[Review] Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Geek Girl

(Geek Girl #1)

Author: Holly Smale
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
Publication Date: February 28th, 2013
Pages: 378 (Paperback)
Genre: YA – Contemporary
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?


Geek Girl was a really fun escape from all of my exhausting school work. It made me laugh a few times thanks to the main character’s unique and somewhat snarky voice!

Harriet is a geek and nobody likes her, except her one and only best friend, Nat. Nat has dreamed of becoming a model since she was a child but unexpectedly, it’s Harriet who got discovered by a model agent at the mall. Harriet is hesitant to accept the offer at first because she doesn’t want to hurt Nat’s feeling but eventually she agrees as she believes that modeling can change her life and make people stop hating her.

Concept-wise, it isn’t that original, honestly. Unpopular girl wants to change and be popular and eventually she gets an unbelievably hot guy who likes her. Basically, the impossible finally becomes possible. Hence, the predictability of the plot – I could guess correctly every single twist in this book.

However, it was Harriet’s unique and hilarious voice that got me interested until the last page. Although the narration was really funny and occasionally it’s more like telling than showing, it managed to have some depths at certain parts – you just can feel Harriet’s emotions. The writing makes you easier to sympathize with Harriet while staying light and fun. And Harriet likes to throw random, surprisingly true facts most of the time. I did learn some cool stuff from this book, but sometimes Harriet attempts of lightening the situation came across as showing off to me. Like, for example:

“No cat eyes? Doesn’t Yuka know it’s all about cat eyes this season?”

The other woman shrugs. “Prada have just done it so it’s officially over already.”

“You know,” I say, clearing my throat and try to look as casual as possible, “cats’ eyes have a mirror-like membrane on the back to maximise light exposure. That’s why they shine in the dark.”

The two ladies look at me. “That’s… nice.”

“And on the subject of fashion,” I add quickly, mentally trawling through the research I did last night, “did you know that in the eighteenth century it was very hip to stick on eyebrows made out of mice skin?”

They gaze at me in silence.

“Also,” I add, determined to keep going until they’re impressed, “did you know that there are buttons on coat sleeves because Napoleon ordered them to stop his soldiers wiping their noses on their jackets?”

(page 197)

Okay, enough example. Do you get what I mean? Maybe it was made that way to show Harriet’s geekiness and social-awkwardness but no, sometimes those random facts made Harriet sound like “Hey, I know everything and you don’t so please like me”. Though I must add that they did work on certain parts and managed to make me laugh lots of times.

Anyways, I assume younger teenagers would be in love with this book and resonate with Harriet well. It wasn’t mindblowing and more like a decent book overall, but if you’re looking for a break from all the heavy reads and hectic real life, this is the right book in my opinion!

18 thoughts on “[Review] Geek Girl by Holly Smale”

  1. Great review!
    I tried reading this book but I had so many other amazing books that were at the top of my priority list. But I still think that I will read it eventually as you said it was incredibly funny. I agree that it isn’t original but it’s such a nice break from all the heavy stuff.
    Always look forward to your reviews!

  2. This sounds light and fun but it doesn’t sound like something I would want to read. It just sounds unoriginal is all. From your quote, I didn’t like how Harriet sounded. It sounds like she’s bragging, (excuse my language), like in a I-know-shit-and-you-don’t kind of way. I don’t like those kind of people and they rub on me the wrong way. Great review though Kezia 🙂

  3. I’ve had this on my TBR for a while so I’m so glad you enjoyed it and it was fun and light 🙂 Harriet does sound very awkward and nerdy and I can relate to that, I feel like I’m really going to enjoy this one! Thanks for the great review Kezia!

  4. It’s a shame the storyline was quite cliché! I hope I’m able to overlook that when I’m reading it – which will be soon! *squeals*

    There’s a few people in my school who act like know-it-alls all the time and it’s really tiresome. So I hope I don’t find Harriet annoying!

    Thanks for the great and honest review! 😀

    1. Meh…there’s nothing really new with the plot. But I had fun reading it! It was just the kind of book you can’t help but enjoy despite all the negatives 😛 I hope you’ll like her more than I did!

    1. Yes, in fact I think I first heard about this book thanks to your review! 😀 I don’t read many MG books though :/ except PJO! I found most of them boring but I guess I just need to find the right MG book!

    1. Thank you! 😀 it’s so cool that you got the badge! I wanna read the second book too! Although I thought this was decent…I liked it enough that I want to continue the series 😀 but I must say the cover is…ridiculous x_x

  5. Ehhh, haven’t really thought about this one very much. It does look like a fun, light-hearted read, and would probably check it out when it’s raining outside or something =P But yeah, unsure atm… Awesome review, though!

    1. It’s reasonable to be unsure… It does sound too cliche and predictable, especially if you have read many books you’ll notice the flaws even more but If you try it with open mind… It might actually work! 🙂 Thank you, Faye!

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