Feb 3, 2015

Review: Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Title: Geek Girl
Author: Holly Smale
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: 1.27.2015
Pages: 384
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Humor
Series: Geek Girl #1
Source: Finished copy from publisher

Rating: 3 ½ Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
Geek + runway = a hilarious runaway hit! This bestselling UK debut is full of humor and high-fashion hijinks—and now it’s coming to America.

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?

Geek Girl is the first book in a hilarious new trilogy. It was also the #1 bestselling YA debut of 2013 in the UK, where it was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for Best Book for Teens. With all the humor and fabulous shenanigans of Louise Rennison’s Confessions of Georgia Nicolson and Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries, Geek Girl is about to become an international superstar.

Finding out this book is a smash hit across the pond (where it’s set), both fascinated and worried me. Admittedly, GEEK GIRL sounds like fun. Something cute and light and relaxing. I was excited to read this and see why British readers are all about Holly Smalle.

Harriet is an odd duck. This is nothing new—she freely admits in in the beginning. In fact, the first chapter is an adorable glimpse into her always working brain where she explains why she’s a geek and owns it. That part I love—own your geek! But then it continues into the next chapter. And the next. And the—you get where I’m going with this? There are some hilarious moments that had me laughing out loud and Harriet is truly an endearing character.

I can see why teens love this book and why it’s such a hit over in England. I just worry it will have a hard time finding an audience in the US because there’s a lot of British humor, and it reads young. Yes, I realize I’m an adult reading young adult novels, but Harriet feels and sounds young. This isn’t a bad thing—she’s fresh and innocent and sweetly dorkish (the way I imagine I was at her age).

I hope younger readers will give this a go. Adult may want to be a bit wary of it because Harriet very much sounds like a teen (perhaps even a preteen). But there’s an inherent sweetness to this story I think will appeal to a wide range of readers. I would happily hand this off to my 13 year old cousin to read. 


  1. I agree with all of this. I enjoyed it but as an adult, Harriet was really hard to connect with. She felt really young. I think this is a book young readers could really love but the crossover appeal just isn't really there.

  2. I definitely want to read this one, just because I do love British slang and I'm all for a proud Geek Girl! (Plus, the cover is adorable!)


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