Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Book Review | Geek Girl: Model Misfit

“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?"
(synopsis from (x)

Model Misfit starts a couple months after Geek Girl finishes. Harriet is juggling both her schoolwork and modelling. Unfortunately, the modelling gig doesn't appear to have helped her popularity. Add to that, her step-mother is pregnant and Harriet feels all sorts of lost. Thankfully, it's summer and she and her best friend Nat are about to have the best one ever. That is, until their plans start falling apart. In the heat of the moment, Harriet agrees to be the face of a new campaign that is being shot in Japan. All things go a little haywire from there.

I really enjoyed this book. I found it so much more entertaining and enjoyable than the first. The things that I got irritated by, amused me this time around.

I think, in regards to characters, there was a lot of development. Harriet grew on me a heap. In the first book, I often found her spurting of facts a little disingenuous (I know. I know. It just rubbed me the wrong way for some reason). In Model Misfit however, it didn't bother me nearly as much. I think she matured a little and that development really shone throughout the novel.

Nick (or 'Lion Boy') as well, grew on me. In Geek Girl, I really felt that there was a severe lack of development in his character and I couldn't understand why we were supposed to like him. Admittedly, I still think he's a little underdeveloped but overall, after reading Model Misfit, I could understand why Harriet liked him so much.

In terms of writing, I think Smale did a great job. She really captured the essence of a fifteen year-old girl, and has a real comedic turn of phrase. I read the novel in pretty much one sitting, and found it so easy to read. I think her writing has definitely improved over the duration of these two novels. 

The setting was also really well done. I love Japan - the culture, the history, it all sounds incredibly fascinating to me. Smale did a great job at really allowing the reader to experience first-hand (or as first hand as you can get, via book). The book made me want to go there ASAP.

Overall, I found that Model Misfit was an A+ sequel to Geek Girl. It allowed a lot of development and improved the series in so many aspects. I think Smale did a great job at tying up the book nicely but still leaving room to allow the series to grow. I gave the book 4 stars.

The next book in the series is Picture Perfect, and it is due to be released in June next year (2014).

Rating: **** (4/5)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: September 26th 2013

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