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?
Before I started reading Geek Girl, I was told time and time again that I should pick up this book and read them but the one thing to know about being a blogger is that there is always another book that needs to be read. So I put it to the aside with every intention to read it at some point. And now I am hugely regretting that decision. Geek Girl is an absolutely stunning read. It is easy to get into it, it is full of nostalgic memories and it has you giggling one minute and forcing the tears to stay away the next. It has everything you could ever really want in a contemporary novel about a fifteen year old geek – and I’m certain that many book lovers have been through similiar things to Harriet!
The very first thing that pulled me into this story was how raw and real it felt. It reminded me of when I was fifteen and struggling with everything. Getting a bit honest here, I was someone who never felt like I fit in, at school or at home, and so reading about someone going through the same thing was really refreshing. Because I am now older and passed that point in my life, I know that it gets better but what this book does is remind you that you don’t feel that way at the time. The plot also kept throwing things at you along the journey and I found myself biting my lip in nervousness as I kept turning the page. Surely it couldn’t get any worse? Add in the on-going humour that Holly Smale adds to the story and you have a book that you simply wish could go on for longer and longer.
Harriet is a character that you can easily relate to. She pretends to be ill to get out of doing something she doesn’t want to do – and it goes horribly wrong – she has a best friend who has very different likes and dislikes, and she is a geek and proud of it – somewhat. I instantly connected with her and as the story moved along, I could really understand what she was going to. Naturally, of course, I was never picked up by a model agent when I was fifteen but the feeling of being excluded, bullied, and wanting to just change things are very universal feelings. Then there are her friends and her family, all of who are incredibly well-written with flaws all over the place. In a way, this is Harriet’s story, but in another it is also about all of them and I really enjoyed that about that story. Every character had their own little arcs and journeys to go through as well. And then there’s Nick but while I didn’t particularly relate to him, I could see why Harriet admired him so much. He was a great addition to the story.
Another thing I really enjoyed about this novel was the contemporary setting. I’ve been reading a lot of sci-fi, fantasy, dystopian novels recently and so it was really refreshing to be pulled back to Earth for a little while. It was easy to imagine the places that Harriet went to, even if I have never been to any of them before. And normally setting in contemporary novels isn’t as important as everything else but the setting place an important part in this book because of Harriet’s new career as a model. And I really feel that Holly Smale has done a perfect job at choosing the setting and writing what happens in each place. This was Holly’s debut novel and it is one that I am sure will give her many fans and make so many people want to read more of her work. She has a truly unique style, and just always manages to make you feel many emotions as you read the book. I, for one, am going to be keeping an eye on her work from now on.
It Is Time
Incase you weren’t sure yet, I completely loved this story. I was pulled into it and just kept turning the page. I was also on a train so when I had to get up and change to a different train, it took me a lot of effort to force myself to put the book down! It is a fun read, a nostalgic read, and one that really gets into the rich and raw emotions that we all associate with that age. Naturally, I’m reading this when I’m not a teen and I really feel that this is a book that younger readers and older readers will all like. It’s a universal story that just captures your attention and keeps you reading. Harriet is a great character that you can’t help but root for and keep an eye on throughout the entirety of the novel. So, if you still haven’t read Geek Girl yet, what are you waiting for? Don’t regret not reading it sooner like I did!