Benedict and Penelope are as opposite as can be, but they are both outsiders. Benedict is a nerd who cannot function appropriately with others while “Pen” is a popular girl with hidden secrets that could ruin her entire reputation. In B.T. Gottfred’s upcoming novel, The Nerdy and the Dirty, both Benedict and Pen learn the importance of relationships and how everyone is truly a freak at heart. Filled with plenty of humor, romance, and chaos, The Nerdy and the Dirty is a novel that will stay with readers long after they finish this highly original tale of redemption and acceptance.
The story begins with Benedict and Pen, who live very different and separate lives. Benedict is an emotionally distant loner who desperately wants a girlfriend while Pen is surrounded by plenty of friends, but none of them know who she really is on the inside. Things begin to unravel when Benedict and Pen end up at the same vacation destination during their winter break. With tensions rising and chemistry between the two igniting, there is no telling what will happen if they actually fall for one another. Will Benedict finally get the girl of his dreams, and will Pen finally be able to be herself? Or will their relationship end in an absolute disaster?
I started this novel not knowing what to expect. Even from the cover, I could tell this was going to be an interesting book. But once I started, I was highly enthralled with the lives of both Benedict and Pen as they both struggle to be themselves in one of the most judgmental places on Earth: high school. Benedict’s self-doubt and his feelings of loneliness were extremely relatable, as well as Pen’s constant questioning about what sex actually is and what it means for teens today. While the characters are extremely awkward and antisocial, they prove to be honest and relatable for many teens, making this novel a must-read for older teens and adults alike.
The only negative element of the novel, which I found slightly irritating, was the constant flow of conversations and scenes involving sex. Most every scene in the novel contains varying degrees of sexual material, as well as one incredibly graphic love scene that will leave some readers feeling uncomfortable. Gottfred was able to accurately portray the struggle and mindset of a girl who is a nymphomaniac, but it still felt overwhelming at times. While some of the graphic material may at times seem intense, once past these few scenes, readers are sure to be wrapped up in the romance between Benedict and Pen, waiting to see if the two will be able to get past their differences in order to have a future together.
B.T. Gottfred has created a novel that is sure to speak to a diverse audience: virtually anyone who has ever felt out of place or just a little bit awkward. Benedict and Pen have fresh voices that present a romance that is not sugar-sweet (which is a very good thing). For those looking for an entirely new reading experience filled with saddening, romantic, and heart-felt moments, pick up your copy of The Nerdy and the Dirty on November 15 and discover what it means to be different, to be a freak, and to be yourself.