Rick and Marty meet while waiting in the queue for the first-day showing of the new Pokemon movie. The conversation between them is instigated by Rick’s eight-year-old son, Micah, and his excitement for the animated creatures, which to Rick’s disgust, Marty shares. Marty entertains Micah throughout their wait with imaginary Pokemon battles and when it comes to “adult-talk,” it emerges that Marty needs a website designed for his comic shop, which is luckily Rick’s area of expertise.
During the next few days, Rick works eagerly on the website for Ricochet Comics, dividing his time between home and Marty’s shop, reviewing his coding and design, flirting, and sharing dinner. Whilst Marty wants to advance their business arrangement to a more personal one, Rick is reticent because of Micah and the differences in their lifestyles.
Despite Dad’s Nerdy New Boyfriend having some moments of sweetness, I frequently wanted to throw my kindle across the room! I’m really sorry J.M. Snyder, but this was all down to Rick; seriously this guy is a jerk! Generally, when I read a romance I hope the two protagonists will fall happily in love, but all I wanted here was for Marty to walk away and find someone who deserved him. Rick is rude, pretentious, and condescending and though we would like to believe that Micah is his priority, it was hard for me to buy into this notion. When Rick is on the way to the movie theatre with Micah in the car, he thinks:
His son would be turning nine in a few months, and was already too old to be sleeping with a stuffed animal in his opinion.
The fact that Rick sees Pokemon as just some “freaking cartoon” is clear and when he and Micah first see Marty, Rick presumes that Marty is there with his own children and though Rick feels a physical attraction. it is his attitude that is disappointing,
The guy had a Pokemon tattoo, for the love of God. It was bad enough Rick had to listen to his son talk about that nonsense; he didn’t need to date someone who went on and on about it, too.
Micah and Marty’s enthusiasm for all things nerdy is probably the novella’s redeeming feature and Snyder obviously has researched the topics of Pokemon, Marvel, and comics well, or has shared a personal interest with us. Unfortunately though, I was hoping that Rick would atone himself a little, but personally I did not feel this – though other readers may feel differently.
Dad’s Nerdy New Boyfriend is not a book I could genuinely recommend as I struggled to finish it, though for lovers of Pokemon and other “cartoons” it may be more enjoyable.