I’m going to a Geek Girl party this weekend, in which I’ll be surrounded by many of my fellow UK book blogging friends, participating in a ‘geek quiz’, playing ping pong, and nibbling on snacks. As I don’t particularly enjoy the slightly awkward feeling of attending a book event without having read the book (it feels a bit fraudulent), I decided to pick up Geek Girl. And I’m rather glad I did.
Geek Girl is a fun, quirky roller-coaster I didn’t see coming. A super quick read, it’s the story of 15-year-old Harriet Manners who goes from milquetoast to model in 60 seconds. You see, Harriet is a certified geek. She knows this because she looked it up in the Oxford English Dictionary sitting on her bedside table. Harriet has one friend (fashionista Nat) and one stalker (even geekier Toby), and everybody hates her. But I couldn’t possibly understand why: Harriet’s sparkling personality shines through from the very first page – I was hooked.
Geek Girl shows us, if we didn’t already know, that people with intelligence and ‘unironic enthusiasm’ (see: John Green), unfortunately, especially when they are teenagers, can sometimes fall subject to bullying, as Harriet discovers when archnemesis Alexa Roberts cruelly humiliates her in class. But is heading off to Russia to pursue a career in modelling the answer to all of popularity-challenged Harriet’s problems?
Aside from our protagonist, Geek Girl is full of wonderful and witty characters, a mix of the eccentric in Ugly Betty and smart and quick-witted in Gilmore Girls. From Annabell, Harriet’s pinstripe suit-wearing stepmother and childish, overly enthusiastic father, to her wild fashion agent with a talent for turning any phrase into a charming nickname (How are you, sugar-kitten?). And yet is it uniquely British? Perhaps. I’d love to see whether the humour translates, because it’s well worth experiencing. It’s delightful and funny and silly, yet you’ll learn some fantastic conversation-starters (or -stoppers, depending on who you’re talking to) along the way. Did you know that bluebirds cannot see the colour blue?.
Geek Girl is extremely exaggerated, dramatic, and extreme (although not entirely unrealistic as it is partly based on the author’s own childhood), but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It’s home to a host of articulate, well-constructed characters and is sure to delight geeks and nerd(fighters) alike!
Published: 28th February 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
Source: Thank you HarperCollins Children’s Books for providing this book for review!