Predictable Fluff: All That Glitters by Holly Smale

 

My name is Harriet Manners, and I am still a geek.

Harriet Manners has high hopes for the new school year: she’s a Sixth Former now, and things are going to be different. But with Nat busy falling in love at college and Toby preoccupied with a Top Secret project, Harriet soon discovers that’s not necessarily a good thing…

Source: GoodReads

If we’re going to be honest about it, this series has gotten a bit pedantic (which seems to be the word of the week, FYI).  The good thing is if  you’re reading it with its publication schedule you’re not going to notice as much the repetition.  The bad thing is if you’re an American who has gotten tired of waiting for these things to be released in the states and decided to just buy them at the Book Depository you’re not exactly going to binge on them as I was planning…

Yeah.

The good thing though, is if the real world is being particularly hellish as it has since Biff stole Doc and Marty’s machine and somehow stole the presidency from HRC Donald Trump has become president (that sounds so wrong) this series can at least buy you some hours of peace at least another Executive Order has been dropped.

Sorry for all the current events references, it has really been hard to read or really  lately.  And really do anything else especially when all this shit has been thrown in your face on a 24/7 basis.  If you follow my Twitter feed you know I’ve been very vocal in my disdain.

Anyway, back to the book.  Its the predictable fluff that is needed right now in this world and I am grateful for that.  Honestly, I will probably be reading a lot of fluff in the coming months.  It’s needed and wanted and this book does the trick.  It’s easy to look past the faults, but they are there and it’s pretty obvious to anyone who has read this series what they are.

Harriet is a stagnent character.  She doesn’t grow, and at this point I don’t expect her too.  Most of the books center around ridiculous misunderstandings that anyone with adequate emotional skills would be able to pick up on but this is Harriet we’re talking about.  So…yeah, don’t expect her to pick up on social cues.

And to be honest, her friends are sort of shitty in this one.   I get that they want to help her, but come on.  They should know that she wasn’t going to exactly take their behavior the way she wanted them too.  And really, at this point…ugh.

The more I think about it, the more I want to pull my hair out.  But again, I don’t hate this book.  It’s sort of like the Princess Diaries series.  Sure, there was a slump in the middle of that series where all I wanted to do was deck Mia, but it didn’t make me hate or stop reading the series and I sort of hope that in the next two full installments there’s some growth with Harriet-again, don’t expect there to be but I still can’t help there is some.

As far as the romance department goes, this installment of Geek Girl is ridiculously light on that as well as the modeling stuff.  I did enjoy the modeling antics though.  I think they’re often some of my favorite parts of the book surprisingly.  Even though they are more or less the same-Harriet going to some exotic location and making a fool of herself.

So yeah, there was nothing surprising or really unprecedented about this particular installment of Geek Girl if it was a more serious series, I’d probably would give it a lower rating.  But as it stands, it did its job in getting to me forget about the crap that’s been going on in this world right now.

Overall Rating: A B- it’s flawed but enjoyable.

Big Bang Theory Meets Princess Diaries:Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Geek + runway = a hilarious runaway hit! This bestselling UK debut is full of humor and high-fashion hijinks—and now it’s coming to America.

Harriet Manners is tired of being labeled a geek. So when she’s discovered by a modeling agent, she seizes the chance to reinvent herself. There’s only one problem: Harriet is the definition of awkward. Does she have what it takes to transform from geek to chic?

Geek Girl is the first book in a hilarious new trilogy. It was also the #1 bestselling YA debut of 2013 in the UK, where it was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for Best Book for Teens. With all the humor and fabulous shenanigans of Louise Rennison’s Confessions of Georgia Nicolson and Meg Cabot’s The Princess DiariesGeek Girl is about to become an international superstar.

Source: GoodReads

I hate to say this, but I was reluctant about Geek Girl.

I totally judged it that it was written by a former model.  To be far, books by models that I’ve read before have been sort of a wash-anyone remember Modelland? But Geek Girl, damn it was good.

It was the perfect MJ book.  And the comparison to The Princess Diaries series was pretty spot on, though I’m sure Harriet would correct Mia on some of her WebMD information.

Harriet is completely engaging, awkward (in the not cringe worthy way), and adorable beyond words.  Her voice while catchy, was maybe a little borderline too quirky. I could see this maybe becoming a problem in the future, but for now it worked.

I also liked how the book focused more on family and friends than romance.  While the romance is still there, very light (mind you) there is more focus these other relationships which is refreshing.  I especially liked the relationship that Harriet had with her parents.

Her relationship with both parents, her stepmom and father, are well defined and unique.  They sort of remind me of a grown up Ron and Hermione-except much more tolerable than that ill fated couple.  I really like that there is such a strong relationship with a step parent in this book.  Usually, step parents are treated like the evil on non-participatory entities in YA.  However, that’s not the case here.

I also liked the portrayal of Harriet’s friendship with Nat. It seemed realistic.  Both of them make mistakes and they both admit it when they screw up.  And yay for Nat for standing up for her friend in such a big way.

In addition to strong relationships, Geek Girl also has a unique quirky-ish vibe that gives it it’s own identity.  In addition to Harriet’s geek-isms other characters such as her father, Wilbur, and Toby have their own quirks that add to the book as well.

As I previously said, the quirkiness can get a little bothersome at some points, but in moderation it really works.

The plot that Geek Girl has is pretty simple and I think that’s one of the things about it that works for it.  While you’re expecting the ridiculous Tyra-ish makeover that turns Harriet from blah to beautiful, Smale does it in a way that’s tolerable and not too reminiscent of other books.

Not like this.

 

I will also say that I’m glad about how small the love interest’s role is in this book.  In future installments, I’d like to see more of Nick, but I think for this one  the brief appearances that we got of him were okay and just enough.

Overall, if you’re looking for something light and fluffy I recommend Geek Girl.  I am concerned about how the series might develop in the future, but it’s one of those books I’ll will definitely be picking up again.

A-