Geeks, freaks, loners & losers: Alexandra Robbins has good news: Not only does it get better, it gets a lot better. The qualities that make you unpopular in high school will make you rich and successful after graduation. Robbins came to that conclusion after following around seven high school students—The New Girl, The Gamer, The Band Geek, etc.—for a year.
In The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School, Robbins combines this yearlong narrative with some fascinating research and surprising trends. (Quick example: “Among students at one Texas high school, a new trend is to keep the price tags on their clothes so classmates can see that they paid full price.”)
- The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth
- By Alexandra Robbins, $26
Halfway through, however, Geeks turns into a long, dull episode of MTV’s Made. Robbins gives her seven subjects tasks that will force them to come out of their shells. Their transformations are as cliché and predictable (and possibly fake) as their dialogue, like: “At least take some of my words with you. You have the ability to be anything you want. All you need is hard work and perseverance.”
I wish Robbins had spent less time on these “transformations” and more time expanding the cited academic studies. Geeks is packed with good stuff; it just needs to come out of its shell.