Title: Geek Girl
Author: Holly Smale
Series: Geek Girl
Recommended for: 6th grade and up
Call Number/Link: Teen Fiction Smale, H
Synopsis: Harriet Manners is tired of being labeled a geek. So when she’s discovered by a modeling agent, she seizes the chance to reinvent herself. There’s only one problem: Harriet is the definition of awkward. Does she have what it takes to transform from geek to chic?
So, this is one of that books that you have to suspend belief a little. I mean, really, how often does a girl who knows nothing about fashion, photography, or the like really get discovered? Not to mention, she gets discovered because she knocks over a whole aisle of booths. If you can ignore that, Geek Girl is fun book with a lot of heart. I love, love, love her relationship with her step-mom, Anabel. While she doesn’t call her mom, she’s truly the only mom she’s ever known. And I love how she discovers that one of the places she goes to feel safe started because of Anabel. It’s a sweet scene/memory and truly shows how Anabel is kind of the safety net/person who makes sure all things go okay of the family.
There are a couple of problematic things. I hate how one boy, Tobi, is called a stalker over and over again. He truly does act like one, too, making notes about Harriet, where’s she been, and watching her behind trees. I hate how these facts/actions are just brushed off as if it’s no big deal. I also didn’t like the nick name “lion boy” she gave to Nick. He’s given this exotic/fantasy feel and serves as a boy that Harriet can crush on and not much more. There’s very little page time or depth to him. I would have loved to see more done with his character. He had this charm/sense of humor/chemistry with Harriet that could have been great.
I know a 384 paged book isn’t what we’d normally consider a reluctant reader book, but I’m going to say it is anyways. It has super short chapters (usually 5 or 6 pages) that make the book fly by super fast. Plus, the short chapters make it easy to pick up and put down when needed. For those who like the geek to chic make-over stories ala Princess Diaries, this would be a great one to hand them. Also, great for those tweens who want to read YA, but aren’t ready for some of the heavier stuff.
How to sell/quick spiel/book talk: Harriet Manners is the definition of geek girl. She doesn’t care at all about fashion and instead fills her time doing math or memorizing little, annoying facts. However, when she’s spotted by a model agency during a school trip everything starts to change. Signed and booked for a big campaign shooting in Russia, it looks like things could finally be on an upward swing for Harriet as she’s transformed from geek to chic. Will this be her chance to make her dreams to come true or will she find nothing is quite what she hoped it would be?