Friday, 20 September 2013

Review: Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Geek Girl by Holly Smale
Author: Holly Smale Website|Twitter
Published: 28 February 2013 (HarperCollins Children's Books)
Format: Kindle e-book
Pages: 378
Buy the paperback: Amazon|BookDepository
Buy the e-book: Kindle|Kobo

Source: Bought

Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
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 Review:
Geek Girl was a book I've been wanting to read for a long time, partly because anything with the word geek in the title completely has my attention, and partly because other bloggers had been raving about it. When it came up on Kindle Daily Deal I snatched it up! Geek Girl follows geeky Harriet as she is plucked from obscurity and thrown head first into the fashion world.

I knew I was going to love this book right away because I was already giggling within the first few pages. Books that make me physically laugh are so rare and so the humour in Geek Girl was refreshing and became one of my favourite things about the book. I spent the whole weekend devouring it and came very close to sticking a "do not disturb" sign on my door because I just did not want to be interrupted whilst reading!

Part of the reason I adored the humour in Geek Girl so much was because Harriet herself was so hilarious. Her voice throughout the book was so witty and the way she describes her experiences and little anecdotes made me laugh so much. I loved that she's a little bit hapless and clumsy and one of the best things about Harriet is that despite all her disasters throughout the story, she still remains a completely believable character. What's happening to her is crazy but ultimately I could completely believe the story and that is really important to me. Obviously, given the title, Harriet is incredibly smart, but she's also so likable and nice and someone you'd really want to be friends with which is one of the biggest compliments I can give a character!

The ensemble of characters surrounding Harriet were just as brilliant. She lives with her dad and stepmum Annabel and I loved the family dynamic between them. Harriet and her dad are so similar and I adored the scenes where it was the two of them trying to figure their way out of situations. Annabel also was the perfect antidote to the two of them as she's the voice of reason and common sense so they all balance each other out in the end! I loved the up and down friendship between Harriet and Nat which I think will be relatable to a lot of people. When you're fifteen it's so easy for jealousy to get in the way of things are for you to blow everything out of proportion. I recognised their friendship immediately. The boys in this book were great too, from swoon-worthy model Nick to bumbling, fellow geek and Harriet stalker Toby.

The plot of Geek Girl sees Harriet spotted and whisked off to become a model, despite loathing the fashion world and being much happier watching documentaries. Harriet herself sees it as a chance to change herself after the taunting she gets at school for being a geek. I loved the balance of crazy, hysterical plot and realistic teen issues. We've all been there when you start to question who you are because you are teased about it. Some of the moments Harriet has at school were so reminiscent of my own experiences that I really connected with her in those moments. I think the underlying themes and tones of the book are immensely positive and it's all about learning to embrace who you are. I really appreciated the rubbish decisions Harriet makes as well because making mistakes is how you learn! And she learns a lot over the course of the book.

The book had lots of short chapters and every so often you'd get a chapter beginning with a list because Harriet loves lists, and as a list-lover myself books with lists in automatically make me love them a bit more! The fast pace of the book made it utterly addictive as well. I just couldn't put it down because it was so much fun and there was constantly something happening.

There are probably a billion and one things I've forgotten to mention in this review, because trying to remember all the amazing things about a book this awesome is hard! I absolutely adored it. I loved Harriet, I loved the story and I thought the writing was just perfect. It was a quick read but one that really packed a punch and it was exactly the kind of fun read I needed, but I liked that it had its serious moments as well. It was the perfect balance. I'll be recommending this book to pretty much anyone I talk to from now on and the fab news is that there are more Geek Girl books! The sequel Model Misfit comes out this month and I can't wait to read it.

Rating: 5*
What to read next: Model Misfit by Holly Smale, the second book in the Geek Girl series
Books like this: Geehkood: Close Encounters of the Girl Kind by Andy Robb

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