Friday, October 17, 2014

Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes {REVIEW}


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.

Book Title: Anatomy of a Misfit
Author: Andrea Portes
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Publication Date: September 2nd 2014 
                              by Harper Children’s
[REVIEW COPY]

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review:

This is one of the rarest books that compelled me to change my opinion about it halfway. Usually when I'm reading a book, I gradually start to visualize my thoughts expressed in words for that particular book. It happens rarely that my view of the book changes by the time I've finished it. But this very thing happened here.


The Beginning.

I seriously didn't read the blurb before I'd asked for this one. I just liked the cover and more importantly, the title seems to relay the story of my life in a sentence so I kind of just went on in a whim. I started reading it with a lot of enthusiasm and soon was met with disappointment. I couldn't get the message it tries to give, I couldn't connect with any of the characters at all, let alone Anika. Hell I couldn't even get used to the peculiar language used here! Halfway through the book, I started scanning and often even thought of dnf-ing it.

For some reason unknown to me, the first half of the book feels average. It's hard to like it, let alone love it. You may often feel like you made a terrible mistake in starting this one. Specifically, the language itself often seems distracting. Apart from that, there are other issues as well.

Primer-like chapters in italics. Yes, sue me. But I'm still not clear as to the significance of these chapters for the plot execution. Like I said, at one point I'd started skipping them.

Racism. 

While I'm not Black (excuse my usage of the word but no derogation is intended) I don't like anything, books or other literary works, dealing with even the slightest kind of racism. While I believe books dealing with such sensitive issues should be written I also feel that handling and executing such themes can be extremely problematic. Racism doesn't prevail for a big part in Anatomy of a Misfit, but its representation disturbed me. Perhaps what author Andrea Portes had shown has a lot of truth in it, but it also is a bit unnerving.

Plastic people. 

Okay. That is not what it says in the book, but if I'm to describe the majority (read: 'all') of the characters in one word, I can't think of anything better. Everyone is fake. Everyone is a hypocrite. Everyone is full if layers- Anika, Becky, Shelli, Anika's family, Jared and even Logan. And there is something unnerving about each of them that puts me off a nubeer of times.

Overall, I kept cursing and flipping through the pages thinking why I'd even dared to like the book in first place.....for the first half that is.

For the second half, for example, after Jared gets actually involved in the story, things start to take up their pace. And even though it's somewhat weird, but it's this second half that made the book for me a I-really-love-it-but-needs-work from a straightaway dnf. I love how Anika's confusion is shown regarding Logan. And yes, even though I hate Logan for possibly the lamest pick up lines before kissing I like him more than Jared. He doesn't lie, no matter how messed up he or his life is. What is the most shocking thing for me is how the book ended. Yes, it left a gnawing feeling in me. Yes, I felt short of breath. Yes, I felt like breaking some things to get over the heartache. And yes, I read and reread with undivided attention just to confirm what I'd read was right and was un-doable even though I knew better. The ending made me emotional and clutch my e-reader for a while and close my eyes to pull myself together. But, even though I hate to admit it, I like the ending. It couldn't have been any better and it is this ending of the book that makes it worth the initial painful reading experience worthwhile. It is this ending, that perfectly sums up the Anatomy (and fate) of a Misfit.

Do give it a try :)

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