Following on from the guest post from Holly, as part of the Forever Geek blog tour on Wednesday, I have decided to do an overview of the entire series, a rundown of the characters and some highlights of the Ultimate Geek Girl Party. Please read with caution because there may be some SPOILERS included though I’ve tried not to give major spoilers, especially not for the final book.
Way back when I also interviewed Holly about her geekiest traits so do take a look back.
The entire series were 5 out 5 star reads for me and Holly has a beautiful and easy to read writing style with a strong voice. Geek Girl is about family, friendship, being flawed, it’s funny, fantastic and familiar (Reading about Harriet feels like coming home and I love the Harry Potter and book references throughout).
|Book||Main Setting/Modelling Assignment||Synopsis||My Thoughts|
|Geek Girl (#1)||The Clothes Show Live – Birmingham – being spotted
Moscow – Russia – Baylee shoot and runway show
|Harriet is discovered by the fashion world – and us.||The message – that it’s ok to be yourself.
Check out my full review here –
|All Wrapped Up (#1.5)||London – Ice-skating
PE class – Netball
|How to handle a first date.
Also includes some bonus Christmas themed features and the short – Team Geek
|Short, sweet, romantic in a geeky way. Christmassy. Loved it.
Check out my full review here.
|Model Misfit #2||Perfume shoot
Tokyo – Japan – new label campaign – with co-model Charlie the octopus and Sumo, Manga Arcade Game and Mount Fuji.
|Harriet is due to be a big sister, and with all attention on the baby, Natalie sent away for the summer and a lack of Lion Boy! Harriet jumps at the chance to head to Tokyo with her grandmother Bunty as “chaperone”.
|My favourite character, Toby – Harriet’s stalker, reduced me to tears in one scene, and I nearly hugged myself because of ‘all the feels’.
Check out my full review here.
|Geek Drama #2.5||Infinity Models London – Brink Magazine Casting and Shoot
Drama – Hamlet auditions
|Short story published for #WorldBookDay in which Harriet gets persuaded to audition for the school play (set in the middle of Model Misfit).||A fun school based short story where we get to learn more about Harriet and her classmates.
Holly gets to share her love of Shakespeare with us.
|Picture Perfect #3||New York – LA MODE magazine spread at a fairground
Party at Gotham Hall
|On exams results, moving away, governesses, turning sweet sixteen, and long distance relationships.
|Harriet navigates America and the modelling world. A more gently paced story, apart from the rollercoaster, but still the same loveable Harriet. I like the exploration of the family relationships.|
|All That Glitters #4||Back Home in Hertfordshire – Mount Fuji shots released.
Marrakech, Morocco – Levaire jewellery commercial with Richard!, and Dancing in the Sahara Desert.
Party – Night of Stars
|On starting sixth form, stardom, bullying and friendship. Annabel accompanies Harriet on her trip.||So emotional. I wanted to protect Harriet all the way through this one. Alexa is at it again. Totally empathise with her diving into books as a solace.|
|Sunny Side Up #4.5||France – Paris Fashion Week
Fashion yacht party
Gothic Catacomb fashion show
|Novella length story where Harriet joins Paris Fashion Week but is she in the City of Lights, or in the Dark?
In the short scene we get to meet our characters through Nick’s POV.
|Love this book. Favourite fashion scenes yet. Most embarrassing disaster??
The short excerpt was great and I laughed out loud at Nick’s ‘Intro to Toby’.
|Head Over Heels #5||London – New modelling agency castings
How to Be a Perfect Model Training
London – Lucky 7 castings??
British Vogue Sisters Shoot
India – Fizzy Drink Campaign
|This time she’s got a foolproof plan and a social team. Hasn’t she?
Harriet switches roles and aims to be Wilbur’s fairy godmother.
|I love re-entering Harriet’s world and really enjoy seeing all the unreliable threads come together. It’s great fun being ahead of her.|
|Forever Geek #6||Sydney, Australia – MAKE NAT A FASHION ICON
Impromptu casting and The Great Barrier Reef
Sydney Australia For Yuko’s The Show To End All Shows
|Nat and Harriet head down under with Bunty.
Will Harriet end up with Nick or Jasper and when will her transformation from Geek to Model be complete?
Will we have a happy ending even though we have to say goodbye?
|This book made me cry. Perfect Conclusion. NO SPOILERS for this one – just enjoy the finale.|
Harriet Manners – knower of lots of facts turned model – the titular Geek Girl and my favourite unreliable narrator.
Natalie “Nat” Grey – the best friend, wannabe model and fashion fan/designer – part of Team JINTH
Toby Pilgrim – Harriet’s Stalker and Fellow Geek – part of Team JINTH
Nick Hidaka/Lion Boy – love interest and male model, met under a table
Alexa Roberts – Harriet’s school-based nemesis
Wilbur “not iam” – modelling agent and inventor of the most fun descriptors
Yuko Ito – fashion designer who gives Harriet her big break, and Nick’s Aunty.
Richard Manners – Harriet’s Dad, works in advertising – witty
Annabel Manners – Harriet’s Stepmother, a lawyer – wise
Bunty Brown – Harriet’s Step-Grandmother, a loose cannon if ever there was one
Tabitha Manners – Harriet’s Baby Sister
Hugo and Victor – Manners family dog and cat
Fleur – model Harriet has a run-in with – literally in Russia, America and the final book.
