Book Reviews: ‘Model Misfit’ (Geek Girl #2), Holly Smale
by Holly Smale Series: Geek Girl #2 Published by Harper Collins Children's
on 26 September 2013 Format:
“My name is Harriet Manners, and I am still a geek.”
MODEL MISFIT is the sequel to No. 1 UK debut GEEK GIRL.
Harriet Manners knows a lot of facts. She knows that humans have 70,000 thoughts per day. She knows that Geek + Model = a whole new set of graffiti on your belongings. And that the average person eats a ton of food a year, though her pregnant stepmother is doing her best to beat this. But Harriet doesn’t know where she’s going to fit in once the new baby arrives. And with her summer plans ruined, modelling in Japan seems the perfect chance to get away.
Can Harriet cope with the craziness of Tokyo, her competitive model flatmates and her errant grandmother’s ‘chaperoning’. Or seeing gorgeous Nick everywhere she goes?
Will geek girl find her place on the other side of the world?
RUBY , AGE 11, REVIEWS…
Star rating: * * * * 4 out of 5
Model Misfit is the second book in the Geek Girl series.
Let me start off by saying that you would probably need to read the first book before you attempt this book. I read the first book in the summer so I had a general idea of what was happening before I even read the first page.
In the first book we meet Harriet Manners, and she is an ordinary school girl in year 10. Her best friend is Nat, who is desperate to be a model, is the only person who she hangs out with, (apart from Harriet’s stalker, Toby, but he doesn’t really count). But when the school go on a school trip to Birmingham, for a fashion carnival, Harriet gets spotted by a top modelling agency and is invited to an interview in London. The only problem is, Harriet has never wanted to be a model in her life. Miraculously, she gets the job and now is a model for Yuka Ito’s fashion label, BAYLEE.
In the second book, we see Harriet return, having her boyfriend Nick not spoken to her in two months. To make things worse, she is about to have her last GCSE, physics, and she is in London, in a gold tutu, gold jacket and gold earrings.
After her GCSEs, school is out, and it is the summer, with Toby following her every word, she finds out that Nat is going away to France! When she gets home she plans to stay in bed all holiday, until she gets a phone call from her agent, Wilbur (not iam), who tells her she is going to Tokyo, a place where Harriet had always wanted to go! Her Summer was looking up!
Tokyo, with Harriet sharing a flat with two Japanese girls, she is wondering why she has been bought there, BAYLEE has never been interested in the Japanese market!
But it turns out Yuka has made a new label, and Harriet is starring in it! But all it turns out to be is fail, after fail, after fail. She is ruining the label that Yuka had worked so hard for, by squirting octopus ink all over the one and only dress they had. Then, breaking a glass box and claiming there was a cockroach on her arm (which there was by the way).
AND WHOSE FAULT? Harriet is fired, but there is a good thing… Does she get another top modeling job? Does someone important come back in her life? You’ll have to read the book to find out!!!
I give this book 4 stars out of 5, because if you didn’t read the first one it might not all make sense, but if you have then it is brilliant.
Another Great Book by Holly Smale!
RACHEL, AGE WAY MORE THAN 11, REVIEWS…
Star rating: * * * * 4 out of 5
If I’m honest, I originally picked up Model Misfit because I kept seeing the cover everywhere (with its Miley-tastic sticky out tongue) and I wondered what all the fuss was about.
But Model Misfit quickly pulled me in.
The main character, Harriet Manners, is naïve, self-obsessed and on more than one occasion, painfully annoying. But that’s exactly why you slowly fall in love with her. Because, above all else, Harriet Manners is wonderfully real.
The friendship between Harriet, Nat and Toby is beautifully portrayed, and so utterly believable that I felt a pang for my own teenage friendships. When I finally put down the book, I found myself picking up the phone and calling someone I haven’t spoken to in years.
It must be tempting, writing as an adult, to make teen-characters one-dimensional – to play them for laughs, to portray them as some kind of deviant criminal underclass, or to mock the yearning, hormonal love-silly feelings of those teen years. But Holly Smale (like the brilliant John Green) makes these characters as smart, funny, daft, loving and occasionally idiotic as most of the teens I know really are.
If I was being pedantic, I might argue that too many plot points are based on absurd and unlikely misunderstandings. But, do you know what? I just didn’t care. There is so much to love about this book. It is happy and funny and silly and charming and all sorts of other squishy things that make tiny plot issues seem utterly irrelevant. I decided, for every two snorts of laughter I gave while reading, I would forgive a plot niggle. In this way, I snorted away all my niggles and more.
I was going to say ‘the giggles outweighed the niggles’, but the word ‘giggle’ is far too ladylike to describe the tea-spitting guffaw I gave reading the ‘T-Rex hands’ scene. I don’t want to give anything away, but the ‘second-rate dinosaur’ comparisons are comedy gold, and I have found myself making little involuntary clawing movements at my family ever since.
All in all, If you need cheering up, or if you just fancy a quick shot of loveliness, this is the book for you. Hooray for Holly Smale.
On an additional note, if you are a Google-er you might also want to watch some of the online interviews with Holly Smale, who seems as charming and entertaining as her fictional creations (without being ‘naïve, self-obsessed’ and/or ‘annoying’!)