I'm not one to deny that I am, and have been called in all the variations of the word, an utter geek. I mean, my whole life evolves around books and one of my favourite past times is finding out the scandals and deaths of important Tudor and German Reformation people (FACT: Martin Luther, aka the guy who created Protestantism, was related to Von Hindenburg - the President of Germany when Hitler was Chancellor!).
So picking up this book, after encouragement from some people on Twitter, left me waiting and embracing Harriet's geekiness - I love books like this!
Synopsis: Harriet knows a lot of things. Yet she can't quite understand why the people at her school dislike her so much. So when she is spotted by a modelling agency, she grabs the opportunity to reinvent herself, despite also stealing her best friend's dream and humiliating herself in front of the ever so lovely Nick in the process. It also means lying to a whole bunch of people that matter to Harriet's life. As Harriet tries to convert herself into suiting the fashion world, she realises the fashion world doesn't seem to like her any more than the real world.
Review: I'm pretty sure nearly everyone (perhaps not people that are just too gorgeous like Kate Moss or Taylor Swift and yes, Taylor Swift ALWAYS looks good) has liked the idea of reinventing themselves with an extra touch of lipstick, a dress that you would never normally wear or just simply acting in a different way in a bid to fit in. I'm 100% sure I have, and probably still do.
It is this idea that EVERYONE has experienced that Holly Smale uses to create the magical, hilarious and lovely character of Harriet Manners who was honestly a breath of fresh air from some of the characters that are coped time and time again, always caught in the same love triangle with the same type of people. It's good...but it gets boring.
GEEK GIRL is not boring by far, with event after event happening to Harriet with a mixture of results that make this book so compelling and slightly addictive to read. I mostly picked this book up because I was attracted to the idea of a protagonist that was a) English but not like 'Oh pass me the pot of tea, daaarling' because like no-one in England speaks like that, except perhaps me; b) NOT the most popular kid in school and was a geek and PROUD which I can totally sympathise to; and c) is completely relatable to me who blogs, been called a nerd/geek/neek on several occasions and likes the idea of reinventing oneself.
However, I ended this book still loving the whole array of characters, especially Harriet, but also the writing and plot that kept we reading until the early hours of the morning. Harriet is one special character.
On the subject of Harriet, I loved the mixture of teenage angst and sarcasm that comes across on the page that really makes this an interesting read. Harriet's narration about the fashion world, her hilarious adventures and just whenever she said 'Sugar cookies' made this a lovely, funny, little read, perfect for a beach read or as a light relief on a journey. A reader doesn't read this for the literacy uses of a metaphor but as one of those fluffy, light reads which you just relax into reading - a perfect read when I had a bit of a stressful week.
If I could criticise this book in any way, I did feel that the other characters could be developed a little bit more, like Nick and Nat who are key to the story, especially Nick, but I felt they weren't given much page time. Oh and at the beginning I DID NOT like Annabel - so mean! I also felt the story at times got a little bit TOO fluffy, although as soon as Harriet said 'sugar cookies', I was engrossed once again in the story. For those that don't know much about the fashion world, this novel certainly gives you a sense of the rush and pressure of this unknown world. Harriet lives many people's dreams, not only Nat's, yet this book shows that comes at a price.
I came away from this book having a little bit more self-confidence in some ways. I learn that we shouldn't try to change ourselves so drastically as Harriet imagines because sometimes being ourselves is what people prefer; I also learnt that the fashion world is dangerous, we shouldn't lie to the people we love, no-one wants a crazy stalker like Toby and finally, everyone needs someone like Wilbur in their life, for sure.
Harriet is the perfect symbol to teenagers, including myself, that you shouldn't hide your geekiness away from the outside world. Sometimes being a geek is one of the best things to be.
Thank you to HarperCollins and Netgalley for allowing me to review this book!
I give it a 4 out of 5
Author's Website: https://twitter.com/HolSmale
GEEK GIRL is released on 28th February 2013 in the UK