Title: The Pros of Cons
Author: Alison Cherry, Lindsay Ribar and Michelle Schusterman
Pub. Date: March 27, 2018
Publisher: Scholastic
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 352
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Nerds are all the rage and the ever growing young adult contemporary subgenre of ‘nerdy contemporary’ is here to stay. Scholastic is following up their convention focused Don’t Cosplay With My Heart with another young adult novel, The Pros of Cons. Written by a trio of authors about a trio of young women who find their lives unexpectedly intertwined over the course of a busy, convention-fueled weekend, The Pros of Cons tackles a lot of great issues from friendship to relationships to the good (and bad) of fandom.

Rockstar Book Tours has a great tour running this week and next week to promote The Pros of Cons. You can learn some more about the book below, check out our interview, and enter to win a copy for yourself!


Drummer Phoebe Byrd prides herself on being one of the guys, and she’s ready to prove it by kicking all their butts in the snare solo competition at the Indoor Percussion Association Convention. 

Writer Vanessa Montoya-O’Callaghan has been looking forward to the WTFcon for months. Not just because of the panels and fanfiction readings but because WTFcon is where she’ll finally meet Soleil, her internet girlfriend, for the first time. 

Taxidermy assistant Callie Buchannan might be good at scooping brains out of deer skulls, but that doesn’t mean it’s her passion. Since her parents’ divorce, her taxidermist father only cares about his work, and assisting him at the World Taxidermy and Fish-Carving Championships is the only way Callie knows to connect with him. 

When a crazy mix-up in the hotel lobby brings the three girls together, they form an unlikely friendship against a chaotic background of cosplay, competition, and carcasses!

Our Review

I’m huge fan of nerdy contemporary stories and I am incredibly jealous of all the kids who are growing up with these kinds of books on their shelves and in their libraries. We just didn’t have books about nerdy kids living it up in the nerdy world when I was younger. Now that nerdiness is hitting the mainstream it’s becoming more and more acceptable for your main characters in young adult fiction to go to conventions, cosplay, and spend their weekends playing Dungeons and Dragons.

And I am totally okay with this.

The Pros of Cons is a book that embraces convention culture — and not just when it comes to comic book conventions either. The book imagines a weekend in which four very different groups of people come together in one convention center over a single weekend. You have taxidermists, fandom kids, high school percussionists, and toddlers in tiaras all occupying different parts of one convention center. Cue the shenanigans.

Our heroines – Vanessa Montoya-O’Callaghan, Phoebe Byrd, and Callie Buchanan – have very different reasons for being at this convention center. Vanessa is a fanfiction writer, Phoebe is a drummer, and Callie helps her dad stuff turkeys. There’s no reason any of these girls should have ever met but over the course of the weekend they build a strong relationship that gives each of them the strength they need to make big steps forward in their lives by the time they get ready to head home.

I can’t speak to high school music competitions nor taxidermy conventions but I can speak to fandom and I loved how realistic The Pros of Cons made that feel. We’ve seen a lot of nerdy contemporary books talking about how great online friends can be and that’s true. They can be awesome. Fandom friends can be great. But there’s also the reality of the darker side of fandom. The Pros of Cons does an amazing job of showing some of the worst parts of fandom while also embracing the best. I think that’s something that few nerdy contemporary stories have done – if any – and I love it. I think anyone whose grown up with online fandom will relate and see in the fandom-related characters any number of people they’ve known over the years — including themselves.

The Pros of Cons is a fun book with some really fun characters. I liked how developed everyone became despite the very short time frame in which the story is told. The three authors do a great job of bringing their characters to life and helping them through three very different dilemmas in their lives. The Pros of Cons is great for nerdier young readers looking to find themselves in a story. Check it out!


Three lucky winners will walk away from this book tour with finished copies of The Pros of Cons for their very own. You can enter to win now! This is the first week of the tour so there is a whole second week coming up so there’s plenty of time to enter. Unfortunately, the giveaway is open to US residents only. 

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About the Authors

I [Allie] grew up in Evanston, IL, then went to Harvard and got a degree in photography. (Yes, that is possible. Although they like to call the visual arts “Visual and Environmental Studies,” for some unknown reason.) Then I spent the next three years as a freelance lighting designer for various theaters throughout the Northeast. Eventually, I got tired of hanging out on ladders and wrestling with faulty electrical equipment for 80 hours a week while getting paid almost nothing, so I spent the next four years working as a photographer for the Metropolitan Opera. Now I live in Brooklyn with my two kitties, Vivian and Sophia, and write full-time. I’m represented by Holly Root at Root Literary.

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Lindsay Ribar lives in New York City, where she works in book publishing by day and writes YA novels by night. She attends far too many concerts, watches far too much nerdy TV, and consumes fanfiction like it’s made out of chocolate. She is fond of wine, cheese, and countries where they speak English but with really cool accents. Oh, and she has a Harry Potter tattoo.

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Michelle Schusterman is the alleged author of less than one hundred books for kids and teens, most of which are not published under a secret pseudonym, and all of which include various characters. She lives on a steamboat with her pet crawfish, unless she’s lying, in which case she lives among the spiders beneath the stage at the Metropolitan Opera, unless that’s another lie, in which case she lives in an apartment in Queens with her chocolate lab, who can talk.

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