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 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!).