Model Misfit by Holly SmaleAuthor: Website|Twitter
Published: 26 September 2013 (HarperCollins Children's Books)
Format: Kindle e-book (ARC)
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Source: Received free copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks HarperCollins!
Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
“My name is Harriet Manners, and I am still a geek.”
Harriet knows that modelling won’t transform you. She knows that being as uniquely odd as a polar bear isn’t necessarily a bad thing (even in a rainforest). And that the average person eats a ton of food a year, though her pregnant stepmother is doing her best to beat this.
What Harriet doesn’t know is where she’s going to fit in once the new baby arrives.
With summer plans ruined, modelling in Japan seems the perfect chance to get as far away from home as possible. But nothing can prepare Harriet for the craziness of Tokyo, her competitive model flatmates and her errant grandmother’s ‘chaperoning’. Or seeing gorgeous Nick everywhere she goes.
Because, this time, Harriet knows what a broken heart feels like.
Can geek girl find her place on the other side of the world or is Harriet lost for good?
So I loved Geek Girl and couldn't wait to start this one! Model Misfit picks up Harriet as she works to balance her new jet set lifestyle with the slightly more down to earth teenage problem of GCSE exams.
This was one of those books that I sneakily started even though I was reading something else, because once I'd downloaded it to my Kindle and read the first few pages I just couldn't stop. The opening few scenes with Harriet on a modelling shoot were just hilarious. She's just as brilliantly geeky and funny as ever!
Model Misfit throws Harriet a whole bunch of new challenges she has to face. She's still getting stick at school, Nat is going away for the summer, exams are upon them and Toby is still hanging around. Then there's dreamy Nick and all the boy drama he brings with him. I thought some of the moments where things get on top of Harriet were so brilliantly done, because she throws these hilarious strops where she knows full well she's being overdramatic, but it reminds me how much of a big deal things are when you're that age and how you wish the world would swallow you up! Her internal monologue is just freaking funny.
One of my favourite parts of Model Misfit was the general presence of Toby, Harriet's friendly geeky stalker. I thought he had great potential in Geek Girl and you get to see even more of his funny side in this book. I would find myself giggling away at the things he comes out with, especially when he's hanging around with Nat and Harriet and trying to be sensitive to girls and their issues. Harriet's dad really steals the show in this book as well, just as he did in book one for me. I thought the introduction of Annabel's mum Bunty was fantastic as well. Holly Smale writes absolutely fantastic characters. Like I could spend all day in a room with each of them and I'd either end up having a really interesting discussion, or come out with my sides in stitches from laughing.
Another real highlight were the parts of the book set in Japan, where Harriet jets off to for a modelling shoot. I love books that can sweep me away somewhere exciting, and reading about Tokyo through Harriet's eyes felt like a real adventure! Plus we get extra doses of Japanese Harriet facts so what's not to love about that?! I thought Rin, a Japanese model Harriet ends up staying with, was a hilarious addition to the characters as well. Her little quirks and observations had me giggling throughout those scenes.
Now getting slightly more serious, I loved seeing Harriet become a little more independent and starting to stand up for herself. There were moments where I was almost standing up and cheering her on as she starts to fight back and take control of things. I think my favourite scene was Harriet's comeback in an argument that involves correcting someone's grammar. I literally wanted to reach into the book and high-five her because that's totally what I would do. I love that Harriet goes on all these ups and downs throughout the book and you get swept along with her in all of those situations. But there were some really uplifting moments, especially towards the end of the book, where my heart felt all warm and fuzzy.
I've mentioned (a lot) how much I love the characters, but the plot in Model Misfit was all so brilliantly pieced together. There's bits of information planted throughout that you don't see as being relevant until the end of the story. I just loved how everything is built up and seamlessly worked into the story. The writing is so clever.
So yes, I loved it. I absolutely loved it. If you loved the first book then you won't be disappointed. I can't wait for book three because I'm missing these characters already. I think this series is going to be my go to comfort read in the future because rarely do books make me giggle so much. I can't wait to re-read them already!
Books like this: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil, Geekhood: Close Encounters of the Girl Kind by Andy Robb