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Introducing…the Geeky Girls’ Book Blog!  Hello, fellow geeky and nerdy friends of the internet! This is your friendly neighborhood Geek Girl aka Ananya, and from now on, I’ll be bringing you this fortnightly column full of super entertaining book reviews for the inner (and not-so-inner) book nerd in you. The Geeky Girls’ Book Blog (or G2B2 as I like to call it) will feature right here, every other Friday, and will cover books that this nerdy girl reads and feels the need to share with you lot. But more than that, G2B2 is part of Geek Insider‘s attempt to make our material a little more female-centric because well, we could always use extra support for girl power, right? That doesn’t mean boys are getting shut out, though. We’re better than that and we’re definitely above silly societal labels and the gender binary. So if you like books and reading, please do stop by and drop me some suggestions. If not, I’ll try my best to mix things up every now and then. As someone once said, “Too much of the same thing can get boring.” Or something like that. Anyway, without further ado, I bring to you…

Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Geek Girl Cover

I won’t lie; I picked this book to blog about because of what its called. But if your first thought after seeing the cover for this book was along the lines of “This doesn’t look very geeky to me…”, we must be soul-twins because that’s how I felt too. Yet, those quadratic formulae written all over the girl’s face told me to put a little more faith in the title and ignoring the cover girl’s (you’ll get the pun later) icy pink lips and Photoshopped glass frames, I flipped over to the first page. I was quite pleased to see (spoiler alert) a dictionary entry. However, I hate to inform you that this is about the only good thing in Chapter 1.

However, I understand that beginning a story is the hardest part and the introduction is precisely that – an introduction. So I trudged on. By the time I realized that the book is part of a series, I was already too invested in the plot line and, as they say, the rest is history. (Also, guess what? I JUST found out that the series is NOT a trilogy like I thought it was, but a double trilogy: there are three more books in the offing.)

Moving on…let’s pretend this was difficult for you to figure out: the protagonist is a girl. Her name is Harriet Manners, she is British, is fifteen years old, knows a lot of fascinating facts, has an IQ of about 140 coupled with a complete lack of fashion sense, gets bullied for her geekiness, falls in love, and…(spoiler alert) suddenly turns into a supermodel! Everything in her life is against all odds yet everything happens. In short, Geek Girl is a typical Y/A bildungsroman novel fit for the contemporary teenage crowd. Good story, good writing, but overdone, and very reminiscent of Sarah Dessen, John Green, and Maureen Johnson. (It also reminded me a bit of The Devil Wears Prada, but then again, that might be just be.)

However, I have several good things to say about the book as well. At its core, Geek Girl has an anti-bullying theme and a clear message to all of its readers to be true to themselves. Yes, the premises of the plot might be a bit unoriginal but Smale’s writing more than makes up for it. She writes with humor and finesse, her characters are nice and relatively rounded, and she still manages to pack in a bunch of twists in the story that are quite impossible to predict. Most of the time, the book reads like a letter from your best friend, and the more you read, the more you want to keep going. You might not cry while reading about Miss Manners, but you’ll certainly get a few good laughs out loud. And really, when you’re light-reading over the summer, what else could you want?

Things I liked: the random amazing facts Harriet likes to spew at all times, my favorite books and authors used as literary references, grammar Nazi-ness, and Nick (because however unrealistic he might be, I still fall for fictional boys just as much as fictional girls do).

Things I disliked: the clichès, especially the geeky Cinderella/ Ugly Duckling story (also, does “geek” always automatically mean “unfashionable”? I’m not so sure).

Book Specs:
– published 28 Feb, 2013 by Harper Collins UK
– $3.25 Paperback, $10.99 Kindle, $13.96 Hardcover
– winner of 2014’s Best Book for Teens (Waterstones Children’s Book Prize )
– based on the author’s true teenage-life story

Rating: 3.5/ 5

That’s it for now, guys and gals. The next G2B2 book review will be on Model Misfit (Geek Girl #2) by Holly Smale again, and will feature here on Friday, August 29, 2014. Hope you’ll be back for more and until then, happy reading!

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Ashley Houk
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I love that this is part of the new ‘Geek Girl’ columns! Great review 🙂

Ananya Shrestha
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Thank you, Ashley! 😀