Geek Girl, by Holly Smale (book review) – a beauty of a geek?

book cover of Geek Girl by Holly Smale published by Harper CollinsAnimals? Adores them!
Fish anatomy? Fantastic!
High heels? Huh?

Aspiring natural scientist and focus of every school bully, clumsy Harriet reluctantly goes with lovely Natalie to a fashion tryout – and is chosen! What??

I just loved Geek Girl when I read an advance copy in 2013 and was so sad that it was only available in the UK then. At last, Harper Collins has brought freckled Harriet here – just out this week!

Read the beginning of Harriet’s headlong rush into modeling here on the publisher’s site for free.

The second book in the series, Geek Girl: Model Misfit, will be published in the US this July – whatever will Harriet get into next?


Book info: Geek Girl (Geek Girl, book 1) / Holly Smale. Harper Collins, 2015.   [author site]  [publisher site]   Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Harriet is just fine with being a geek and so are her best friend Natalie and smitten Toby – it’s everyone else at school who hates her for being smart. Tricked into attending a mall fashion show, it’s ginger-haired, freckled Harriet who’s chosen as a model, not beautiful Nat! And wanting to change from despised geek to anything else, Harriet says yes.

From her suburb to the London modeling agency, Harriet’s dad is excited, her lawyer stepmom is skeptical, and Harriet is about to pass out from nerves. This is not part of the plan – she wants to be a paleontologist! It’s Natalie who’s always dreamed of being a model. At least the cute dark-haired guy from the mall is there, rescuing her from outside the agency where she’s hyperventilating.

The flamboyant modeling agent who discovered her (that’s Wilbur with a –bur not an –iam!) calls her Plum-cake and Treacle-Nose. Harriet doesn’t recognize the name of the very influential designer who wants to meet her, but she does know that this clothing brand is top-of-the-line (online research about fashion modeling last night paid off).

Suddenly, a gawky fifteen-year-old geek is the new face of Baylee, slated for a photo shoot in Moscow in the morning! Her stepmother disapproves of teen girls modeling or missing school, but Harriet and her dad are determined to pull this off anyway.

How could she know that getting to Moscow was the easy part?
Why didn’t Wilbur tell her that cute Nick would be there?
Will Nat ever forgive her for stealing her dream?

Every detailed plan that Harriet makes after that fateful mall trip seems to go awry in this funny tale of friendship, family, fashion, and wondering why high heels were ever invented. (One of 6,000 books recommended on

What do you think?

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