The Geek Girl series by Holly Smale has become so popular, All That Glitters is already the fourth book in the series, which only started a year ago with From Geek To Chic. Loosely based on the authors miss-adventures – the books follow the character of Harriet Manners as she tries to navigate modelling (accidentally) and being a teen geek.
All That Glitters catches up with Harriet a week after she returns from New York where she is looking forward to starting 6th Form college at her old school in the UK. She has to deal with making new friends, avoiding the old bullies and wondering why her old friends seem to be drifting away from her. Then there is her continuing heartbreak after the split with her adoring model boyfriend and a few rather unexpected add campaigns to deal with.
This is a book which you will fly through as it’s written in the first person so there is no lull in the story because you always want to know what the utterly adorable and witty protagonist is thinking. Harriet comes up with the most informative and funny smilies I’ve ever heard. The story is very original with some hilariously bizarre moments and characters but it’s also full of little awkward everyday moments which most people (not just geeks) will be will be able to relate to. Accidentally going into school as a kid on teacher training day? Yup!
There were a few things that didn’t sit well with me though. 1) It becomes clear very quickly that everything that can go wrong, will go wrong, which means it’s hard to get carried away with Harriets enthusiasm before any event, although it does compel you to read on with rather morbid fascination to see exactly how wrong it will go. 2) This means quite a bit of the book is really cringey because you are left in that uneasy place of feeling like you are meant to be laughing but mainly just wanting to reach into the pages to rescue Harriet and give her a big hug. 3) I do think there is a real difference between someone who’s awkward and quite geeky and someone who is painfully naive and unaware for their age. Harriet seems to have the intuition and judgment of a ten year who’s had the misfortune of being plonked into a group of (mostly) judgmental 16 year olds.
However, it’s these qualities, which mean we are in Harriets corner every clumsy step of the way, that and her unwavering humour in the face of adversity.
All That Glitters is hilarious, poignant, surprising and heartfelt all in equal measure and it’s that equation that makes it worth adding to your reading list immediately.
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This is my first ever book review btw, so how did I do?
This book was sent to me free for review purposes. This does not affect my opinion of the book.