Tuesday, 26 February 2013
Review: Geek Girl by Holly Smale
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Released: February 28th, 2013
“My name is Harriet Manners, and I am a geek.” Harriet Manners 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. She knows that bats always turn left when exiting a cave and that peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite. But she doesn’t know why nobody at school seems to like her. So when Harriet is spotted by a top model agent, she 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 impossibly handsome model Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves. Veering from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, Harriet begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn't seem to like her any more than the real world did. As her old life starts to fall apart, will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?
Geek Girl is a book I'd heard a lot of good stuff about, so I started reading it with high expectations. While it was good and I read it quickly, I didn't love it like other people have. For me it was just a big too out there, too unbelievable. I did enjoy the writing, though, with its sharpness and wit. That was definitely a high point!
Harriet Manners is a geek with a remarkable knowledge of random facts (facts I really enjoyed learning) and an unblemished school record. She gets spotted by a modelling agency, meets a boy and embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Obviously there's more to it than that, but that's the general gist. It's a kind of Cinderella story with more flair and a girl who won't let other people change her. I like that about Harriet and I like that she almost always stays true to herself.
Holly Smale has created a memorable selection of characters, with my favourite being Harriet's stalker Toby. The things he come out with are hilarious. I also like her dad with his street-cred vocabulary and unwavering enthusiasm, and I also warmed to her stepmother Annabel. Of course I should mention Harriet who, though she hasn't made a huge impression on me, is a great role model for teenage girls who will be reading this book.
I did like Geek Girl and will read more by this author, though for me it didn't live up to the hype. I liked learning about modelling agencies and what goes on behind the scenes, but I just wish I could have believed it could happen that fast and to a girl like Harriet. I'm sure Geek Girl will be a very popular book this year, and I hope it's the start of a great writing career for Holly Smale!