This was a cute little book. I was surprised at how drawn into the story I was and I literally had a massive grin on my face throughout parts of the novel.
Geek Girl is the story of a girl called Jennifer (Jen) Jones. Jen is a troubled foster kid who never really stays long with any particular family. She is a goth and hangs out with the other troubled kids at school, drinking and partying whenever she can. She hides herself underneath heavy make-up and gives off the air that she really couldn't care about anybody. The book begins with Jen, being somewhat bored, deciding to take on a new 'challenge'. She sees one of the nerdy boys at school and she makes a bet with her friends that she can change him into a 'bad' boy.
Trevor Hoffman is the 'geek' in question. He isn't exactly like the other geeks in the school. Sure he dresses conservatively and watches a lot of sci-fi and is concerned about getting good grades in school. However, he is a lot more than that and once Jen begins to spend time with him she soon realises this. Even worse, she finds herself enjoying watching things like Star Trek and spending time with Trevor at the local senior centre, doing 'do-gooder' activities. She finds herself becoming more and more involved with Trevor and his life, even becoming closer to her own new foster family in the process. Could there be a 'geek girl' hiding underneath the surface and how will Trevor react when he finds out he is the subject of a bet?
Geek Girl does not have a particularly original premise, in that I have read many variations of the same theme before: boy and girl meet, they are from different social circles but a bond is formed that overcomes any prejudices they may have about the other, a misunderstanding occurs that pulls them apart but they overcome all obstacles and wind up living happily ever after...yada yada ya. However, the story was so cute and both characters were so endearing that it did not matter in the slightest.
Jen is a fantastic narrator. On the surface she seems really together and confidant but the cracks begin to show the more she spends time with Trevor and you find out that she is hiding a world of hurt beneath the hard exterior. I really liked getting to know Jen and loved seeing her grow into someone who is more secure in herself and coming to grips with her abusive past. I also loved seeing her get close to her foster family and letting people in perhaps for the first time in her life.
Trevor I liked a lot as well, especially in the beginning. He was someone who was happy with who he was and didn't feel the need to hide the fact that he genuinely cared about others, not just what they might have thought. Once the truth comes out about the bet, Trevor is understandably upset but he lost a bit of ground with me by how childish he acts afterwards. I get that he was upset as he had grown to love Jen and thought that their relationship was perhaps based on a lie but the fact that he then started to try and make Jen jealous by spending time with the girl he used to have a crush on made him lose points with me. It is probably a typical guy reaction but the novel had spent quite a lot of time setting up Trevor as anything but a typical guy so I was disappointed with this aspect. Nevertheless, by the end of the novel he had won me over again when he finally wakes up to what a jerk he was being.
I liked a lot of the secondary characters. Trevor's group of geeky friends were hilarious as was their in-depth analysis of Star Trek and other sci-fi related movies/shows that they have on their traditional Saturday night movie marathons which Jen soon becomes a part of. I must be something of a geek myself as I have hung around with people who do the exact same thing so this part definitely made me chuckle. I also really like Jen's foster family and her new friend Jane who is introduced sometime around the middle of the novel after everything hits the fan. Jane was a good friend to Jen and it was nice to see people on her side standing up for her.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Geek Girl. It was peppered with enough references to speak to my inner geek girl and the story, while not overly original, tugged on my heartstrings. I was moved by Jen's story and was really rooting for her to get her 'geek'.