Rin – Japanese model and friend
Kenderall/Siren – model and miniature pig owner
India Perez – new girl to Head Girl – part of Team JINTH
Jasper King –foe to part of Team JINTH and love interest
So it is time for Harriet to hang up her Geek Girl glasses (for now at least) so I’m now planning a re-read (and have recently listened to the first two books on audio as well – great narration by Katy Sobey). I’m going to aim to note down Harriet and Toby’s outfits and Wilbur’s isms. If you’d like me to share let me know.
Ultimate Geek Girl Party – 4th March
I was very honoured to get an invite to the party especially because the launch of Geek Girl was my first ever Blogger event. It appears that Holly’s book parties seem to have a need for fancy lighting. Check out my post on the blogger launch of Geek Girl, and do take a look at my instagram photos posted today in celebration. I’ll always remember her swamped by that enormous squashy chair. For the Ultimate Party we had cupcakes, mocktails, face paints and nails. Holly spoke about the series, got understandably emotional and gave us a reading from Forever Geek. We were each given a goodie bag including tote, bookmark, sweets, signed copy of the final book and a copy of the first book to pass on. I got mine signed and gave it to a young girl on the tube – and it turned out to be her birthday. Hope she loves it as much as I did.
Here’s highlights of the notes I took from Holly’s speech:
Harriet isn’t Holly but there are certain aspects of Holly’s life that have influenced the books. In fact the whole series was written as part of a dare to write about her experience of being a teenage model. Holly wrote the first sentence and got shivers. Huge thanks go out to that friend!
The part where Alexa says ‘hands up who hates Harriet’ happened, modelling didn’t transform Holly. Richard is actually based on her dad (and as a side note her grandad is the biggest geek she knows).
This is a book about being an outsider but by sharing it Holly was surprised and honoured to find people identified with Harriet. She has met amazing, brilliant and unique girls who understand and empathise with her character and who have ‘blown her away’.
Originally Geek Girl was going to be a stand alone, and the end of book 6 was going to be the end of book 1. Thanks to a wise editor suggesting a series would be possible we are a few books better off than we would have been. Holly has had 9 years of writing, loving and living with Harriet Manners, she feels like a little sister, precious, brave, silly but also selfish and does stupid things. Her advice to Harriet is the series, but also to keep growing and looking around you. Sad to say goodbye (cried through about a third of the final book) but she’s off to sleep now. Well, actually she’s off to China. And Holly has not completely closed the cover – she may return, in the future, if it seems right.
There are hopes for Geek Girl to be filmed and Holly is working on a script, however the concept has to be right, and Holly is passionate about keeping the essential British schoolgirl nature of Harriet. She thinks a Netflix series would be good – maybe we should tweet Netflix with the hint.
What Holly would say about her next series is that it will be a comedy about more than one girl. I know I’m going to be reading it.
The Geek Girls’ thanks to Holly
Finally, here is a picture of Holly and I, I decided to turn the tables and go as Toby’s Stalker complete with binoculars and flask. And why is there a polar bear on my T-shirt? You’ll have to read the books to find out.
Guess what happens a month today?
Yes, you’ve guessed it I’m a Christmas Geek – I love it, but do I love it as much as Harriet Manners the quintessential Geek Girl?
Here’s just a few things she knows about Christmas (with my additions in brackets):
In the Ukraine, Christmas trees are decorated with spider’s webs
(Is that really decoration or fear of cleaning?)
The First Ever Christmas card was sold in 1843 and depicted a family drinking wine
All the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas would equal 364 separate presents
(Even Dudley Dursley couldn’t complain about that number)
The word mistletoe comes from the Old English word mistletan, which means poo twig, because it spreads itself through seeds in bird droppings that land on tree branches
(Haha – poo twig, that’s worse than thinking it’s infested with Nargles)
The most romantic Christmas fact ever – in 1913, a couple were fined fifteen dollars for kissing in the streets of New York City on Christmas Day
(Awwww, somebody needed visiting by three ghosts).
What Harriet doesn’t know an awful lot about though is dating… but when you’ve kissed Lion Boy that’s the next step…if he gets round to ringing you.
All Wrapped Up is a festive Geek Girl special from Holly Smale which fits into the events of the first book.
Harriet is supported to reach her next relationship milestone by the usual suspects including my favourite stalker Toby and a rather suspect list on ‘how to ace a date’ that really should simply say – be yourself.
Having recently been on a first date of my own at the time of reading this I felt Harriet was channelling my inner thoughts and paranoias, even though our ages are “a few years” apart. Dating – the universal evil! Holly’s comic style works well in short form and I found myself giggling along. There’s a comfort in coming back to Harriet, and it was nice to revisit her as she started out.
The romance factor is this book is high, there’s ice-skating and plenty of falling. Things are not straightforward, but it’s a perfect Christmassy tale with a warm ending. Wait until a chilly day, come in from the cold, make yourself a hot chocolate and settle down on the sofa with All Wrapped Up.
The book contains All Wrapped Up: a short story of what happens after that first kiss, as well as the previously limited edition short Team Geek, a Q&A with Holly, and some other festive extras – including a survey that you can test your gift giving skills with (although you might be banned from future family Christmases if you employ it).
Huge thanks to Serena from HarperCollins for my copy (and the list of geeky facts), the fact that I didn’t have to chew your arm off to get it does not affect my opinion of the book. 5 stars.