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?
I don't care if this intended for ages 11+, I absolutely adored this book. So much!
It's definitely getting a 5 star rating from me. As soon as I closed the book, I desperately wanted to go out and get book two but I have to wait until tomorrow. Fantastic!
I'll start with the characters. Harriet Manners. Let's just say, for a smart girl (or a geek), she doesn't use her head a lot when it comes to certain situations. How they kept her on to be a model is beyond me but I guess she makes for good publicity with her embarrassing ways. She never thinks before she talks, she does what she wants to do (although she's signed a contact), she lies to her loved one's because she feel's like she'll hurt them and listens to her bullies. No, Harriet. But I do love a realistic and flawed character. She's just like us!
And she does know some good useless facts. That's me, I know facts that I won't need in everyday life. I loved this girl though, she was a very interesting, quirky, down to earth and funny girl, she's a great protagonist and I really enjoyed learning about every aspect of her life. Holly Smale has a great way with words, it's all written so easily that you fly through this book and you look to see where you're at and you see that you've only got a few pages left. Harriet certainly kept me entertained! Great character. I can't wait to see how she gets on in book two.
I also loved the secondary characters. I have a big love for Harriet's dad. My goodness, he was so funny! I love that Holly put her own sense of humour into her characters, I can't not love any of them at all. Her was an idiot but it really fitted into the story, he wasn't a ridiculous yet entertaining idiot. I think he's great (why is my dad not like him?). I also really enjoyed Toby, he's not in the story a huge amount but when he is, you certainly know of his presence. He's hilarious. Harriet's stalker and hopefully new friend.
Of course the book has to have the best friend called Natalie. My name always seems to be either a villain/bully or the best friend (whose either a slut or the protagonist has some kind of falling out with) and that's what happened in this one. They were great friends though, I enjoyed their banter.
And when there's a Natalie, there's an Alex/Alexandra/Alexa character. She's the bully in this one and I just...I can't actually get over that people are actually like this in real life. She was nasty. She even threw banana's at Harriet. Not on, Alexa. People in my school were never this nasty (although I'm not sure if that has anything to do with my brother at the school, he was 6'5" and quite known at my school. Thanks bro for keeping me safe!)
Wilbur is a darling! His pet names made me laugh every single time. The names were getting sillier and sillier, but it was hilarious. I'd love to know someone like that,. I also think that Holly got the 'fashion icon' Yuka and the model's attitude's down to a tee. very realistic. I bet that's what they're really like in the fashion world.
I love the settings. The book begins in the UK. How refreshing! So all the characters are british, which is nice for me. Harriet and her father are off to Moscow in Russia mid-way into the book and I thought that was an amazing and beautiful place to set some of the story. I'm so envious! (One of the places I really want to go to)
As I said before, it was so easy to breeze through this, the pacing was great, I enjoyed the inside eye to the fashion world and what it must really be like to delve into something like that. This certainly teaches you about confidence, and modelling may sound like fun but Harriet really does prove that it's not all what it cracks up to be. It's fine to be a regular person. And to never lie to your loved one's. They only want what's best for you.
If I'd read this before the post, I would of included this into the 'Top Summer Reads' because this one would be great to put into your beach bag. Don't let that it's for 11+ put you off because it's a really great story! It'll certainly put a smile on your face as it did mine. It cheered me up after a long and horrible day at work so it was definitely worth the money and the read.
Before I went into this story, I'd read that the author also did modelling at a young age and it made me think that this story is some kind of life experience that she's telling and I love that, we get real, truthful information about what it's like to do this type of thing.
Overall, an adorable, fun, hilarious and enjoyable read for anyone! I'm certainly adding this one to my favourites. Now, off to the bookshop for book two!
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book 1: GEEK GIRL
book 2: MODEL MISFIT
book 3: PICTURE PERFECT
BOOK REVIEW: GEEK GIRL BY HOLLY SMALE
4/ 5Oleh The Honest Bookclub