The Secret Loves of Geeks is a collection of 37 illustrated stories, comics, prose, and essays about love. Their authors span a wide range of gender and sexuality, age and writing experience, making this a truly diverse collection. There are famous names a-plenty like Margaret Atwood, Gerard Way, Hope Larson, and Amy Chu, but also new faces. At least one story included is the author’s debut and I’ll take this moment to say I hope it’s not his last – I watched Interview With the Vampire for the first time last weekend because of you, Ivan.
With titles like “Love in Alderaan Places,” “Harry Potter and the Awkward Coming Out Story,” and, “Tell Me About Your Trans Headcanons,” this was always going to be a book that screamed its appeal to me. These are love stories that appeal to me at a far deeper level than anything I see on covers of traditional romance novels. There are odes to Star Wars, jokes about using obscure fandom references to flirt, and comparisons between being gay and being the Slayer. Sometimes the stories would reference fandoms I am not a part of, such as Levi Hastings’ ” So Say We All,” which tracks the story of a relationship to a backdrop of Battlestar Galactica, but it was easy to both sense the author’s love for their own fandom and substitute my own moments where my fandom love and romantic love has coincided.
Even when the experiences in the stories didn’t relate to my own personal experiences, such as tales of con sex, living life as a trans person, or dating a person who realizes they are agender, I saw MY people in them – my friends and coworkers. It felt refreshing to see so many takes on love and romance that differed from the heteronormative stories we are bombarded with in most media. These stories were new and eye-opening and they captured my attention for being so. Sure, there a few weaker stories—there always are in collections such as these—but the standard overall is incredibly high.
The essays often tackle difficult subjects, but they all circle back to love. Whether it’s a look at the different types of love in the world (the Greeks had names for them: eros, philos, and agape), analyzing a Tumblr meme for insight into the truth about what women want, or exploring the experience of growing up gay in an unaccepting culture, there is profound insight to be gained from reading the experiences these authors have so bravely, and kindly, shared with the world.
I fell in love with this book and already plan to order its predecessor, The Secret Loves of Geek Girls, as soon as possible. If you’re looking to read a different, diverse, and delightful collection of work that reflects love in all its many and varied shades, this is the book you want.
GeekMom received this item for review purposes.