The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You
by Lily Anderson
Publication date: May 17th 2016
St. Martin's Griffin, 352 pages
Trixie Watson has two very important goals for senior year: to finally save enough to buy the set of Doctor Who figurines at the local comic books store, and to place third in her class and knock Ben West--and his horrendous new mustache that he spent all summer growing--down to number four.
Trixie will do anything to get her name ranked over Ben's, including give up sleep and comic books--well, maybe not comic books--but definitely sleep. After all, the war of Watson v. West is as vicious as the Doctor v. Daleks and Browncoats v. Alliance combined, and it goes all the way back to the infamous monkey bars incident in the first grade. Over a decade later, it's time to declare a champion once and for all.
The war is Trixie's for the winning, until her best friend starts dating Ben's best friend and the two are unceremoniously dumped together and told to play nice. Finding common ground is odious and tooth-pullingly-painful, but Trixie and Ben's cautious truce slowly transforms into a fandom-based tentative friendship. When Trixie's best friend gets expelled for cheating and Trixie cries foul play, however, they have to choose who to believe and which side they're on--and they might not pick the same side.
Well, this was an interesting read! A school for geniuses + a mysterious someone who is messing with the ranking of our characters. The concept was intriguing. I must say, at the beginning the book to me was quite boring – it was only about comics and Ben being annoying by de facto. To be honest they were both annoying – Trixie and Ben. And then finally came harvest festival, when Ben saved her from zombies and fainting, and they became more civil toward the other.
The whole book is filled with Doctor Who references, and then some. I suppose if I have watched Doctor Who I would have found the book way more amusing. So, a big shout to all you comics and Doctor Who lovers, this book is meant for you!
Trixie has two best friends, Harper and Meg. She doesn’t need more friends, but Harper and Meg decided that they want a boyfriend. Trixie is shocked.
“A boyfriend, I concluded, should be like a new best friend. Which didn’t help me at all considering I hadn’t made a new best friend since I was eight and Meg transferred to Aragon. Even in a world full of people smart as I was, there weren’t that many people I wanted on my team.”
But sure thing, Harper get herself a boyfriend, and not just any boy but Ben West’s best friend! So Ben and Trixie are forced to play nice. Trixie became way better after the whole Ben revelation (that he does not in fact hate her). The whole book became a lot better after that.
“But being friends with Ben bugged me. Walking to class together, murmuring comments in the cafeteria, the buzzing of texts pouring into my phone – it was false advertising. It look like friendship, but it didn’t feel like friendship. It felt like something else, like I’d been ramping up to something huge and found out that it was flat ground.”
The school for geniuses. It’s interesting to see the dynamics of our group and the school. The ranking makes everything more serious as they come out every week. Being ranked every week must be so stressful. Why would anyone want to go through with it?
There is another thing that bothered me about this book. Everyone is so stressed about college and that they won’t be accepted in the top 10 colleges in the country. But I kept thinking… this is the school for geniuses – if they won’t get accepted – no one will. Because really, here we are talking about kids with IQ 150+. And no one can bullshit me that kids smart like that won’t get to college. Of course they will.
“Don’t try to tell me about how my brain is developing,” I snapped. “I took three years of advanced psychology and you majored in art history.”
The whole enigma was intriguing, too. I was very engrossed into the story after the Winter Ball. Things started getting out of hand, and the cheating thing became very personal to Trixie. She decided that she will discover who is behind this once and for all. And there is something very cool about how a genius goes into detective mode to find out the truth.
“Mathematical reactions to a personal issue. It’s not one or the other. It has to be statistically and emotionally reasonable.”
All in all, in the end this book happened to be awesome. I genuinely enjoyed the unravelling of the mystery of who hacked into the school accounts and change the ranking of the students. I would recommend The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You to all the geeky people out there. It’s school and comics, so if this is your jam, go for it!
A big thank you to NetGalley for the eARC!