I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of Going Geek from the publisher in association with The Fantastic Flying Book Club in exchange for an honest review.
- Original Title: Going Geek by Charlotte Huang
- Edition: Advance Reader’s Copy, 292 pages
- Published: September 13, 2016 by Delacorte Press
- Characters: Skylar Hoffman
- Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Synopsis: A girl forced out of her comfort zone finds that being true to herself is the best way to live her life, in this second novel from the author of For the Record.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Skylar Hoffman’s senior year at her preppy East Coast boarding school should have been perfect:
- amazing boyfriend
- the coolest friends
- the most desirable dorm
But it’s far from it. To her dismay, Skylar’s not going to rule senior year because she’s stuck in Abbot House, a tiny dorm known for, well, nothing. Living with a group of strangers everyone thinks is lame is bad enough. Worse is that Skylar wasn’t exactly truthful about how she spent summer break in Los Angeles—and her little white lie is causing her once rock-solid romance to crumble fast. And when it turns out that Skylar’s best friend is the one responsible for having her booted from Lincoln? It’s an all-out war.
Stepping out of her comfort zone never felt so scary—or necessary. But everything is different now. Including, maybe, Skylar herself . . .
Going Geek was exactly what I imagined it would be and I really enjoyed this light, easy read. Let me preface this review by saying that I use to glamorize boarding schools when I was a teenager. I thought all my problems of being an outcast at my school and my problems at home could be solved if I went away to boarding school and actually lived with a bunch of other girls. Adult me (who’s lived in college apartments and realizes how much I loathe roommates) now realizes that I would have been absolutely miserable, but it still doesn’t stop me from indulging old fantasies and enjoying stories set in boarding schools about a group of friends who bond and become like siblings. Ultimately, discovering true friendship and self-discovery are what Going Geek is all about.
Other than the boarding school setting, I really liked the assortment of characters and personalities in Abbot House, and all the people that Skylar meets as she starts to step out of her comfort zone and explore new groups and opportunities at her school.
My only complaint with Going Geek is the actual secret that causes Skylar’s life to crumble. It was such a small secret. Honestly, it was infuriating reading how her friends, and especially Leo, her boyfriend, overreact. It would have been much more exciting, and a much better redemption story, if Skylar had a darker secret, or if we learned more about Skylar when she was one of the It girls. Likewise, the antagonists, the reigning mean girls, are a bit flat and underdeveloped. They only show up once every few chapters. They serve their purpose of spurring Skylar to action, but they seem to have no goals of their own. Why is Lila really such a mean girl? Why does Whitney really continue to let Lila dominate her?
Luckily, Going Geek makes up for this in character development for Skylar as she decides to stop moping around and chasing her old life, and embraces the new and interesting girls that she meets in Abbot House. She slowly starts to find that even though they don’t attend big social events or aspire to popularity like the girls of Lincoln, they have unique talents–everything from art, yoga, and DJing–and stories, like burning down their families entire warehouse in protest, that make them intriguing. Skylar has a definitive character arc as she embraces new experiences and learns to love herself.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Charlotte Huang is a graduate of Smith College and received an MBA from Columbia Business School, which is clearly something every aspiring writer should do. When not glued to her computer, she cheers her two sons on at sporting events and sometimes manages to stay up late enough to check out bands with her music agent husband. Charlotte lives in Los Angeles and is the author of For the Record (Delacorte, 2015) and Going Geek (Delacorte, September, 2016).
Represented by Adriann Ranta of Foundry Literary.
- Website: http://charlottehuangbooks.com/index.html
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8041886.Charlotte_Huang
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/charlottexhuang
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/charlotte.huang.94
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/charlottexhuang/