Back in February, I reviewed Geek Girl and raved about its fabulousness to anyone who’d listen. I’ve recommended it to a number of people looking for presents for nieces and teenage daughters and had nothing but glowing feedback.
But second novels are difficult aren’t they? Isn’t the middle of a trilogy always the weakest? Fear not, Model Misfit is brilliant and – dare I say it – even funnier than Geek Girl.
Harriet, apparently, has changed. The book begins with her on a shoot, listing the reasons she now knows she’s a model. Her final reason being:
6. I have become a creature of grace, elegance and style.
In fact, you could say I’ve really grown up since you last saw me. Developed. Blossomed.
Not literally…No, I’m talking metaphorically. I simply woke up one day and BAM: fashion and I were at one with each other…
And I’m going to be totally honest with you: it’s changed me. The geek is gone, and in her place is somebody glamorous. Popular. Cool.
A brand new Harriet Manners.
If this sounds too good to be true or you’re cursing Holly Smale wondering what the hell she’s done to Harriet and when can we have the version we love back…you’ll have to read all the way to the end of chapter two. There we discover that Harriet has been less than truthful with us: she’s covered the outfit she’s modeling in stickers with her physics revision notes on them, then she’s rushing to school, making her final exam within seconds. And, of course, as her and Nat leave school for the summer, along comes Alexa, the school bully.
Other continuations include the presence of Toby, the stalker; Wilbur, her agent; Yuka Ito, the designer, and Dad and Annabel.
Missing in action is Lion Boy aka Nick, who’s dumped Harriet. But she’s not thinking about that, honest.
And then there’s Dad and Annabel’s baby, which is all they talk about, making Harriet anxious that they’ll be no room for her once he or she arrives.
The perfect thing that Harriet needs then is a modeling assignment far, far away. Like Japan far away.
Model Misfit is laugh-out-loud funny whilst tackling important teen issues: boys, close friendships, half-siblings, school. Harriet’s voice is engaging and entertaining, making you feel as though you’re her friend and she’s talking directly to you. The addition of the modeling – particularly the trip to Japan – adds somewhat of a fairytale element and allows us to discover a culture that probably few of us have experienced first-hand.
I loved Geek Girl and I loved Model Misfit even more. I’m already looking forward to the third installment.
Thanks to HarperCollins for the review copy.