The Geek Girl series by Holly Smale is a series of books about Harriet Manners, a self-confessed geek, who finds herself discovered by a model agency. I found this series after finding myself without a book just before a train journey, frantically rushing to the shop, and thinking this looked like an interesting read. I was expecting a story that would be a nice, easy read on the train, which I might end up regarding with a sort of mixture of amusement and scorn. I wasn’t expecting to be looking for the second book that night and to find the sort of characters that grip onto you and stay there. I gave this series a chance and it surprised me, so I hope more people will allow themselves to do the same. Not just for this series, but for any book in general.
The series consists of six books, Geek Girl, Model Misfit, Picture Perfect, All That Glitters, Head Over Heels and Forever Geek, due to be released this March. There are also three companion books, Geek Drama, All Wrapped Up and Sunny Side Up. My favourite is probably book 2, which takes Harriet to Japan. I’m easy to please. I love books with a travelling aspect, and Japan is top of my list to visit.
As a geek, I tend to stay away from things with the word geek in the title, finding they rarely contain much I would consider geeky at all. In this case, I would say that Harriet is absolutely a geek. She tries to sneak her physics homework into a modelling shoot so she can revise while she’s there. She’s socially awkward and believably so. She attempts to touch an octopus that was going to be used on a shoot and gets ink all over her clothes. She stops a whole shoot so she can help a monkey that was being treated awfully by its handlers. She’s not always perfect, but she is always kind.
Harriet Manners is an endearing protagonist, but sometimes I found her acting younger then she is supposed to be. She often starts fights or acts somewhat immaturely. It’s hard not to feel sorry for her however when her bully is being particularly mean, or when she realises how much trouble her actions have caused. She has that trait of reciting facts throughout the book, which can be annoying or interesting depending on your point of view. Whatever the case, you might learn something!
Natasha gets a serious thumbs up from me for being a fashion-conscious teenage girl who is not presented in a bad way. Toby is one of those odd stalker type characters which are supposed to be humorous, since they’re harmless? While the narrative makes it clear that Toby is a good friend of Harriet’s, I’m not sure if I agree with the idea of normalising stalking in people’s minds. Harriet does however manage to have one of the best sets of parents I’ve seen in recent literature, both of them supporting her completely. None of which is at all marred by Annabelle being Harriet’s step-mother, and presenting step-families in a positive way is important.
I would recommend this series to teenage and grown-up geeks looking for a little bit of fun to read.