Sunday, March 3, 2013

Geek Girl, by Holly Smale

Barnes & Noble (unavailable)

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?

This was a cute book. Not terribly realistic, but I was able to suspend belief for a little while. It was mostly stereotypical and formulaic, like the total opposite best friends -- the average-looking geek who hates shopping and the knock-out gorgeous BFF who thinks of nothing else. Real life people aren't pigeonholed into one interest; geeks, for example, enjoy activities other than academic pursuits. And have more than one friend.

I do love how Harriet needs to be in control of events at all times. Like her, I love my plans and my lists.

The first thing any good metamorphosis needs is a plan. A nice, well thought out, structured, considered and firm plan.

There were a couple of grammatical errors, most notably "amount of arguments" instead of "number of arguments." I see this one A LOT, so it wasn't terribly surprising, but it still got on my nerves. A good editor really should have caught that, especially since the character goes on to say that she corrects others' grammar just a few paragraphs later.

I didn't like the constant use of italics. It messed up the flow of the story, as I tried to read it in the author's voice, rather than the character's. 

I would recommend this book for middle grade readers.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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