Book Review: Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Posted September 12, 2013 by Debby in Book Reviews

Book Review: Geek Girl by Holly SmaleGeek Girl by Holly Smale
Series: Geek Girl #1
Published by HarperCollins Children's Books on February 28th, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 378
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

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?

3 Stars

Geek Girl is one of those books that I pick up when I’m in a certain mood. It’s a light, fluffy contemporary with a certain escapism appeal. And in that sense, it’s so great to read – as long as I don’t start qualitatively analyzing it.

This book has a lot going for it. As a raging nerd and geek myself, I definitely connected with Harriet on many points. I think in a way that a lot of people don’t understand – and while I don’t collect random facts and spew them out all the time, it was definitely enjoyable to read from that point of view. Harriet is just amazingly awkward but in a very relatable and touching way. However, I must say, that toward the end of the book, her personality – the awkward exclamations of facts and the constant self-deprecation – got exhausting.

I desperately wanted her to grow, at least from the self-deprecation stuff. I mean, this girl is picked out of nowhere to be a model, swept into the modeling world, and is an instant sensation. Meanwhile, she will tell you every moment she gets that she is so ugly that it makes no sense why they picked her. I mean, a little self-doubt is understandable, particularly as a teenager. But it felt overdone here. She wouldn’t entertain the notion that maybe some people thought she was pretty for a second. And not only did that kind of make me lose respect for her, it also made me believe her. At the end of the book, I was just nodding going, “Yeah, I dunno why they picked you either. I mean, gosh. Ugly.”

Yeah, I don’t really care much for books that make me so rude.

I did, however, enjoy her budding romance with Nick. I thought they were adorable together, and though I suppose it leaned a little towards instalove, that actually didn’t bother me at all. Particular the end was just.. all the adorbs! I loved it! And that will probably have me picking up the sequel anyway.

The rest of the novel was more or less middle-of-the-road stuff. It was a nice pick-me-up, and it had some nice moments, like Harriet’s relationship with her stepmother, Annabeth, and her father and Annabeth’s relationship. However, there were also some moments that were completely exhausting: like Wilbur, the eccentric agent who picks up Harriet and all his *headdesk*-worthy nicknames. Also, Toby, the geek who openly stalks Harriet kind of freaked me the hell out when I really thought about his behavior. At first glance he was kind of cute-nerdy, but he really stalks Harriet, and she is perfectly okay with it. That’s just something I can’t really comprehend.

The plot was straightforward and unsurprisingly. Exactly what you would expect from such a contemporary escapism read. I could have done with less best friend drama and stuck up model drama, but I guess if you pick this book up, you’re probably someone who doesn’t mind that kind of thing.

Summing Up:

What can I say? No big surprises in this book. What you see is what you get. When you have nothing else to read and really just want something light and cute to pick you up, consider Geek Girl. It’s pretty fun. But don’t expect to be wowed. The romance may be its biggest selling point though, and that definitely has me curious for the sequel, Model Misfit. But it’s not really on the priority list.

GIF it to me straight!

Keyword: Awkward.

Recommended To:

Geeky readers in the mood for a light, pick-me-up read.

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14 responses to “Book Review: Geek Girl by Holly Smale

  1. This book was just such a feel-good story for me, and I'm glad you enjoyed it. The story itself is not that different, but I just thought Harriet was a lovely character. True, she could have been a little less insecure, which is something I noticed as well. I also wasn't a fan of the best friend drama (I WISH this part had been left out), but I loved the stuff with her family. I think it's funny you loved the romance most of all, while I didn't like it all that much. Somehow romance in middle grade novels feels awkward to me most of the times. (Except with PERCY AND ANNABETH. Which is middle grade. Shut up, movie.) But maybe I'll start to like it in the sequel….. 🙂
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  2. Jenna @ Rather Be Reading YA

    I don't think this is going to be the book for me. It sounds good on the surface, but I hate it when people are so negative, and it sounds like the self-deprecation might be too much for me.

  3. Pretty people who say they're ugly? Eh…I dunno if I could cope with that lol but it does sound like a cute book for when you don't want to think too much. I'll keep it in the maybe pile 🙂 Great review!

  4. Although the self deprecating main character does sound a bit annoying, this sounds like quite a fun read! I really like this geek aspect of the novel! Not often you have a geeky main character. Also, while it does seem quite cliched and predictable, sometimes you're just in the mood for a fluffy contemporary, ya know?
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  5. Bah, Harriet just irked me. The more I think back on it, the worse it gets x_x but ooooooh welllllll you don't read a book like this for a strong female character. I dunno if I'll get to the sequel ever but maybe.

    Pfft, romance in middle grade is sometimes better than YA for me.. because it's less complicated. And less likely to be instalove. It's just cute. Adorbs. So yeah!

  6. True, I like reading about geeky characters like this, so that's what attracted me as well, and that part was pretty fun. And I definitely know what you mean 🙂 books like these usually get read when I also watch Disney Channel movies and such xD

  7. Ehh, I didn't mind her showing off her knowledge that much, to be honest, because I felt like that was an understandable quirk. It was funny, yeah. I'll probably pick up the second book when I'm in a similar mood.