FeaturedYoung Adult

Freak, Geek, Goddess; Tales of Survival from Trust Fund High

By

Worth reading 😎

Jessica Lincoln brings a unique voice to the often-told tale of learning to be true to yourself.

"What if being me makes me Freak Girl?"


Riley is worried about high school. Nobody likes her new haircut, she doesn't know how to get to class, and her best friend Kaitlyn is obsessed with the Dukes and Duchesses — high school royalty. Kaitlyn wants Riley to skip fifth period and drive around with a couple of Dukes who tell sexist jokes and keep lumps of chewing tobacco in their mouths. Riley wants... well, she wants to be herself, but she's afraid that it'll make her look like a freak.


While Freak, Geek, Goddess could be the type of coming-of-age story appropriate for fans of Kody Keplinger's The DUFF, be aware that Lincoln's novel goes a little darker than comparable titles. Early chapters find Riley getting pressured into a navel piercing that promptly becomes infected, and earning a poor grade on a project after skipping class. By the end of the book Riley has experienced alcohol poisoning and sexual assault.


The story, told through Riley's voice, is engaging; a reader may correctly predict that Riley will overcome her insecurities and triumph, but the path Lincoln takes to get there is not so predictable — and, in some ways, more realistic than similar high school narratives.


The book's biggest flaw? Riley is just as judgmental as the Dukes and Duchesses. Readers who prefer their protagonists not crack jokes about "over-eager anorexics," "popularity whores," or "gender confusion issues" may want to look elsewhere; readers who want their heroines to show as much compassion to others as they wish they had been shown will be disappointed by Riley's lack of character growth. Being true to yourself doesn't always mean being a good person.

Reviewed by

Writer, editor, and teacher. I review one book a week at NicoleDieker.com as part of my daily posts on the art and the finances of a creative career. Am interested in books on writing and publishing, literary fiction, and SF&F.

About the author

After earning her journalism degree, Jessica realized she would much rather write about the people in her head than the people on the street, so she quit her job and began writing full time and hasn’t looked back since. This is her first novel. view profile

Published on March 03, 2019

Published by

90000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Young Adult

Reviewed by