So this, like a few of the other books I’ve reviewed so far, is a book that I read in my youth. As years go by, one’s understanding and perceptions change. So when I initially read this book in high school, I loved it. I thought it was a cool modern twist on the classic Cinderella story. Now, I wonder what in the world I was thinking.
In Piper Banks’ Geek High our protagonist is Miranda Bloom, also known as The Human Calculator. Her friend makes a blog which in turn gets her into trouble with the school headmaster. Now she has to plan a prom with her worst enemy, all while getting used to living with her dad, step-mother, and step-sister.
Let me begin the review with a note about diversity. While there are characters of color they are either stereotypical, relegated to the background character or both. The two most glaring examples are when Padma Paswan is first introduced and during the first Mu Alpha Theta meeting which Miranda does speak out against, to Banks’ credit.
Also upon rereading Geek High several times over it is clear that Banks is a little shy when it comes to letting bad things happen to Miranda which is incredibly clear in the unbelievably picture-perfect ending. Yes, while she does have to move in with her estranged father, her step-mother, and step-sister the conflict isn’t convincing. She has to plan the Snowflake Gala, her school’s prom, with her worst enemy, but neither one of them really butt heads. Ultimately, all of the conflicts in the book are resolved but not through Miranda’s actions.
Also, it is worth noting that the romance was unconvincing as well. Or rather, it would have been extremely beneficial for Banks to have developed it further. While Miranda and Dex did have a couple of conversations, they were superficial at most and it felt as though Miranda was telling (Zing!) us that she was smitten with Dex as opposed to showing us.
Because of all this, Geek High gets a 4 out of 10 from me. While yes, there were characters of color, I still wouldn’t recommend this book to my friends, nor would I jump at the opportunity to reread it any time soon. That said, I’d love to hear what other people thought about Geek High. I’ll be waiting for you in the comments.