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Weird Girl and What's His Name
     

Weird Girl and What's His Name

4.5 4
by Meagan Brothers
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
07/27/2015
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the older lover Rory hasn’t told her about know—but the whole junior class knows Lula, her all-black outfits, and her out-of-date slang learned from the grandparents who raised her.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. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
“Aside from being extremely well-written, it was very real. The characters felt like genuine seventeen-year-olds with interesting, but relatable, problems. They are the kind of characters that stay with you and become part of your literary family . . . This is a novel that transcends the LGBTQ genre, and it holds universal lessons for all. It is reminiscent of Judy Bloom’s Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret and Tiger Eyes in the way it tackles somewhat taboo subjects within a smoothly written narrative. It has all the makings to become a classic of this generation.” –Foreword Reviews 5-Star Review; Reviewers' Choice 2015; IndieFab 2015 Young Adult Fiction Book of the Year

“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.” —Rain Taxi

"Weird Girl and What's His Name" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to school and community library collections." —Midwest Book Review

“Voices are crisply and intimately drawn. Minor characters are equally vibrant . . . Carefully and subtly imagined.” —Kirkus Reviews Starred Review; "Best Teen Books of 2015" & "Best Teen Romance Novels of 2015"

“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” —Someday My Printz Will Come/School Library Journal

"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." —The Globe and Mail

“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.” —Booklist (Starred Review)

“Effectively mixes past and present . . . real, evolving . . .” —Publishers Weekly

“Brothers’s pitch-perfect dialogue and well-polished prose make her an author to watch.” —School Library Journal

"Say hello to one of my new benchmarks for great YA fiction. Weird Girl and What’s His Name is absolutely wonderful, heartbreaking, and utterly engaging stuff." —Manhattan Book Review

“Recommended for huge fans of “The X-Files” or anyone who has struggled to figure out their own identity or sexuality” —TeenReads

"Readers who enjoy coming-of-age stories will enjoy this powerful novel.” (Top 18 New YA Books of Fall 2015) —BuzzFeed

"What really shines in Meagan Brothers' novel is the voices and the characters; they feel authentically human and vibrant and you'll be glad to spend 300-odd pages with the both of them.” (Top 17 New YA Books of October 2015) —Bustle

“This new LGBT YA novel is as gripping as it is heartfelt.” (Best 12 Books of October 2015) —Brit+Co

“There have been a lot of noteworthy LGBT YA novels hitting the market lately, but Weird Girl and What's His Name is one of the most complex and touching.” (10 New YA Books Every Twentysomething Should Read) —Style caster

“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.” —Chronogram

"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." —Book Jawn

"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." —YA, Why Not?

"“Truly a fantastic read. . . Definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a good plot line, or simply a wonderful book to read.” —League of Advanced Readers

"A satisfying breath of fresh air." —Lambda Literary

“Rory is another great LGBTQ teen, whose gayness does not define him as a person." (Top 30 YA books of 2015) –Forever Young Adult

"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." —Brian Katcher, author, Almost Perfect

"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." —D.C. Pierson, comedian and author, The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To

"Gorgeous writing, real characters I could give my heart to, and a huge-hearted exploration of being a fan of something specific (music! X-Files! football!). . . I'm certainly now a huge fangirl of Meagan Brothers! — Kim Culbertson, Northern California Book Award Winner of Instructions for a Broken Heart and Catch a Falling Star

"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." —Janice Earlbaum, author, I. Liar and Girlbomb

"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.” —Aimee Herman, author, To Go Without Blinking

"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.” —Annabelle Jay, author, Caron High News

"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."—J.C. Lillis, author, How to Repair a Mechanical Heart and We Won't Feel a Thing 

"A bold, funny and touching story for anyone who has experienced the heartache of an unrequited crush, whose sexual identity is a work-in-progress, and whose journey to self-discovery represents not so much a straight line as a meandering path. —Melissa Keil, author, Life in Outer Space 

School Library Journal
10/01/2015
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
Kirkus Reviews
2015-06-29
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 divorcé 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)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781941110270
Publisher:
Three Rooms Press
Publication date:
10/13/2015
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
411,343
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

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. A native Carolinian, Meagan currently lives in New York City.

