Published by St. Martin's Griffin on May 17th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
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.
Today, on the blog, we have Lily Anderson, the author of The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You. MAN, that title was a mouthful but I love it. I MEAN, HONESTLY, you’re worse than me. HAHAH jkjk. Anyway, so I managed to ask her WHY she wrote about comic books and genius kids, because truth be told, that wasn’t a popular topic when it comes to contemporary books. And here’s her answer:
What made you write about comic books and genius kids?
My first year as a school librarian, I had an eighth grade student who begrudgingly came to look for something to read for his English class. He huffed and puffed, trying to find something at his astronomically high reading level. He brought a Jack London novel to my desk, spotted the TARIDS wallpaper on my computer, stared at me for a minute, and said, “Has anyone ever told you that you look like River Song?”
That’s how THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN ME IS YOU started.
More and more, my students—900 kids between kindergarten and eighth grade—wanted to talk to me about Star Wars, Doctor Who, Lord Of The Rings, Harry Potter, and the newest Marvel movies. The popular girls were reading The Hobbit. The second graders were running around with imaginary lightsabers. The middle schoolers couldn’t get enough manga. They didn’t know that—back in my day—these were things that made you nerdy. They just liked them because they’d never lived in a world without them.
The genius school part of the equation came from years of talking to my friends about California’s Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program. My best friends and I grew up in the same county, but few us of attended the same schools. But over time, we realized that many of us had been part of the GATE program and its strange curriculum (for instance: one year, my GATE class studied architecture—just architecture and how it related to math and science and art). I couldn’t help but wonder what it would have been like if all of my genius IQ friends and I had attended the same school. Taking that one step farther, I tried to imagine an entire school run on the GATE model of weirdly specific classes. Thus, the Messina Academy for the Gifted was born!