figure out her sexuality, and a mother who doesn’t measure up to fantasy. Happily, by book’s end, the title no longer applies: both Lula and Rory have people in their lives—friends and romantic interests—who know not just their names but their real, evolving selves. Ages 14–up.

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2015
    In a small town in North Carolina, a close friendship between two eccentric high schoolers breaks apart, leaving a rift.Lula and Rory have always had two things in common: their outcast status and their love of the 1990s paranormal TV series The X-Files. Rory is generally overlooked by his classmates. Lula's "weird girl" moniker comes from her being both bookish and outspoken and taking after her equally headstrong grandfather. Rory, who is out to Lula as gay, nevertheless keeps secret his illicit relationship with his middle-aged boss, Andy, an equivocal divorce who continually deflects Rory's questions about their future. One night, after one of Rory and Andy's many fights, Lula discovers the relationship and confronts Rory. Later that night, she disappears. The void left by Lula's disappearance is palpable and leads both estranged friends down surprising paths. Rory narrates the first half of the book and Lula, the second, and both voices are crisply and intimately drawn. Minor characters are equally vibrant, particularly Walter, Lula's rugged but kind stepfather, and Seth, the school's unexpectedly wholesome and gentle quarterback. The X-Files, the details of which both Lula and Rory lovingly recount, provides a strong common language and set of symbols throughout. Carefully and subtly imagined. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2015

    Gr 6 Up-Rory and Lulu share an affinity for all things geek: The X-Files, Buffy, and conspiracy theories. When Lulu discovers that underage Rory had an explicit relationship with his divorced boss and hid it from Lulu because of her crush on him, she begins to question her own sexual orientation. After she is rebuffed by her favorite teacher, Lulu decides to hunt down the skeletons in her family's closet. This buddy/misanthrope novel explores the difficulties in LGBTQ relationships, as well as teen angst in general. While the narrative is uplifting, some readers may have a hard time with the slow burn pace and minimal plot movement. The overuse of The X-Files as a metaphor for character complexity may keep some of the core audience at arm's length. However, Brothers's pitch-perfect dialogue and well-polished prose make her an author to watch. VERDICT Recommended for fans of realistic fiction with relationship drama and an LGBTQ focus.-Brian Hoff, Elmwood Park High School, IL

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Rain Taxi “What makes us love who and what we love? What makes us who we are? Do our loves make us who we are? In Weird Girl and What's His Name, Meagan Brothers's crisp, compassionate novel for young adults, all of these questions are explored from various character perspectives . . . This is not a “gay book for teens." It's a book inclusive of teen readers--yes, queer teens and geeky teens--many of whom will recognize themselves and their challenges in its pages. Adult readers will certainly recognize themselves in this book as well, from many different angles and in many different phases of life. We can all gain some insight."
  • Midwest Book Review "Weird Girl and What's His Name" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to school and community library collections."
  • Someday My Printz Will Come/School Library Journal “Rory and Lula are charming characters who talk to the reader as though they are talking to a good friend. . . . Teens will find a lot of appeal here"
  • The Globe and Mail "What could have been a niche novel only for X-Philes is a quirky, thoughtful illumination of identity formation and the difficulty of assigning labels to love."
  • Booklist (Starred Review) “The characters are wonderfully likable, the story is smartly written, and--what's this?--there's a possibility for a happy ending? Read and find out."
  • Chronogram
    “Brothers burrows deep into her characters' hearts and minds as they struggle with unruly sexual urges, family issues, and their own ruptured friendship. A welcome addition to the growing canon of LGBTQ-themed teen literature."
  • Book Jawn "Meagan Brothers is a force to be reckoned with . . . she reminds us of the exquisite pain of unrequited love and of the absurd loyalty and drama we're all capable of."
  • YA, Why Not? "A great story about how gender roles are not always clear cut, and how self-expression is all about letting go of your fears and doubts."
  • Brian Katcher, author, Almost Perfect "A wonderful story about family, love, and fan fiction. Brothers does an excellent job of showing that true friendship can survive anything, including football, sexuality, and government coverups."
  • D.C. Pierson, comedian and author, The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To "Rory and Lula might bond over out-there sci-fi, but their relationship is as real as it gets. To paraphrase their favorite show: The truth is in here."
  • Janice Earlbaum, author, I. Liar and Girlbomb "I fell in love with both narrators of WEIRD GIRL AND WHAT'S HIS NAME, and found their story meaningful, original, and truthful. As someone who's been both a weird girl and a what's her name, I heartily endorse this book."
  • Aimee Herman, author, To Go Without Blinking "I wish I could go back in time, when I was Lula and Rory's age, so I could feel like I finally had someone who spoke my language. . . This is a book for anyone that has ever binge watched on a TV show or fallen in love with their best friend or searched for a way out of redundancy or dreamed of an adventure."
  • Annabelle Jay, author, Caron High News "As an avid reader and writer, there is rarely a novel that makes me think “I have never read a book like this before." WEIRD GIRL AND WHAT'S HIS NAME is one of the occasional exceptions . . . An innovative piece of young adult fiction, and I definitely would recommend to both young adult and adult fiction readers."
  • J.C. Lillis, author, How to Repair a Mechanical Heart and We Won't Feel a Thing "Fanboys and fangirls, rejoice! This wise and witty book is pure teen-geek heaven. With laugh-out-loud moments, smartly drawn characters, and a platonic love story that rivals Scully and Mulder's, this book perfectly captures the joys and heartaches of all-consuming fandoms and 'it's-complicated' friendships. I loved it."
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