Review: Head Over Heels by Holly Smale


Title: Head Over Heels (Geek Girl #5)
Author: Holly Smale
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
UK Release Date: 7th April 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

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“My name is Harriet Manners, and I will always be a geek.”

The fifth book in the bestselling, award-winning GEEK GIRL series.

Harriet Manners knows almost every fact there is.

She knows duck-billed platypuses don’t have stomachs.

She knows that fourteen squirrels were once detained as spies.

She knows only one flag in the world features a building.

And for once, Harriet knows exactly how her life should go. She’s got it ALL planned out. So when love is in the air, Harriet is determined to Make Things Happen!

If only everyone else would stick to the script…

Has GEEK GIRL overstepped the mark, and is following the rules going to break hearts all over again?

I don’t know what it is about the Geek Girl series, but there’s something about it which means every time I read a book from series I become instantly engaged with the story. Maybe it’s the style of writing, with the fun facts scattered through, or the incredibly strong voice that Harriet has that would make a Geek Girl book instantly recognisable even if you changed all the characters’ names and retitled it, or the pure fun of the way it mingles standard teenage life with Harriet’s forays into the world of modelling. Whatever it is, it makes the whole series utterly unique, distinct and irreplaceable, and Head Over Heels was definitely all of this for me.

When I reviewed Sunny Side Up, a Geek Girl novella, one of the things that caught my attention was the detail in the modelling world. In Sunny Side Up, it was in particular the depth of knowledge of France and the landmarks which Harriet visited, which were vividly described, and the unusual choices of locations. In Head Over Heels, not only were the settings of the book’s main modelling shoots described in a way that conjured a perfect image, but Harriet also finally gained an emotional connection to the modelling experience, and channelled her feelings into her work. This really contrasted with her attitude to modelling in the first book, and it perfectly showed the incredible journey she’s been on across the series.

Harriet’s emotional connections with her friends were also really developed in this book. Although she has gained herself more friends than ever before, this by no means signified an easy ride for Harriet in the friendship department, and I appreciated that things didn’t go entirely smoothly for her. One of the things that’s so great about the Geek Girl series is that it encompasses so many important values – Harriet values intelligence over looks, but also learns to be appreciative of the modelling world, and her troubles are with her friends and her love interests, which shows how both play a significant role in her life.

The ending was an excellent climax – building up from the fight with India, her new knowledge about Jasper, and the set up for the next book. I loved how it felt like a rollercoaster of events, twisting and turning as her feelings were hurt, as she learnt new things about herself and about those around her, and then built up so readers eagerly anticipate the next book. I particularly appreciated India’s argument with Harriet, as Harriet is a rounded characters, but obviously this means she has her flaws as well as her more positive traits, and so what India said really for me showed Harriet how she might frustrate others at times (even though she always means well).

On the whole, I loved this book. It’s a fun and engaging continuation of an already fantastic series, and really builds on the other books, showing a lot of character growth and development. I would definitely recommend this book to lovers of the Geek Girl series, and for those who think this sounds like the kind of book they would enjoy, I can do no more than direct you towards the first book in the series.



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