Oct
09

Title: All Wrapped Up (Geek Girl #1.5)
Author: Holly Smale
Published: November, 2015 by HarperCollins
Pages: 220
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Harriet Manners knows a lot about Christmas.

She knows that every year Santa climbs down 91.8 million chimneys.

She knows that Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer was almost definitely a girl.

She knows that the first artificial Christmas trees were made out of goose feathers.

But this Christmas is extra special for Harriet, because four days ago she had her First Ever Kiss.

Now she just needs to work out what’s supposed to happen next…

Final Thoughts:
Harriet is addicted to Christmas—that’s pretty much what this novella tells you from the get go. There’s even a gift receiver’s checklist included for rating Harriet’s Christmas gifting prowess. I’d missed that kind of wackiness as it seems to have dissipated in the later books. Still, it was weird stepping back in time, trying to remember where everybody was at. Set earlier in the series, Harriet is enthralled with her Aussie model boyfriend, Nick, waiting to hear from him about their first date. If you ship Nick/Harriet, you will eat this up. I’m not their biggest supporter, but even I enjoyed this.

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Sep
20

Title: Head Over Heels (Geek Girl #5)
Author: Holly Smale
Published: March, 2016 by HarperCollins Children’s Books
Pages: 451
My Rating: ★★★½☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Harriet Manners knows many facts:

Fourteen squirrels were once detained as spies.
Snakes and Ladders and Chess were both invented in the same county.
Astronauts’ hearts become rounder in space.

And for once, she knows exactly how her life should go. If only everyone else would stick to the plan…

Final Thoughts:
It’s always fun coming back to this series and the familiarity of it. There’s always some sort of drama going on, but it manages to maintain its underlying feel good vibe. It’s about modelling, but it’s not. The characters are what shine through here—and Harriet’s personality certainly does. I don’t think I could stomach Harriet in real life, but she’s amusing to read. Not always as smart as she thinks she is, Harriet can grate on your nerves with how clueless she can be. I had moments where I wanted to tell her what was going on, to think of others, but her big personality pushes through and tells the reader not to worry about things like that.

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Nov
15

Title: Geek Drama (Geek Girl #2.5)
Author: Holly Smale
Published: February, 2015 by HarperCollins
Pages: 128
My Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

“My name is Harriet Manners and I am a geek.”

Harriet Manners knows that the hottest observed place on earth is Furnace Creek in Death Valley. She knows that dolphins shed the top layer of their skin every two hours. And she knows just how badly auditions can go, especially when you’re a model. But she has no idea what to do when her arch-nemesis decides the school play is the perfect opportunity to humiliate her…

Can GEEK GIRL survive the bright lights of the stage?

Final Thoughts:
Despite its short page count, this novella managed to reel me in and tell quite a fun little story. Of course, they’re all fun. I love getting back into this series. It’s always able to make me smile. And with this one, while it may barely have touched upon Harriet’s haphazard modelling career, it didn’t feel lacking. Instead, we got to spend more time at school, with Harriet’s best friend, Nat, and see some real proof of their friendship, which usually remains in the background.

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Sep
23

Title: All That Glitters (Geek Girl #4)
Author: Holly Smale
Published: February, 2015 by HarperCollins
Pages: 400
My Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

“My name is Harriet Manners, and I have always been a geek.” The fourth book in the award-winning GEEK GIRL series. Harriet Manners knows many things. She knows that toilet roll was invented by the Chinese in 600 AD. She knows that a comet’s tail always points away from the sun. And she knows that the average healthy heart beats 70 times per minute. Even when it’s broken. But she knows nothing about making new friends at Sixth Form. Or why even her old friends seem to be avoiding her. And she knows even less about being a glittering supermodel success. Which she now is – apparently. Has Harriet’s time to shine like a star finally arrived, or is she about to crash and burn?

