Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Harper Collins
Rating: 5 stars
Buy the book: Waterstones, Amazon, The Book Depository
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?
I have stupidly put off reading this book for months, maybe even a whole year simply because I thought it sounded like something I wouldn’t enjoy. But after participating in #ukyachat on Friday, I decided to finally go out and buy this book so that if I was ever in the mood to read it, it was there. So last night while I was in the process of deciding which book to read next, I asked Twitter for some help and I was told by someone that I simply must read Geek Girl. So after debating for a while, I finally picked it up and started reading and I’m so happy I did. I read half of the book last night and I finished off the book today. I am utterly and completely in love with this book and I’m angry at myself for not picking it up sooner.
The main reason I loved this book is because of the main character. If you have a book with a strong or funny lead character, I will fall in love with it. Harriet was so funny, it was ridiculous. Being a geek, she is incredibly unliked but she’s not sure why because in a way she doesn’t know how to respond in social situations. At points, she reminded me of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory because she did not know what to say so she either blurted out a completely useless fact or had the urge to correct someone’s grammar. Her feelings towards somethings were so relatable for example her feelings towards non-school uniform days and how there are so many unspoken rules among your community about what you can and can’t wear. Since it was a UKYA read, I completely understood a lot of the school terms and years whereas when I read books set in the US, I have to try to figure out how old they are because I don’t know anything about the American education system.
This book was full of awkward moments and I felt myself cringing throughout. However, I also found myself laughing out loud because of some of the things that occur and that’s why I enjoyed this book so much. It was funny, relatable and just down right fabulous.
The bullying in this book is one thing that I was iffy about. Generally, I always feel a bit iffy when I read about bullying especially in a British book simply because it always feels over exaggerated. Maybe this is just because of the schools I have been to, but I think some of the bullying and violence that occur in books would not be allowed to occur in a British school. However, I felt this book did it quite well because it was more about being excluded and being generally disliked than being bullied which I thought was a nice change and was representative of what it would probably be like today. Another thing I wasn’t too sure about was Nick, the “love interest” of the story. This book focuses mainly on Harriet and her self discovery but along the way she has a few run ins with Nick who is her love interest. However, I felt it to be slightly odd and insta lovey but I’m hoping it will develop in the later books.
The side characters also made this book even more fabulous because a range of characters were represented throughout. You had Annabel, her stepmother who wore suits and put intelligence over beauty, Wilbur, her fashion agent who was eccentric and used various different nicknames, Toby, Harriet’s very own stalker and Alexa, the bully of the story. They all bought something new to the novel and I can’t wait to see how they develop as the series goes on.
While this was an absolutely hilarious book, the writing was amazing. There were so many amazing analogies and metaphors throughout that I just really enjoyed like the polar bear analogy and the cold war analogy. The writing somehow managed to be beautiful yet also quick and easy to read which is not a very simple thing to do. So I applaud Holly Smale on her ability to be able to write as amazingly as she does.
So in the end I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars but it’s probably closer to a 4.5 out of 5 stars but I did really enjoy it so I highly recommend it to everyone. I will definitely be picking up the rest of the series soon, maybe even later this month.