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Childhood's End
Arthur C. Clarke
Brian Michael Bendis, Olivier Coipel
Scrivener's Moon - Audio
Philip Reeve
Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong - Prudence Shen, Faith Erin Hicks Yet another work that pits nerds against cheerleaders. I should be over this sort of thing. And honestly, most of the time, I am. Luckily, Shen takes a slightly different track here. Yes, the book does start off with cheerleaders vs. nerds. But Shen's cheerleaders are smart, formidable, and ruthless in precisely equal measure to the nerds. These cheerleaders are going to be powerful women. And that, I think, is at least part of the point of Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong. Yes, the robot action is huge, especially at the end (they give their robot a chainsaw) but it is by no means the main focus here.

Instead, it's mainly about how cheerleaders (or jocks) vs. nerds is silly and hugely counterproductive. And in a less than preachy way, thank goodness. I don't know if I could have taken it if there'd been long speeches about how they really aren't all that different after all. But it is implied, in a way that I think is far more effective than any number of speeches, however well-written.

The star of the story is the one character caught in the middle. His ex-girlfriend is the head cheerleader, and his best friend is the president of the robotics club. And his parents are in the middle of a divorce, which he just doesn't want to deal with. I really liked the poor guy. He doesn't deal very well with any of the things going on around him, in much the same way that a lot of teenage guys would fail to deal with things. And he's really a good guy at heart. Watching him face his life is one of the best parts of the book.

Of course, I love Faith Erin Hicks's art. It's every bit as good as it was in [b:Friends with Boys|11389398|Friends with Boys|Faith Erin Hicks|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1317794304s/11389398.jpg|16321405], maybe even better. And she can do a good robot action scene.