Book Review: ‘Model Misfit’ by Holly Smale

October 29, 2015     Holly     Reviews

Book Review: ‘Model Misfit’ by Holly SmaleModel Misfit by Holly Smale
Series: Geek Girl #2
Published by HarperCollins Children's Books on September 26, 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Humor
Pages: 356
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
5 Stars

“My name is Harriet Manners, and I am still a geek.”

Harriet knows that modelling won’t transform you. She knows that being as uniquely odd as a polar bear isn’t necessarily a bad thing (even in a rainforest). And that the average person eats a ton of food a year, though her pregnant stepmother is doing her best to beat this.

What Harriet doesn’t know is where she’s going to fit in once the new baby arrives.

With summer plans ruined, modelling in Japan seems the perfect chance to get as far away from home as possible. But nothing can prepare Harriet for the craziness of Tokyo, her competitive model flatmates and her errant grandmother’s ‘chaperoning’. Or seeing gorgeous Nick everywhere she goes.

Because, this time, Harriet knows what a broken heart feels like.

Can geek girl find her place on the other side of the world or is Harriet lost for good?

Model Misfit by Holly Smale is everything the sequel to Geek Girl should be and more.

And I’m totally not saying that because Smale and I share the same name, or because “baby, baby panda” is still my favorite thing to call everyone and everything, but because it brought all of the important elements that made Geek Girl such an amazing read in the first place back, and expanded on them.

As much as I adored Harriet in the first novel for all of her awkwardness and bravery and intelligence, I came to respect her so much more as a character in Model Misfit. I enjoyed watching Harriet grow as a person throughout her time in Japan, and despite her many hiccups and catastrophes, I think she did a good job of learning what it means to truly be mature versus simply thinking you are. And despite some seriously harsh judgements that Harriet receives during her time in Japan, I like that she still sees herself as perfectly acceptable in the end. It’s what makes her Harriet.

But no matter how much Harriet brings to the table as far as self-discovery and growth, her shining quality in Model Misfit is still her humor. Intentional or otherwise, I can still relate to ever awkward moment and clumsy mistake that she makes, model or not, and that makes her funny and charming in her own geeky way. Smale struck gold when she created Harriet Manners, and its very obvious that she’s not going to let any octopus mishap or cockroach invader go to waste. And Harriet’s consistent list-making and aggravation over plans gone awry aren’t missing from Model Misfit either, which are some of my favorite parts.

And yes, yes, Nick is still very present. I actually really enjoyed the part he played in Model Misfit this time around, much more so than in Geek Girl. Yay for Nick. But the return of Wilbur the Wonderful, and the introduction of Harriet’s grandmother also add to the beauty that is this second novel, and I can’t wait to continue my adventure with Harriet with the next book!

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