Perfect If You Want Something Dumb: Picture Perfect by Holly Smalle

“My name is Harriet Manners, and I’ll always be a geek.”

It’s the hilarious third book in the No.1 bestselling, award winning GEEK GIRL series!

Harriet Manners knows more facts than most. She knows that New York is the most populous city in the United States. She knows that its official motto is “Ever Upward”. She knows that 28% of Americans believe we never landed on the moon.

But she knows nothing about modelling in the Big Apple, and how her family will cope with life stateside. Or how to “become a brand”, as the models in New York put it. And, even more importantly, what to do when the big romantic gestures aren’t coming from your boyfriend…

Does geek girl go too far this time?

The laugh out loud follow-up to award winning GEEK GIRL and MODEL MISFIT will have you in stitches.

Source: GoodReads

Picture Perfect was a far improvement from Model Misfit, but I still didn’t love it as much as I loved the first Geek Girl novel and occasionally-okay, lots of times- I wanted to give Harriet a good kick in the pants.

She does some really idiotic things in this book.  Well, she really does a lot of idiotic things in all these books, even the first one.  But it’s like this character hasn’t grown any.

And while that’s annoying, at the point I read it, I really didn’t care because I wasn’t really wanting to read something heavy.  I just wanted something that was fast and easy to read during my sanctioned breaks-roughly thirty minutes after three hours of studying or so.

And that’s what Picture Perfect did, it was exceedingly easy to read.  But also ridiculously unrealistic.

And I’m not talking about in the typical YA unrealistic like way.

I’m talking about the OTT people wouldn’t act like this way.

That’s bad.

In Geek Girl, I think I mentioned how responsible Harriet’s parents were.  Or at least her step mother.  I might’ve said that her father was at least involved in her life, which is more than you can say for most YA books.  Well, here both her parents get Golden Charlies.

They are exceedingly dim and borderline neglectful.  In fact, a couple of times I thought about calling the Fictional CPS on them.  Because for reals, you don’t punish your sixteen-year-old by forcing her to stay in her room except for using the bathroom AND then forget to check on her.   Oh, and when you hire a tutor for your sixteen-year-old, it’s probably a smart thing to do a background check.

It’s just common sense.

I am not even going to go into the whole immigrating to the US thing.  Or Harriet’s lack of a work visa for modeling thing because that’s being a little too picky.  That sort of thing, I could arguably see happening in a YA book because the it’s fiction schitcion excuse (i.e. Editor ate too many Twinkies and didn’t feel like  doing any fact checking-though, to be fair to Twinkie loving editor, author has access to Google).

So I can give that thing a pass (sort of).

What I can’t give a pass to is the horrible characterization of these parents.   That and how unrealistic the set up is.

I read a lot of British chick lit-which is where Geek Girl sort of follows, but is YA.   One thing I notice about these books if they’re a series, they’ll likely have a book that takes place in America (see Shopaholic Abroad  and I Heart New York  for prime examples).   It’s sort of a right of passage for this type of series.  One thing I will give Smalle,is that she sort of twist this trope by having Harry reside in the actual suburbs rather than the city.   But while that sort of made the story more interesting, at the same time it sort of hindered it since Harriet was commuting back and forth.   I actually would’ve liked to see her falter in suburban American more than rehashing the model thing again.

While I liked the model thing in the first book, it’s run it’s course.  Harriet is and always is going to be grossly unprofessional in that world.  It’s almost embarrassing.  Much like her relationship with Nick.

Poor, poor, Nick.  I put him in the same category as I put Michael Moscovtiz in during those middle Princess Diaries books.

I really don’t know how that poor baby does it.

Anyway, as embarrassing as Harriet’s antics were and as dumb as her parents were, I still enjoyed this one.  If anything because it was a nice quick break that didn’t cause me to use any analytical skills.

Overall Rating: A generous B.  Probably most of the time it would be a B-, but hey I wanted something dumb and I got it.


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