Book Review: Geek Girl

I wasn’t supposed to buy any books this week. I told myself this. My logical overseer had a very civil talk with the mischievous imp that sometimes lives inside of me.

LO: Erin. Listen. You are a broke college kid who routinely goes over budget. No books.

MI: But–

LO: No. No arguments. No books.

MI: No books?

LO: Yes. No books.

MI: Yes books?

LO: No. No books. You are not to buy any books.

MI: I see. I see…buy books.

LO: NO. LISTEN, you will not buy ANY books until at least after your essays are turned in, is that clear? And while you’re at it, start writing those essays. And clear your desk off. And stop eating dessert for breakfast.

MI: *sigh*

With that important conversation over, a very chastened me had to go to the bookshop just to, you know, cheer myself up, and then I just  happened to see the Night Circus which was buy one get one half off, and I got so excited that I lost all monetary reasoning, and clearly this is not my fault, and I FEEL NO REMORSE, alright?!

Where was I? Oh, yes. So anyways, I bought Night Circus and because Geek Girl was also buy one get one half off I bought that too. In this case, two wrongs might just make a right

Book: Geek Girl 

Author: Holly Smale

Goodreads Score: 3.88 

My Score: 4.0 

Genre: YA contemporary 

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Harriet Manners 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. She knows that bats always turn left when exiting a cave and that peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite. 

But she doesn’t know why nobody at school seems to like her.

So when Harriet is spotted by a top model agent, she 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 impossibly handsome model Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves.

Veering from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, Harriet begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn’t seem to like her any more than the real world did.

As her old life starts to fall apart, will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?

(Taken from Amazon)

I really don’t know what’s been up with me, but for some reason I’ve been on a row with YA contemporary lately, even though I usually find myself gravitating toward the YA science-fiction and fantasy and all that stuff. I’m loving it, too, even if I do sometimes expect daring sword fights to break out in the next chapter… Geek Girl, however, differs from my recent YA picks because it’s neither sad, soul-searching, or emotionally wrenching. Instead, Geek Girl is a fun, fast read from page one–the kind of book you read with chocolate and a blanket when you’re feeling sad. Yes, it deals with some weightier issues such as bullying (what is Alexa’s problem anyways? Much like how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie-pop, the world may never know), family drama, and the like, but it’s the kind of book where you know that everything’ll turn out right in the end.

As for plot? Well, the modeling world as portrayed in literature can make for a fascinating and fun read, but what really enticed me into buying the book was simply the author, Holly Smale’s, voice. Harriet Manner may be clueless at times, but she’s endearing throughout and I loved reading all the quirky fun facts she intersperses throughout the book (like the true origin of the word ‘geek’…but I’ll leave that for you to find out).

That said, while Geek Girl was fun and fluffy, the basic premise of the book (nerdy girl transforms herself inside and out) has been done many times before, and Holly Smale didn’t deviate much from the standard, ensuing that most plot lines were resolved as soon as they popped up. The characters themselves often fell into categories that felt constrictive. Arch enemy Alexa is mean girl bully because she is mean girl bully. I also found Harriet, no matter how endearing, frustrating at times–especially since she seems to dramatize things just so that the book can have a plot.

Finally, the romance?

Well, the first meeting between Nick and Harriet was great:

“Do you often hide under furniture?”

“I don’t make a habit of it. Do you?”

“All the time.”

But it felt rushed towards the end and fourth-of-july corny. (Cuz of all the corn on the cob? Get it? No? Well, it’s late.) I’m also nervous to see how the romance will progress in the next couple of books, as, honestly, the two didn’t spend all that much time together in the first.

Of course, maybe some of the corniness and other gripes will be lost on the age group that this book is aimed at. Although I certainly enjoyed it and am planning on reading the sequel, I’d say that Geek Girl is probably marketed at middle grade. To sum up my feelings on the book, at its best, Geek Girl is a novel brimming with laughs, excitement, and fun. At its worst, it’s stereotypical and cliche. However, as quick of a read as it is, the latter two are minimum risks for you to take on the book, especially when you’re feeling down.

Have you read Geek Girl? What did you think about it? Have any books to recommend? Let me know in the comments below! 

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