My first thoughts after finishing Geek Girl…I had none. I had no idea what to expect going into this book and with not having read anything by Holly Smale I had no expectation on what it should be like and couldn’t build it up, no clear thoughts about it, all I knew was that I loved it, that I had read it sooner, and that it ended too soon for my liking.
Geek Girl was a quick read, not because it only had a few pages, 378 pages to be exact, but because I devoured it. I have never read a book so fast before, and not just because I wanted to get to my next book, but because I was so hooked. I could not put it down. It’s the story of 15-year-old Harriet Manners who goes from milquetoast to model in 60 seconds. You see, Harriet is a certified geek. She knows this because she looked it up in the Oxford English Dictionary sitting on her bedside table. Harriet has one friend, the one who has a dream to be a fashion model since she was a child, Nat and a boy who’s Harriet certified stalker aka geekier than her, Toby, and everybody hates her, yes! You read it right… everybody… But I couldn’t possibly understand why Harriet’s sparkling personality shines through from the very first page – and I was hooked.
She is the perfect example of a Geek Girl, but being so perfect means she gets taunted a lot, and I did feel sorry for what she deals with. I liked her best friend Nat, and while I don’t agree with what transpires when she finds out about Harriet’s modelling, I did cheer for how she stands up for Harriet against a bully.
This novel shows the reader that people with intelligence, someone who is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic or obsessive about a specific subject especially when they are teenagers, can sometimes fall subject to bullying, as Harriet discovers when archnemesis Alexa Roberts cruelly humiliates her in class. That is why she have decided to go to Russia to pursue a career in modelling the answer to all of popularity-challenged Harriet’s problems.
I don’t want to say too much about the plot as you need to experience it yourself. There are lots of characters that stand out for me, Wilbur, Nick, the Dad and Annabel and of course Harriet. They make the story unique in its own way and I looked forward to reading what they would do or say next.
Holly Smale has done a great job at drawing the reader in and not letting them go and I for one will be keeping my eye open for future books by Holly Smale. Geek Girl is extremely exaggerated, dramatic, and extreme -although not entirely unrealistic as it is partly based on the author’s own childhood, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It’s home to a host of articulate, well-constructed characters and is sure to delight geeks and nerd- fighters alike.
You would never have guessed that Geek Girl is Holly Smale’s debut novel, honestly. Smale’s writing is so smooth and compelling. The story and characters were fresh, and exciting and I really can’t wait for you guys to read it and love it like I did.
“You need to stop caring what people who don’t matter think of you. Be who you are and let everybody else be who they are. Differences are a good thing.”
4 out of 5 stars