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Geek Girl: Picture Perfect – Holly Smale

Geek Girl: Picture Perfect - Holly Smale“My name is Harriet Manners, and I am a girlfriend. 

I know I’m a girlfriend because I can’t stop beaming. Apparently the average girl smiles sixty-two times a day, so I must be statistically stealing somebody else’s happiness. I’m grinning every thirty or forty seconds, minimum.” 

Harriet is all set for the start of her year at sixth form, she just needs to pass her GCSEs, have the best 16th birthday and see her boyfriend to carry out the Most Romantic Summer Ever. However Harriet doesn’t allow for changes in her plan – like the fact that her fantastic GCSE results are marred by her worst enemy getting hold her top-secret diary, her family moving her half way across the world and her boyfriend turning out to be one of the least romantic people ever. She doesn’t know how to cope with her family moving to New York and she certainly doesn’t know how to handle the model scene in the Big Apple, but most of all she doesn’t know what to do about Nick, and the lack of big romantic gestures. As Harriet’s all-knowing world does a flip turn, she wonders if its possible to go too far to fix things? 

***

Geek Girl has been, and continues to be, a massive success, and its easy to see why. It’s quick and easy to read, it creates a fun world to immerse yourself in for a few hours and it provides younger teens with a fun escapism from their lives!

I loved the first two books in this series and definitely had high hopes for the third. These hopes were definitely reached, but I do think it was probably the weakest book in the series so far unfortunately. I loved the idea of the story and how much it showed about this time in a girls life, how an upheaval can create such a mess and how much you need to be honest with your family and love them for who they are. However I thought Harriet went too far and I didn’t get on with her character in Picture Perfect as much as I have done in the past!

The romance element of Picture Perfect was actually done really well, and thats coming from someone who doesn’t like romance much! I loved that there was that uncertainty from Harriet about Nicks feelings towards here because those emotions are completely viable in that situation, no matter what age you are! You can be 35 and if you don’t see your boyfriend much and he doesn’t share many romantic gestures, there will be times when you think ‘Hang on, does he actually love me?’ And I loved the outcome of that sub-plot and the fact that the two characters were actually pretty damn mature about everything!

Other than that though Harriet was quite possibly the most immature I have ever seen her in this book – and that takes into account the hiding under the table in the very first book! I didn’t like her and what was going on with her and whilst I understood the outcome of her actions I still think that they weren’t exactly good for the reader. I think that there should have been more depth and not as much sweeping under the carpet as there was, but thats just my opinion.

The thing I really have loved about Geek Girl is Harriet’s ability to still be herself in the books, despite the catwalks and the crazy modelling, and in this book I thought she lost herself a lot. She realises this too but I think because there was no real facts and figures in the book and Harriet was second-guessing her academic ability, despite always being so positive, I didn’t like it as much. There could have still be second-guessing without the complete lack of fact revealing that she had going on in the other books, and too much focus was put on the world of modelling and being a bitch to her family than anything else. I just didn’t like her in this book at all and it really put a dampener on things for me.

I hate that I didn’t like this book as much as the others and my review is coming across so negatively. I still enjoyed Picture Perfect for its story and its outcomes, especially – as I’ve mentioned – the romantic element of the book, and I wouldn’t want to put anyone off reading it. I just think it is the weakest of the three books so far and I really hope that book 4 – All That Glitters – is an improvement. This won’t put me off finding out either!

Picture Perfect is the third in the Geek Girl series and was first published in 2014 by Harper Collins Children’s books. My copy was purchased at a local store.
 
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