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Reviewed by Ammaarah Seboa for Readers' Favorite
Jasmine C. Caldwell’s The Geek Girl Squad: Olivia, is pure gold! Our main characters Olivia and Jake share a mutual interest in a few things geek. Where Olivia is not shy about her extra-curricular activities, Jake likes to keep his on the down-low. After a disastrous first meeting at the company picnic, where Jake expertly puts his foot in his mouth, he looks for a way to apologize to Olivia and in doing so he overhears her plans for an upcoming anime convention. Prepped with the perfect disguise, Jake’s on a mission to get onto Olivia’s good side. In his new disguise, he’s able to repair his previous image and when Olivia needs a fake boyfriend for the weekend, Jake is her knight in shining armor.
Jasmine C. Caldwell struck the jackpot when she included the enemies-to-lovers, fake-boyfriend, and the geek-girl-and-jock-boy tropes in the first book of her Geek Girl Squad series. As an honorary member of the Geek Girl Squad, I especially loved the dynamics she included in the story. One thing, in particular, was the matter of gatekeeping and questioning people on their interest in anime. Some people are genuine fans, while others just like it because it’s what’s trending right now. Faced with the traumas of past relationships, the character development of Olivia and Jake moved at a steady pace. Although there was no clear indication of time lapses or settings being changed at the beginning of the story, the book was well-written. It’s rare to find a book that centers on otakus and all things geeky as the main characters, as one would usually find them in mangas or manwhas. A few notable mentions include Crunchyroll, Naruto, Bleach, and even Blackfox. I loved The Geek Girl Squad: Olivia, along with its homage to a certain OG anime female superhero; Sailor Moon!