Geek Girl by Holly Smale: Overdose of Hilarity and Awkwardness

Title: geek girlGeek 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.


Rating: 4/5 Wonderkitties



17 thoughts on “Geek Girl by Holly Smale: Overdose of Hilarity and Awkwardness

  1. Ridiculous but a lot of fun – sounds like a perfect lighthearted read. I keep seeing this book around but never know if it is really one I’d like or not. I think if I see it next time I’m in the library I’ll borrow a copy. Great review Emily 🙂 Shame about the lack of facts in the novel because they sounded like they’d be great.

  2. Hmm…after reading your review, I’m definitely on the fence about this one Emily. In person, I’m definitely a more fun and outgoing person; but when I read I really like to hammer down on a book and analyze it; so I’m not sure how I’d do with this one – especially the “plot conveniences and the slightly cartoonish characters.” Nonetheless, thanks for sharing and, as always, BRILLIANT review! ❤

  3. This is my favourite chicklit series EVER! It’s so cute, ridiculous and it’s one of the few books that can make me laugh out loud. I read the second book while I was on an aeroplane and I must have annoyed the people around me because I kept giggling and telling them random facts (luckily the people next to me were not random strangers because that would have just been weird). That Harriet/Anna comparison is so true!

  4. Heh, sounds cute! Like Flirty Dancing, maybe?? Which wasn’t exactly my kind of book so I probably won’t be chasing it, but it does sound like it’d be a hilarious movie!

  5. Thank you for the fantastic review, Emily! I haven’t put this book on my TBR (at least not yet), but I think I might consider reading it one day when I’m in the mood for something that’s not too serious. 🙂

  6. So I’m not usually a cat person, but that gif is freakin’ adorable! 🙂

    I really want to read this one! I actually borrowed its sequel accidentally from the library (silly me, I know) though I have been kind of hesitant in picking this one up. I think I will, though. It looks light and fun — which is what I’m in the mood for right now. xD Alexa will probably annoy the crap outta me. I really dislike that mean-for-no-good-reason cliche, but eh, this still looks enjoyable. Great review.

    • HOW are you not a cat person? Riddle me that. It doesn’t make any sense. I can see how you would have borrowed the sequel by accident – all the covers are quite similar, same with the titles. Maybe if you try the FIRST one you will understand it more 😛 but yes, Alexa did annoy me. Grrr I don’t know why that trope exists but I hate it – it’s like a cop-out for poor character development.

  7. Pingback: This Week: Much NaNoWriMo, Very School | The Loony Teen Writer

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