Growing up I loved to read. You'd often find me in the library rifling through the many isles discovering the many wonders that hid within. Though I read many forms and genres, the Young Adult section was my jam. I would spend all of Saturday at the library and leave with so many books that I'd often have to call my parents to pick me up, because I couldn't carry them home. I dived into my pile of books the moment I hopped in the car, relishing in these stories of teen romance, friendship and what it was like to be a teenage girl. One thing stood out though, none of these girls were like me. All of them went to parties, drunk alcohol and while some were unpopular, they were never just like me. I was a geeky comic book obsessed teen, who despised drugs and parties gave me migraines.
The alienation I felt when reading these "Relatable Teenagers" stuck with me into adulthood. This was until I read Paige Lovie's Confidence: Diary of an invisible girl last week. Here, within the pages of this book, I felt at home, finally. For the first time in my life, I found a novel which not only spoke to me, but my teenage self all those years ago. A novel which encapsulates all the feelings and emotions which I never understood nor had any hope of wrangling any sense out of. I discovered that I found another Invisible Girl, just like me.
Barbara Jenkins (yes her parents named her after Batgirl) is a comic book reading, Mario Kart loving, fan fiction writing geek girl. Spending most of her school life being what she called "invisible", Barbara follows her geeky passions in secret, with no one to share it with for fear of ridicule. That all changes when Barbara crashes head-first into a surprise friendship, literally. This is in the form of the confident, purple-haired head of the AV club, Cassie. Now, it's time to unleash her geeky passions with the world. Throughout Confidence, Barbara must overcome her shyness when thrown into a world of cosplay, YouTube, dates and conventions in a series of adventures which writer Paige Lavoie weaves so effortlessly.
From the moment you enter this world through the pages of Barbara's diary, it becomes clear that writer Paige knows the geek world well. This becomes no more apparent than when Barbara attends her first convention with Cassie and the two of them fight over who should wear the Batgirl costume. "..., my name is Barbara! I should totally be Batgirl!""Um, I'm Cassandra, and Cassandra Cain is obviously the best Batgirl." I instantly related to this ridiculous geeky argument and all of a sudden I realised how special this book would have been for me had I read it as a teen.
Confidence, hiding my geeky passions for fear of being ridiculed. I had very few friends and none that shared the same love for comic books and horror films that I did. Turning page after page, I began to feel like Barbara and Cassie were my friends. Furthermore, the way the book is written from the point of view of Barbara's diary made it all the more relatable and all the more real. It seems like I had been there, getting detention and eating copious amount of pizza while playing long hours of Mario Kart after school. They are the friends I never had and I was genuinely upset when the book finished and I had no more adventures to go on. The loss I felt leaving this world was so much so that I went right back to the beginning and began reading it again.
Written with such care and eloquence, Confidence: Diary of an invisible girl is legitimately the best book I've read in a long time. In-between work, You Tube and general life, I don't have the luxury of sitting down to many novels. If I take anything away from this, it's that you're never alone. Many people out there have told me stories of hiding their geeky passions in order to fit in, this book is for them.
I wanted to give one of you the chance to enjoy Paige Lovoie's Confidence: Diary of an invisible girl, so one lucky reader will win a copy of their very own.
To enter just leave a comment down below and tell me what geeky fandom you loved as a teen? For more ways to enter check out the rafflecopter app below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to Paige for writing such an incredibly funny and heartfelt novel. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.
Hugs & Gamma Rays,