Book Review: Playing With Matches

Playing With Matches is sorta like a story I've heard before, and sorta like nothing I've ever heard before. It's the story of a dorky kid named Leon, who catches himself yelling at his new locker-neighbor, Melody, a girl whose face was horribly disfigured by an explosion when she a little girl. Now, Melody is the brunt of many bad jokes and is a total outcast. As you could predict, Leon starts up a friendship with Melody and they start to date, him realizing that she's a great girl despite her ruined face.

And, if you guessed this much, you probably know that there's a popular, beautiful girl who Leon wishes he was dating. Of course, this girl doesn't know Leon is alive until he starts dating Melody. Then, it's all she can do to stop from falling all over Leon. Sorta. Once this oft-told plot is set into motion, Leon will have two girls to choose from: the perfectly unattainable cheerleader type, or the perfectly attainable dorky girl.

This is a pretty typical plot line is made a little less predictable by Melody's character. I feel in love with her faster than Leon. She was strong, smart, sly, and sexy in her own way. It did not take her long to feel like a real person to me; she was not a stock character at all. In fact, she was probably the most dynamic character in the whole book. I wanted to know her. She was that cool. Unfortunately, Leon takes too long to realize what I saw from the start: face or no face, she is the best girlfriend a teen guy who like nerdy movies and music could have.

Even if this book is a little predictable, I found myself reading it at a fast clip. If you're in the mood to awaken your inner nerd, or if you're just nerdy by nature, this might be a great book for you!