Final Thoughts:
With a lot less modelling than the previous three books, this one spends more time getting to know Harriet’s real life. High school. Drama. Friends. Frenemies. Family. Lists. Okay, you get the point. I think the time away from the modelling world has helped the series to grow. And the distinct lack of her ex-boyfriend/model, Nick, was a plus too—though I can feel a new love interest edging up on the horizon already. But that wasn’t what this book was about—it centred around Harriet’s desire to change herself, to make people like her, and learning things in the process.

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Jul
12

Title: Picture Perfect (Geek Girl #3)
Author: Holly Smale
Published: September, 2013 by Harper Collins
Pages: 400
My Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Harriet Manners knows more facts that most. She knows that New York is the most populous city in the United States. She knows that its official motto is “Ever Upward”. She knows that 28% of Americans believe we never landed on the moon.

But she knows nothing about modelling in the Big Apple, and how her family will cope with life stateside. Or how to “become a brand”, as the models in New York put it. And, even more importantly, what to do when the big romantic gestures aren’t coming from your boyfriend…

Does geek girl go too far this time?

Final Thoughts:
So, it turns out this wasn’t the finale of the trilogy like I had thought it would be. In fact, I can’t see an end in sight. With little of an overarching plot, Harriet’s modelling/teen drama adventures could continue on for many books to come. At least I can say they’re fun—fluff, but fun. Some of Harriet’s antics did irritate me this time, but I still didn’t want to stop reading. I think I’m hooked. Books two and three haven’t been as funny, though. The burst-out-in-fits-of-laughter humour seems to have been tamed down in favour of focusing on Harriet’s love life. And while I missed that, honestly, it was about time we got to see why Harriet liked this boy so much.

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Jul
06

Title: Model Misfit (Geek Girl #2)
Author: Holly Smale
Published: September, 2013 by Harper Collins
Pages: 386
My Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Harriet knows that modelling won’t transform you. She knows that being as uniquely odd as a polar bear isn’t necessarily a bad thing (even in a rainforest). And that the average person eats a ton of food a year, though her pregnant stepmother is doing her best to beat this.

What Harriet doesn’t know is where she’s going to fit in once the new baby arrives.

With summer plans ruined, modelling in Japan seems the perfect chance to get as far away from home as possible. But nothing can prepare Harriet for the craziness of Tokyo, her competitive model flatmates and her errant grandmother’s ‘chaperoning’. Or seeing gorgeous Nick everywhere she goes.

Because, this time, Harriet knows what a broken heart feels like.

Can geek girl find her place on the other side of the world or is Harriet lost for good?

Final Thoughts:
Having read and loved Geek Girl a week prior to this, I jumped straight in, ready to lap up another instalment of Harriet Manners, haphazard model-slash-know-it-all and all of the whacky characters that came along with her. However, and I hate having to say this, I think a bit of second-book-syndrome came into play this time. A lot of the crazy antics that her agent, Wilbur, as well as her wannabe-teenage father and lawyer, but loveable, stepmother brought were gone. And that’s just because the characters were. Shipping Harriet off to Japan—while cool—left all of the side characters I’d come to love behind, and so, it felt like the book had lost something…

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Jun
29

Title: Geek Girl (Geek Girl #1)
Author: Holly Smale
Published: February, 2013 by Harper Collins
Pages: 378
My Rating: ★★★★½ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

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?

Final Thoughts:
Prepared to be irritated by a know-it-all character, I went into Geek Girl on the defensive, but Harriet quickly broke me down and had me cracking up page after page. It was seriously freaking hilarious. I think it came from her inane way of blurting out the most random things at perfectly timed intervals, or sometimes constantly. While I may be more inclined towards sarcasm and drier wit, she was simply that hilarious that she even had me on board. Coupled with an abundance of heart, this was one book I just couldn’t let go of. Even during my first time sitting beside the pilot on my employer’s private plane yesterday, I had my head buried in this book rather than looking out the front of the cockpit. Harriet was just so much fun.

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