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. My review: The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You is a retelling of Much Ado About Nothing set in a school for very gifted students. The story is peppered with references to comic books, Doctor Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and other "nerd" pop culture. Trixie is opinionated and not always easy to like which is something she knows about herself. She has an ingrained hatred of Ben West and they've been verbally sparring since they were kids. Trixie's best friends are Harper and Meg. When Harper starts dating Cornell, Trixie has to put aside her animosity and try to get along with Ben (and his mustache). Things become complicated when Trixie accidentally finds out that Ben may have feelings for her and then Harper is accused of hacking into school accounts and cheating. Trixie wants Ben to take Harper's side and help her find the real culprit but not all of the friends think Harper is innocent. Trixie is very smart and I liked how nerdy she is but her behavior could be a bit much. Her snarky attitude was annoying at times and I felt like her anger towards Ben wasn't always justified. She had a way of crossing the line especially by bringing up Ben's painful family/friendship issues. Thankfully her friends call her on it and she starts to change and be kinder. I really liked how loyal she was to Harper and how she marched to her own tune. I enjoyed seeing the friendship and romance bloom between Trixie and Ben. It was nice to see Trixie making more friends as well. I thought this book was clever though the references didn't all make sense to me as I am not into those particular fandoms.There are some fun secondary characters that correspond to characters from Much Ado About Nothing but the novel doesn't follow the play faithfully (it wouldn't really work if it did) so readers who aren't familiar with it would still be able to appreciate the book. Although I didn't always like Trixie's behavior, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and even laughed out loud at times. I'd suggest this book for fans of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern. I think readers who like snarky and humorous dialogue, offbeat protagonists and Doctor Who would like this too and maybe even be inspired to pick up Much Ado About Nothing (or at least watch the Kenneth Branagh movie). Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley.