18 September 2014

{Book Review} Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes

By: Me My Shelf And I | 18 September 2014 at 12:09 AM | | | | | | | |

18340210 (1)Anatomy of a Misfit
Author: Andrea Portes
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 4 birds

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.

Anatomy of a Misfit has a feel kind of like Dangerous Girls (which I loved and if you haven't read it you definitely need to). Now, remember I said kind of, not exactly! The book begins with the ending then works it way back. There's a love story, there's mystery, and you're never quite sure how things get to that end point. When I first started the book I felt like there were only a couple of ways it could end but as the book went on I came up with several other possibilities.

The thing I loved most about Anatomy of a Misfit is the way it was written. Anika is very straightforward narrator. She tells the story with wit and humor but also with unapologetic honesty. However, her honesty is a double edged sword. While on the one hand I loved it, on the other hand I took real issue with some of the things she said. I don't think I am someone that is easily offended BUT at times she offended me.  I get that the book was trying to hit on stereotypes but I felt some of things were unnecessary. My biggest issue was the way she talked about Shelli's mom that is a Christian. The things she said about her were offensive. She calls her racist, a nutjob and made various other negative comments about her thoughts and beliefs. Now, I wouldn't have been as offended had there been something to back up her claims but we never even meet the woman and Shelli never mentions her mom in a negative way either. Also, I felt like with the number of times that it was mentioned there had to be some reason for it later on. Maybe we discover that Anika wants to be a Christian or something and while that is hinted at, it's never stated in a way that makes all of the negative comments seem necessary. Honestly if this would have been taken out it would have been a homerun for me but as it stands it just didn't quite make it over the fence.

I was back and forth on the two guys in this book. I loved Logan and Jared at different points in the book and I also disliked them both at different points. I struggled with trusting both of them. They both had these qualities that made them instantly likeable but also had qualities that made me question their character. 

Bullying is another one of the major issues that Anatomy of a Misfit deals with. Becky is the most popular girl in school and also the school bully. She is mean and hateful. I couldn't believe that anyone liked her.

Despite the fact that I had ideas of how things would end and the fact it was one of my theories, I was still surprised by the ending. I had convinced myself that theory wasn't an option. Yet, it was and it was heartbreaking. 

I'm really torn on the rating to give this book. I want to give it 5 birds. I really, really do because I flew through this book and read it in a day but I just don't think I can. The unnecessary negative comments toward christianity is going to have to bump this one down for me. 

Find Andrea Portes on Twitter or her website.

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