Author: Andrea Portes
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: Septemer 2, 2014
This emotional, hilarious, devastating, and ultimately triumphant YA debut, based on actual events, recounts one girl’s rejection of her high school’s hierarchy—and her discovery of her true self in the face of tragedy.
Fall’s buzzed-about, in-house favorite. Outside, Anika Dragomir is all lip gloss and blond hair—the third most popular girl in school. Inside, she’s a freak: a mix of dark thoughts, diabolical plots, and, if local chatter is to be believed, vampire DNA (after all, her father is Romanian). But she keeps it under wraps to maintain her social position. One step out of line and Becky Vilhauer, first most popular girl in school, will make her life hell. So when former loner Logan McDonough shows up one September hotter, smarter, and more mysterious than ever, Anika knows she can’t get involved. It would be insane to throw away her social safety for a nerd. So what if that nerd is now a black-leather-jacket-wearing dreamboat, and his loner status is clearly the result of his troubled home life? Who cares if the right girl could help him with all that, maybe even save him from it? Who needs him when Jared Kline, the bad boy every girl dreams of, is asking her on dates? Who?
Anatomy of a Misfit is Mean Girls meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Anika’s hilariously deadpan delivery will appeal to readers for its honesty and depth. The so-sad-it’s-funny high school setting will pull readers in, but when the story’s dark foreboding gradually takes over, the devastating penultimate tragedy hits like a punch to the gut. Readers will ride the highs and lows alongside funny, flawed Anika—from laughter to tears, and everything in between.
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This book was really interesting for me to read. Honestly, I kind of hated it at first. The characters weren't hooking me and I found my attention wandering. But as I sunk more into the story, I found myself completely engaged. So engaged, in fact, I finished the whole thing in one day.
The thing I struggled with most at the outset of this novel was connecting with the main character, Anika. She just rubbed me the wrong way. I felt like she was so negative and whiney and I didn't understand her friendships when they seemed pretty unhealthy to me. But the most time I spent with her, the more I realize how real she is. Seriously, the author perfectly captured the voice of a teenage girl. She was obviously flawed but I saw my sixteen year old self in her. From worrying about what other people thought, to feeling pressure from parents and peers, from over exaggerating a ton. And I thought it was amazing that the Andrea Portes was able to do this so wonderfully. I've never met her before but when I was reading, I felt like she got it, you know?
The plot was good. There wasn't a whole lot actually happening, but there was a lot of internal conflicts that Anika struggled with. The most compelling, of course, was her conflict about whether she wanted to spend time and date Logan or keep her position as a "popular girl". I liked this conflict a lot but it felt pretty rushed at times. Like, I felt like we didn't get to know Logan as much as I wish we had. We see them hang out one time and then in the next scene, Anika mentions how she and him have hung out like, thirty times. I wanted to see their relationship grow and strengthen, I didn't want to be just told it happened.
Ultimately, this was a book I really enjoyed. It wasn't without its problems but it was incredibly easy to sink into and the characters all felt so real. The story was so heart wrenching but the triumphant and bitter sweet end really wrapped up this book and made it so good for me. I'm glad I was finally able to pick this one up.
“Let's just call it like it is, no need to pretty it up. I care what other people think of me. I'm not Jesus Christ. I'm just a girl in the world.”