Book Review: Model Misfit by Holly Smale

Book Review: Model Misfit by Holly Smale

Series: Geek Girl (#2)
Shelved: Young adult fiction (contemporary)
Rating: ★★★★★
Buy: Hive / Amazon
More: Goodreads

HOW THE SUGAR COOKIES IS IT OCTOBER ALREADY?! I read Geek Girl back in February, which doesn’t feel like that long ago, and so I cannot believe that it’s nearly 2014. I thought Geek Girl was wonderful, very British and very witty, and I’m happy it appears that the rest of the country thinks so too. It’s been everywhere! And it’s also being published in the US, which is especially interesting to me as I had wondered how the humour would translate. Because, if it doesn’t, you’re in for a very strange experience.

I dedicated most of my Geek Girl review to Harriet Manners and the whole host of colourful characters in her life – and I’m about to do the same! I knew Harriet was fantastic, but I did not realise at the time quite how distinctive she is. As soon as you start reading, you know it’s Harriet’s voice; no other character sounds like her. She’s probably one of the most stand-out characters in YA even though she feels she blends into obscurity in her normal life, despite being a model.

In Model Misfit, Harriet takes an unexpected trip to Tokyo, Japan, where she’s wanted to go since she was six years old. She’s ecstatic and begins to create a New and Infinitely More Glorious Summer Plan 2 flow chart since she has been dumped by Lion Boy, abandoned by her best friend Nat, and her family do not seem to want to be around her any more. Although Model Misfit is, again, a lot of fun, I couldn’t help saying ‘poor Harriet’ every few chapters – and if you’ll read it, you’ll see why. It’s full of surprises, and not just for Harriet herself.

In my previous review, I said that Geek Girl was exaggerated and extreme, but after I had the pleasure of meeting Holly Smale, I found out that a lot of what happens to Harriet – and the quirky and (mostly) loveable characters that surround her – is based on Holly’s own experience as a model. Holly lived and worked in Japan for two years and so I knew this journey was going to be a good one. And I was right! It made me want to visit Japan the next chance I get (which, unlike Harriet’s, is likely not to be fully paid for). I wanted to eat proper sushi, take kitties for walks and ride the superfast trains. I also had no idea how vast Japan is. Harriet tells us it has 12.6 million people, 62 municipalities and 168 tube stations. (And this is also what I love about Geek Girl – we’re treated to even more fascinating, geeky facts that I would probably spout out frequently if only I had a good memory, such as that pigs can trot up to 11 mph or you’d need 772 white vans to move one billion Wotsits).

Model Misfit is as funny as Geek Girl, with little moments like the one below, which are made even funnier because they actually happen, but I enjoyed it more because I had come to know every character very well, expect the unexpected, and became immersed in a novel I simply enjoyed reading (and which made me nearly miss my bus stop on the way to work).

Model Misfit
Model Misfit is the brilliant sequel to Geek Girl, both of which are likely to be among the most enjoyable books published this year. Head over to Facebook to find out more about the series.


(P.S. I’m sorry for any typos in this review – it’s currently 1am and I’m off to sleep!).

Published: 26th September 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
Pages: 356
Source: Thank you HarperCollins Children’s Books for providing this book for review!

9 thoughts on “Book Review: Model Misfit by Holly Smale

  1. I’ve been wanting to read Geek Girl for the longest time right now and your review of its sequel makes me want to read the book even more! Great review, Stacey. 🙂

  2. Ooh I’ve seen this around but mostly in the non-US parts so I’m glad it’s coming to America! This sounds like such a delightful book and YES to Japan as the setting. I must read the first book and this one.

    • Absolutely! It definitely doesn’t suffer from ‘middle book syndrome’ – you could read it on its own if you REALLY wanted to – but I’d say it’s funnier if you do read the first book first because then you’ve been introduced to everyone. I hope you like it, Elena 🙂

  3. I’m currently reading Geek Girl and absolutely loving it! You’re so right about her unique voice – I’m addicted. Thanks to your review, I now have to put the sequel onto my never-ending TBR as well.

  4. […] Girl & Model Misfit by Holly Smale I had no idea back in February that Geek Girl would take off as much as it did, but […]

  5. I really don’t know If you are going to read this comment (since its more than 2 years since you posted this). My daughter loved the first Geek girl Book. Her aunt bought her the second book, but her gran apparently “scanned” through the book and find it inappropriate for a 12 year old. Is she right? Or did she maybe just open on a page with some kissing going on?

    • Oh I just saw this now! But I’ve replied to your message too – it’s for ages 12+ and is such a fun read, so I do hope your daughter gets to read it!

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