“My name is Harriet Manners, and I am a geek.
I know I’m a geek because I’ve just looked it up in the Oxford English Dictionary. I drew a little tick next to all the symptoms I recognise, and I appear to have them all.”
Harriet Manners knows a lot of things, she knows that cats have 32 muscles in each ear, that the average person laughs 15 times a day and bats always turn left when they exit a cave. But there are many things Harriet doesn’t know like why no one at school, other than her best friend Nat, likes her and she doesn’t know anything about fashion. With no interest in it she is not impressed when Nat – wannabe model – drags her the to The Clothes Show Live in Birmingham, and very confused when a top model agency scouts her. Harriet is worried about what effect this will have on the people around her, especially Nat, but this is the chance to reinvent herself and perhaps become more than just a geek?
With vast similarities to Sophia Bennett’s The Look, which I loved, Geek Girl had to pull something special out of the bag for me to really be impressed by it. Geek Girl had to be unique, funny and witty, with twists and turns in the storyline to make it unpredictable and, most importantly, not have a cheesy ending. Thankfully this book ticked all of these boxes and I have stepped away from it loving every single page.
Harriet has to be one of the most realistic, lovely, hilarious characters that I have ever come across. She is so awkward and so geeky that I’m impressed she came across as real as she did, she’s not your stereotypical beauty so the scouting is a bit of a shock to her but you know that she is pretty in a not bothered about looks kinda way, which is the best way to be. It is so easy to relate to Harriet if you are a bit geeky and for those who aren’t, Nat is a great secondary character who will easily be relatable for those readers. I loved their relationship and it reminded me of a lot of relationships I saw around my own high school – all those years ago! I also loved Harriet’s parents and how much they reminded me of some many couples I have come across, even the one I’m part of! There was a good set up for Harriet and that’s something that is sometimes missing for YA so I enjoyed it a lot.
There are messages underlying the whole story and to be honest they aren’t so subtle. This book teaches readers, in a fun and entertaining way, the problems with lying, to be who you want to be, to be there for the people you love and to stop and check out the world around you once in a while. I loved it because these messages were done in such a way that it didn’t matter they were a bit in your face because they didn’t feel forced, they were simply part of the story.
Geek Girl only had one downside for me and that’s that one of the big ‘reveals’ was obvious to me from close to the start. I knew something was going to happen and when it finally did around 300 pages in I was kinda like ‘duh’ but I think that might be something to do with my age and how much I know about a certain thing so it may not be as obvious for other, younger, readers.
With its wit, humour and an element of romance I really would recommend Geek Girl to any teenager, geek or not this book is well worth a read and I’d be surprised if it disappointed anyone! Definite props too for the fact Harriet wants to be a palaeontologist – any girl who likes dinosaurs is top of my list of cool people!
Geek Girl will be published on February 28th by Harper Collins. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, please note that the above quote is taken from the proof and may differ slightly from the final text.
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