My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I keep going back to my review of Smale’s debut novel, the first in the Geek Girl series, and wondering about what I wrote. I think, in a way, and in light of what I’ve just read, I need to explain it a little before we go any further.
I can’t ignore that Geek Girl had some stylistic touches that I had issues with. It was a little too self-conscious at times and well, god, the second book is just gorgeous and why am I harking on about the first?
I think I’m harking on about Geek Girl as it’s one of those moments where you have to realise that you got it wrong. (In this case the ‘you’ is ‘me’ and I’m being all third party coy about it, just to clarify my poor use of pronouns here). That perhaps it was a case of debut nerves, of not quite knowing what the story was, and then here, in Model Misfit, discovering it quite gloriously and dancing with the words. That it was a case of the second album being full of a vibrant confidence that can’t help but draw you in.
I love Model Misfit. I love this series. I love what it is, this dorky model-geek who has a foot in both camps and a foot in none and how she’s just trying to live her life in a way she can understand. And it’s lovely. Smale’s got her groove on in this book (tenuous Stella Got Her Groove Back reference ahoy) and it is a joy. She’s confident, funny and just good, you know, in that This Is A Good Book way.
It is good. It’s so good. It’s got heart and funny and romance and comeuppances. Harriet’s parents are gorgeous. The supporting cast are edible. And Harriet? She’s lovely. True, heartfelt and a dork. Or a geek. Whatever. I’m on board. This is one to give to your teens and, to be fair, push at anyone. Because it’s good. It’s really good.
And if this is what happens in book two, that it can snap my perception of the series a full 180 then I can’t wait for book three. I got it wrong about Geek Girl. I’m glad I came back to it. Don’t be a berk like me. Get this book. (It’s SO GOOD).