cover image The Nerdy and the Dirty

The Nerdy and the Dirty

B.T. Gottfred. Holt, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-62779-850-1

Gottfred (Forever for a Year) offers a hilarious and deeply honest look at high school love through the alternating voices of two teens. Penelope “Pen” Lupo is dating the most popular boy in school, yet at the cost of keeping her true self hidden, especially the sexually voracious part that Pen thinks makes her “Such. A. Freak!” Benedict Pendleton is as smart, cerebral, and socially obtuse as his academic father, but he’s also hiding an emotionally vulnerable part of himself that longs for connection. An unlikely couple to say the least, the two 16-year-olds find common ground at a winter resort, where they fall for each other and learn how to be “not normal” together. Gottfred creates addictive, true-to-life voices for both characters whose thoughts, decisions, and experience help guide the sex-positive relationship that takes shape. Although this novel includes detailed descriptions and discussions of masturbation, consent, and first-time sex, it’s never didactic or heavy-handed, and instead offers a raw, empowering, and lighthearted view of first love and teenage—and especially female—sexuality. Ages 17–up. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Grinberg Literary Management. (Nov.)