The To-Read Pile

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Big Review: Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Big Review: Geek Girl by Holly Smale

My store was sent a copy of Geek Girl and, as a girl who happens to be a geek, I picked it up right away. Then it sat on the pile by my bed for a little while and I thought about reading it. The problem was this: I wasn’t sure I wanted to read about a geek girl who got a makeover. Would she leave her geekiness behind? Would it turn out to be a story about a girl who put on some makeup and nice clothes and was suddenly popular? Would Harriet discover that she had secretly not been a geek all along once someone had fixed her outside appearance?

It was with this in mind that I read my good friend Sarah’s review over at her blog and was convinced that I needed to read it. I think Sarah’s review is excellent and I generally agree with it, but I was persuaded to add my own thoughts to the conversation.

What I liked:

I really enjoyed reading Geek Girl. It was a lot of fun and it had a lovely and heartfelt message at the centre of it. I feel like Sarah’s review already covered all of the great things about this book.

Harriet was really loveable and funny. I wanted her to get her happy ending and, around about the time that she started to lie a lot, I really wanted her to earn her happy ending. The book did a great job of resolving that to my satisfaction and I really enjoyed the section of the book where Harriet fixed all the relationships that she had damaged earlier in the story.

My favourite thing about the story was Harriet’s family. Her sensible stepmum and very unsensible dad were great and I really enjoyed their subplot. I also really liked her best friend Nat. I could even almost empathise with horrible bully Alexa, which is the sign of a well written character.

I just really, really liked this book.

What I didn’t like:

There was only one thing I didn’t like about this story and it was Harriet’s stalker, Toby. I feel like the book maybe gave the wrong message about boys stalking girls, like “oh, he’s her stalker. That’s so cute!” when, really, I would have liked someone to pull Toby to one side and let him know that stalking a girl isn’t sweet and endearing. It’s creepy. More than that, someone should have told him this early on in life. And maybe kept telling him.

I feel like grown-up Toby probably ends up in prison. Possibly for murdering Harriet.


I’d definitely recommend this book. If you are a girl, a geek, or all of the above, I think you’ll enjoy it. Just keep in mind that stalking is wrong and that is why the restraining order was invented. If you’ve already read and enjoyed this book, I’d recommend the book ‘Tall, Thin & Blonde’ by Dyan Sheldon, which was pretty much the defining book of my teenage experience (along with Sarra Manning’s Diary of a Crush books, which are being reissued this year!) and contains some very similar themes.


One comment on “Big Review: Geek Girl by Holly Smale

  1. I always worry about the same things anytime that I see a book about a geek girl and a transformation in her life.

    Though I really am disturbed about the trends in YA books — I see you there, Twilight — about how stalking is “kind of cute” or that it’s a true sign of affection. So many teen girls out there are getting mixed messages, especially if their gut is telling them to run far away, but their media/peers are putting it in the “it’s so romantic” category.

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This entry was posted on April 17, 2013 by in Reviews and tagged , , , , , , .
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