Title: Geek Girl: Model Misfit
Author: Holly Smale
Publisher: Harper Collins Children’s Books.
Publication Date: 26th September 2013
Series/Standalone: Book 2, Geek Girl series.
Source: Review ecopy via Netgalley
Also by this author: Geek Girl
Goodreads Description: “My name is Harriet Manners, and I am still a geek.”
Harriet knows that modelling won’t transform you. She knows that being as uniquely odd as a polar bear isn’t necessarily a bad thing (even in a rainforest). And that the average person eats a ton of food a year, though her pregnant stepmother is doing her best to beat this.
What Harriet doesn’t know is where she’s going to fit in once the new baby arrives.
With summer plans ruined, modelling in Japan seems the perfect chance to get as far away from home as possible. But nothing can prepare Harriet for the craziness of Tokyo, her competitive model flatmates and her errant grandmother’s ‘chaperoning’. Or seeing gorgeous Nick everywhere she goes.
Because, this time, Harriet knows what a broken heart feels like.
Can geek girl find her place on the other side of the world or is Harriet lost for good
Review: I really enjoyed Smale’s debut Geek Girl which told the story of Harriet, a self-confessed teenage geek who is scouted for modelling to her surprise, so as soon as Model Misfit was available on Netgalley I seized at the chance to read and review it.
It’s the summer holidays and all of Harriet’s carefully laid plans have gone up in smoke so when she’s offered a modelling job in Tokyo she cannot wait. Accompanied by her grandmother who is keen for Harriet to have an adventure, Harriet is thrown into a completely different summer to the one she expected sharing a flat with other models, navigating the awkwardness with Nick the chief culprit of all the boy drama in her life, and modelling itself.
The setting really worked in this book and Harriet’s many facts about Tokyo as well as her experiences there bought the city and culture to life. Also I loved that even the supporting characters had their own distinctive characteristics and personalities.
Humorous YA can be a tricky beast to master; try too hard and it becomes awkward with the jokes falling flat, don’t try hard enough and it’s simply not funny. Smale balances this fine line well and Harriet’s quirks and klutziness feel authentic and work well and I loved the facts and general knowledge Harriet scattered throughout the book. Harriet herself is a fantastic character and one you cannot help but root for.
What also really makes this book work is the down-to-earth qualities in its characters. Obviously modelling and travelling the world for modelling jobs is not exactly in itself down-to-earth however the characters and their emotions were. Harriet is worried about GCSEs and boys and she also has an ever present and positive relationship with her family, especially her dad and stepmother, and these qualities make Geek Girl have that real and true sense to it.
Despite all the humour and chaos, there were more serious moments too and I liked that Smale didn’t shy away from showing how competitive and difficult the modelling scene could be. There was only one moment in this book that I didn’t think worked for me and that’s Toby as although his ‘stalking’ is played for laughs I personally found some of it more disconcerting than humorous. This is my personal response though and from the reviews I’ve read I think most people have read it differently. That said, it didn’t completely detract from my reading of the book and I still really enjoyed reading it.
Fans of Geek Girl will love the next addition to this series and those who haven’t yet and who love genuinely funny YA should definitely check Geek Girl and Model Misfit out.I am really looking forward to seeing what Harriet’s next adventure will be!
I received a free ecopy via Netgalley from Harper Collins Children’s Books for reviewing purposes. My review is honest and its tone and content unaffected by the means in which I receive the book.