Title: Geek Girl
Author: Holly Smale
Genre: YA contemporary
Length: 378 pages
Published by: HarperCollins
Source: I bought it!
Harriet Manners knows a lot of things.
She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a “jiffy” lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn’t quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she’s spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend’s dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves.
As Harriet veers from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, she begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn’t seem to like her any more than the real world did.
And as her old life starts to fall apart, the question is: will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?
My advice for this book: don’t take it too seriously
There are plenty of things wrong with this book…objectively. I remember reading Mel from YA Midnight Read’s review of this book, and she said that it was “perfectly imperfect.” And that’s exactly right. Sure, there are plot holes, conveniences; the characters are a little cartoonish.
But this is such a fun book that those things didn’t even occur to me while I was reading.
So our main character is Harriet Manners. She’s a geek.
She knows a bunch of random things that nobody will ever need to know. I would have liked to see more of these facts incorporated in the novel, especially considering how many are in the blurb. Honestly I don’t think I could ever be friends with her – she would definitely annoy me, but from a purely hypothetical stance, I really loved her as a character.
She’s smart. Socially awkward. Friendly. Funny. She also has flaws – she often lies to people she loves and doesn’t give them a chance. Plus she can be a little judgemental.
There’s also a class bully/mean girl kind of character Alexa. She was not developed at all – there was no motivation for how horrible she was, which irked me (it’s SUCH a cliche in YA fiction, unfortunately). But maybe she’ll be developed more in the subsequent books?
The rest of the characters, though, were excellent. Especially Dad and Wilbur (not iam).
Harriet’s Dad was so funny. He seems just as awkward as her and breaks the rules like she does. He’s a bit child-like, really, which is what makes him so fun to read about. Then there’s the flamboyant Wilbur (not iam) who always wears crazy clothes and calls Harriet weird nicknames.
The whole plot is somewhat ludicrous. But it’s just so much FUN, you know? Why don’t more protagonists jaunt over to Russia without telling anyone but their dad? It sounds like a lot of fun to me.
Harriet reminded me of Anna from Frozen, actually. She was constantly messing things up.
But I thought it was a cute story, overall, and the messages were really powerful without being over-bearing. A very cute, awkward story full of fun facts and fashion, this one will be sure to make you laugh.