Book Review: ‘Geek Girl’ by Holly Smale

July 15, 2015     Holly     Reviews

Book Review: ‘Geek Girl’ by Holly SmaleGeek Girl by Holly Smale
Series: Geek Girl #1
Published by HarperTeen on January 27, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Humor
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
5 Stars

Geek + runway = a hilarious runaway hit! This bestselling UK debut is full of humor and high-fashion hijinks—and now it’s coming to America. Harriet Manners is tired of being labeled a geek. So when she’s discovered by a modeling agent, she seizes the chance to reinvent herself. There’s only one problem: Harriet is the definition of awkward. Does she have what it takes to transform from geek to chic? Geek Girl is the first book in a hilarious new trilogy. It was also the #1 bestselling YA debut of 2013 in the UK, where it was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for Best Book for Teens. With all the humor and fabulous shenanigans of Louise Rennison’s Confessions of Georgia Nicolson and Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries, Geek Girl is about to become an international superstar.

I judged a book by its cover. And in this case, it totally paid off because Geek Girl by Holly Smale was one of the funniest, wittiest, and most enjoyable reads I’ve had this summer. From the characters, to the plot and various complications, I just wanted to wrap my arms around the entirety of Geek Girl‘s world and smush it until everything squeezed out of the pages and fell onto the floor as real and awesomely adorable new pets. (Mainly because this novel inspired me to start calling everyone and everything a “baby, baby panda.”)

Now that my gushing is over, let me explain why Geek Girl has me all sorts of happy.

For one, I adored Harriet from the moment she was introduced on the first page. I loved her random facts and her lists. I loved her need for plans and charts. I connected with her on a deep, emotional level every time she hid under a table because tables make the best hiding places. There was just something about Harriet’s level of awkwardness mixed in with her smarts and innocence that just totally made me want to be her best friend for the rest of time. Maybe because I could see a bit of myself in her, as I’m sure many readers can.

And Harriet’s not the only character to adore. Her dad is equal parts fatherly and flighty, with some of the best lines in the novel. He would totally get the “Book Father of the Year” award, if there’s such a thing. Annabel, Harriet’s stepmother, is also a gem all her own. She can be just as sassy and comical as her familial counterparts, but her serious ways also make her the rock that seems to hold the whole novel together. But mainly, I love Wilbur, Harriet’s outlandish and lovable agent. All he had to utter was “baby, baby panda” one time and I was his fan forever. Seriously, let’s just give Wilbur his own series of books now and call it a day, okay?

But beyond the characters and the humor, Geek Girl is about finding self-acceptance, overcoming struggles, realizing that your more than what bullies say you are, and deciding that you’re perfect just by simply being you. Harriet does all of these things, and I think that makes her a pretty epic role model, real or not. It’s nice to see that kind of heroism in someone who isn’t in a dystopian novel or epic fantasy plot.

And yes, yes, for those of you who must know, Geek Girl does have a cute model boyAnd as helpful as Nick is, he’s not the important part of Harriet’s story. Nor should he be.

So seriously, pick up a copy of Geek Girl, laugh at all of the appropriate times, and enjoy a simple, fun summer read.

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