Friday, August 29, 2014

Review: Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes

Title: Anatomy of a Misfit
Author: Andrea Portes
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: 2 September, 2014
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

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.
Review by Nara

We all know that one person who always goes on forever when answering questions, gives a little too much personal information that we'd rather not know, and loves telling you these little anecdotes in excruciating detail. Well, take that person and double it, and you're about halfway there to what it's like reading this book.

Anatomy of a Misfit has one of the strongest, most opinionated narrative voices I have come across in quite a while in YA. Not entirely sure this is a good thing, because the main character is really unlikeable. Oddly this makes the story more fascinating, on one level. Like not being able to look away from a car crash.

Anika's jokes were so inappropriately funny. I kinda felt bad for being entertained by them, to be honest, like how one might feel when they laugh at someone who drops all their books, or trips on their shoelaces. (What, me? I've never done that... *nervous laugh*). Some of the jokes were racist, some were  rude, some were slut-shaming and some were all those combined. None of them were funny enough to make me laugh out loud, but I was definitely entertained to some degree.

But seriously, I have to bring this up: when the heck is this book set? It seems to use some seriously outdated language. I mean, really, who goes around calling African Americans "negros"? Does that actually happen? And do people really say "bone" instead of bang, or screw, or even fuck? Dunno, maybe it's an American thing... I've just never heard it in the context of "she bones anything that moves" (legit how it was used in the book).

I think the ending was what pushed this book from a three to a four star book (or from a two to a three Goodreads star book). It was kind of cheesy, no doubt about that, but I have to admit, it was powerful and heartwarming.

To be honest though, I think I'd only really recommend this book if you're able to tolerate somewhat offensive/racist jokes and an unlikeable protagonist.

Liked it

Overall: 5/10
Plot: 3/5
Romance: 1/5
Writing: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 4/5