Author: Holly Smale
Number of Pages: 378
Genres: Humor, YA Fiction, Romance
Books like it: The Summer I Became A Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
My favorite quote: “Nobody hopped into a wardrobe to find Narnia; they hopped in, thinking it was just a wardrobe. They didn't climb up the Faraway Tree, knowing it was a Faraway Tree; they thought it was just a really big tree. Harry Potter thought he was a normal boy; Mary Poppins was supposed to be a regular nanny. It's the first and only rule. Magic comes when you're not looking for it.”
Brief Synopsis from Goodreads:
Harriet Manners knows a lot of things.
She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a "jiffy" lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn't quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she's spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend's dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves.
As Harriet veers from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, she begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn't seem to like her any more than the real world did.
And as her old life starts to fall apart, the question is: will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?
Read the entire thing in one day.
That's how great it was! Not even kidding. This book maybe, to some people, isn't inspirational, but to me it really was. It was about a geek who didn't have any friends and wasn't okay with herself, so she tried to change. The truth was that she was an amazing person and she didn't need to change- not one bit.
Sorry, that just totally reminded me of that quote from Taylor Swift. I loved the message of being yourself and not changing to fit in.
I am Harriet Manners, and I am a geek.
So, anyway. What the heck is this story about anyway? Harriet Manners is a geek. She knows the most random (yet interesting) facts. The only downside of this is that she is totally NOT popular. Except for her best friend Nat and her super geeky stalker Toby, she has no friends. In fact, they all think she is a geek. Someone even writes GEEK in big letters on her book bag, which, may I point out, is very rude. In short, Harriet is not the coolest gal in school.
When her opportunity comes to change that, she takes it.
Harriet is offered Nat's dream job: to become a model. A top modeling agency spots Harriet on a fashion fieldtrip, and thinks she is interesting and new. This job includes trips to foreign countries, wearing pretty dresses, and becoming famous. It is like nothing Harriet has ever experienced.
(May I point out this was an amazing choice?!?!?!?)
Why hello, geeky girl. You're beautiful. I'm Nick, a gorgeous male model. Would you like to drool over me some more?
Nick is a gorgeous model who has an interest in Harriet.... but that is not the point of this story. Anyway.
“Our stories are driven by who we are and what we do, not by the events that happen to us."
Ahem... where was I? Gorgeous male models? Erm, no. Sorry. Back to the story. So Harriet heads to Russia and does her first photo shoot. It goes fairly well, until she does something completely different and unexpected that makes national news. Which is great, (not really) because now her friend Nat knows a) Harriet stole her dream and b) Harriet lied to her. Not a great thing to do to your best (and only) friend. Harriet's life starts to fall apart, and she realizes it is a better life than she thought.
Sometimes you don't know what you have until you loose it.
"....stop caring what people who don’t matter think of you. Be who you are and let everybody else be who they are. Differences are a good thing. It would be a terribly boring world if we were all the same.”(Harriet's amazing quote. One of my favorites.)
Harriet will discover she is more than she thought- and maybe being a geek isn't so bad after all. And there is more to her than being a geek.
Here is some humor to end it:
“My name," I tell Wilbur in the most dignified voice I can find, "Was inspired by Harriet Quimby, the first female American pilot and the first woman ever to cross the Channel in an aeroplane. My mother chose it to represent freedom and bravery and independence, and she gave it to me just before she died."
There's a short pause while Wilbur looks appropriately moved. Then Dad says, "Who told you that?"
"Well, it's not true at all. You were named after Harriet the tortoise, the second longest living tortoise in the world."
There's a silence while I stare at Dad and Annabel puts her head in her hands so abruptly that the pen starts to leak into her collar. "Richard," she moans quietly.
"A tortoise?" I repeat in dismay. "I'm named after a tortoise? What the heck is a tortoise supposed to represent?"
“Tortoises are incredible creatures," Dad says earnestly. "What they lack in elegance and beauty they more than make up for in the ability to curl up and defend themselves from predators."
"What, like me?”
Also, there is a hilarious character named Wilbur who calls Harriet about a million different funny names. He reminds me of Frank from Father of the Bride. That's all I'm going to say about him and you can read more about him- when you read the book.
Review: 4.5 stars