Oh, Geek Girl. I can’t believe this is the end. You’ve made me laugh and you’ve made me cry and now here we are at the final book in the series and I’m not sure what I’m going to do without a new book about Harriet Manners to look forward to every year. When I was approved for Forever Geek on Netgalley, I tweeted that I was both desperate and reluctant to read it. I needed more Harriet and Team JINTH/JRNTH in my life, but I didn’t want it to be over either. Sadly, not reading it wouldn’t have stopped it being the last book in the series, so I gave myself a shake and sat down for one last adventure with Harriet. And I have to say, Holly Smale has finished the series on a high. A high that made me sob for 20 minutes, but a high nevertheless.
My name is Harriet Manners and I’ll be a geek forever…
Harriet Manners knows almost every fact there is.
Modelling isn’t a sure-fire route to popularity. Neither is making endless lists. The people you love don’t expect you to transform into someone else. Statistically, you are more likely to not meet your Australian ex-boyfriend in Australia than bump into him there.
So on the trip of a lifetime Down Under Harriet’s to-do lists are gone and it’s Nat’s time to shine! Yet with nearly-not-quite-boyfriend Jasper back home, Harriet’s completely unprepared to see supermodel ex Nick. Is the fashion world about to turn ugly for GEEK GIRL?
It’s time for Harriet to face the future. Time to work out where her heart lies. To learn how to let go…
One of the things I’ve really enjoyed over the Geek Girl series is seeing Harriet grow up. Even though the entire series only takes place over about 18 months or so, it’s clear to see that Harriet has changed. She’s making an effort to focus on other people. She’s trying (although not always succeeding) to think before she does things. Yes, she’s still impulsive, she tends to forget that there could be other explanations than the one she’s come up with, and she can be wilfully blind sometimes, but she loves her family and friends more than anything else in the world and she will always do what she can to help them. It might not work, but then that’s why there are six books and two novellas. And in Forever Geek, there’s a real focus on Harriet’s relationships with Nat, with Nick and Jasper, and with her step-grandmother Bunty, and it’s lovely. Harriet and Nat’s friendship, in particular, is shown to be a) incredibly important, and b) able to survive anything.
It’s true that Harriet can sometimes be annoying. I’m still not sure how she can misunderstand *so* much, *so* badly. But she’s a teenage girl, in the middle of a world she still doesn’t really know, and maybe, just maybe, if her parents had told her the real reason for the trip to Australia things wouldn’t have gone quite so wrong (I mean, she’s nearly 17 at this point, she should have been told at least some of it), so it’s understandable. Also, a large part of Harriet’s charm is her clumsiness and ability to charge in head first without knowing all the details. My only real gripe with the book is that we don’t really get to see much of Harriet’s parents and her other friends, but I will happily sacrifice that for the time spent with Nat and Bunty.
So all in all, Forever Geek was the perfect ending to the Geek Girl series. With the re-introduction of Nick and Yuka, it’s also nicely cyclical and gives a real feeling of closure. Just make sure you have some tissues with you when you read it!
ARC received via Netgalley in return for an honest review.
Forever Geek will be released in the UK on 9th March 2017