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Weird Girl and What's His Name 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
JanieJonesWorlde More than 1 year ago
Absolutely terrific. Lula and Rory are fantastic: real, funny, sad, heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting. This is a book about all kinds of love: romantic, friendship, parent-child, grandparent-child, step-parent. The writing is smart, funny, tender and deeply heart-felt. Truly original. I could not put it down.
PrincessicaOfBooks More than 1 year ago
WGAWHN is about two X-Files TV show loving best friends, Rory and Lula. Incredibly close, they tell each other everything. Or so they think. Rory is gay but Lula already knows that. What she doesn’t know is that he has been shagging his overaged boss for quite some time now. When she finds out, that is Lula’s breaking point. She doesn’t know who she is anymore or what she wants. She doesn’t know who to be. The only person she thinks will help her find herself is her mother that left her when she was young. So one day, Rory is with his boss and the next– Tallulah Monroe is gone. 2) It’s About Finding Yourself. Phew, how cliché does that sound? Well, this book is definitely not cliché. This book ultimately centers around Lula and her great perhaps. She is 17 and doesn’t know what she wants for dinner, let alone for a partner. I really liked how this book didn’t categorize herself. She didn’t fall in love or like the people she did because of their gender– she liked them all for what they were to her. It teaches the reader that ultimately, gender does not matter. 3) It Suprised Me. When I read a book, I can usually get a feel for what I will rate that book 100 or 200 pages in. However, I failed to do that with WGAWHN . I didn't know what to rate it-- it was exceptional but where did it fall on my enjoyment scale? I went over my points and I had one word to describe it: wow. It left me so surprised. I think I could have finished it in a couple days, or even one, if not for schoolwork. The writing was addictive and I found myself liking it way more than I thought I would. I was literally surprised from page one. I thought it would be in Lula's perspective since it's her story but the switch-off worked nicely. I also liked how the flashbacks were incorporated. Although I did get slightly confused at times, it was nothing that couldn't get overlooked. I would definitely read this again or even buy a finished copy (my ARC is personally signed so it's okay)! Some other amazing points: The cover is BEAUTIFUL! Seriously one of my favorite covers this year. Also one of the main things that drew me to this books. Fun fact: two of my teachers and my dad saw me reading this and proceeded to call me Weird Girl :). Doesn't romanticize inappropriate relationships. This aspect was awesome, dealt with it nicely. Both characters love books and all geeky and nerdy things! They even have a blog! Because of this, it was also easy to connect with them. It's like they could read my mind! Every time I started to wonder about someone or something, my question was answered the next couple of pages. Because of all these amazing reasons and much more, I am giving Weird Girl and What's His Name 5/5 succulents (maybe even 6/5)! One of the must reads of this fall and year and life in general. Thank you so much to Meagan Brothers for sending me this wonderful copy!
blooming_ambers More than 1 year ago
When entering this "podunk town of Hawthorne, North Carolina," I found myself in Lula's thoughts. She is skeptical of everything around her: Rory's love, her sexuality, the existence between X-Files and God and between. She learns that nothing is certain and that everything is certain: life is a contradiction that cannot be corrected. This is a book for anyone who's willing to learn the same thing. Trust me: your molecules will shift for it.
KateUnger More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book, but I didn't love it. It takes place in 2008 surrounding the release of the second X-Files movie. (How did I never hear about this movie?) Rory and Lula have been best friends for a long time, and they share a deep love for The X-Files. They watch an episode every Friday night and are even writing a blog with reviews for the full series. There are A LOT of X-Files references in this book. I watched the show occasionally in high school, so I had some context for their discussions. I'm not sure how I would have felt about this book if I did know who Mulder and Scully were. Speaking of the FBI agents with the most platonic relationship ever, Rory and Lula's relationship is a great parallel to the TV series. Kudos to Brothers on the "re-telling" nature of this story. But this book is about more than developing feelings for someone you could never have. It's about a young girl's quest to understand where she came from and determine her identity...and her sexual preference. I wanted to like this book, but there were a couple of things I couldn't get past. The narrator of the book switches half way through from Rory to Lula, and that change made it extremely disjointed for me. Also, some of the drama was just too manufactured. I didn't believe Rory would react the way he did to Lula's disappearance. It felt like I was reading three different stories that were mashed together into one novel: (1) Rory and Lula's friendship, Rory's secrets, and what they did to their relationship, (2) Lula's search for her mother and, ultimately, herself, and (3) a completely unexpected and somewhat forced romance thrown in at the end. That said, I did enjoy the writing, especially when it was in Rory's voice. I will keep an eye out for Brothers' next book, and I may pick up one of her other titles in the mean time. http://www.momsradius.com/2016/03/book-review-weird-girl-and-whats-his.html