(From Geek to Chic): Geek Girl by Holly Smale

(From Geek to Chic): Geek Girl by Holly SmaleGeek Girl by Holly Smale
Series: Geek Girl #1
on February 28th 2014
Pages: 378
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?

Harriet Manners is not one the cool kids. Her propensity for reading a lot and habit of sprouting random facts has her labelled a geek. She’s bullied by the most popular girl in school, stalked by one of the oddest boys she knows but throughout it all she has her best friend Nat by her side. That is until despite all the odds – Harriet is spotted by a modelling agency and they want her to be the face of a famous fashion brand. Being a model has always been Nat’s dream and Harriet doesn’t want to upset her friend but this might be Harriet’s chance to be someone other than the Geek Girl everyone sees her as.

Geek Girl is one of those adorably sweet novels with moments which are ridiculously funny. Harriet is fifteen and knows she’s not quite like everyone else. She doesn’t care for fashion, thinks there’s nothing wrong with sprouting off odd little facts and finds herself hiding under furniture when she’s stressed. Her one friend Nat is almost her opposite in all ways but somehow they work together.  Harriet’s father is just as odd as she is with her stepmother Annabel being the stable force in their lives. It’s lovely to read a book where the main character has a good relationship with a step-parent and the dynamic between Harriet and Annabel was great.

Harriet’s experiences in the modelling world are amusing. She’s not the stereotypical model. Rather she’s more like a baby fawn tripping over her own feet and trying not to fall down. The colourful characters she meets are interesting and help to highlight the differences between Harriet’s geeky life and her new one as a model. The modelling world in this book feels slightly unrealistic especially considering the time line in which it all happens but I think the breakneck pace only serves to highlight how quickly Harriet got out of her depth. There is a slight romance in this book which was adorable but my favourite parts of the story would have to be the other relationships in Harriet’s life (especially her friendships and bonds with her parents).

Geek Girl is a lovely introduction to Harriet Manners’ life as both a geek and a model. This novel is a clean read perfect for as young as 11. It deals with everyday problems such as bullying, friendships and staying true to oneself. I will definitely be continuing with this series and look forward to more of Harriet’s modelling adventures.


  1. Wonderful review, Kate! Despite this being aimed at a younger audience (I think?), I really want to read it – I think it’s similar in style to the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series and The Misadventures of Tallulah Casey trilogy by Louise Rennison. 🙂

    • I’ve not read either of those series but Geek Girl is aimed at a slightly younger teen audience than a lot of the YA around the place. It’s the kind of book that would be perfect for 10 year olds and alike. It’s fun and rather sweet.
      I shall have to check out Georgia Nicolson and Tallulah Casey! Thanks Ebony 🙂

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