Wednesday, August 20, 2014

ARC Review: Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes

Anatomy of a Misfit
Author: Andrea Portes
Publication: HarperTeen (September 2, 2014)

Description: In this Mean Girls meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower tale, narrator Anika Dragomir is the third most popular girl at Pound High School. But inside, she knows she's a freak; she can't stop thinking about former loner Logan McDonough, who showed up on the first day of tenth grade hotter, bolder, and more mysterious than ever. Logan is fascinating, troubled and off-limits. The Pound High queen bee will make Anika's life hell if she's seen with him. So Anika must choose—ignore her feelings and keep her social status? Or follow her heart and risk becoming a pariah. Which will she pick? And what will she think of her choice when an unimaginable tragedy strikes, changing her forever? An absolutely original new voice in YA in a story that will start important conversations—and tear at your heart.

My Thoughts: ANATOMY OF A MISFIT was an interesting YA debut novel. It is a story told by Anika Dragomir, third most popular girl at Pound High School. She is fifteen and the youngest of five. She lives with her mother and stepfather, she calls him the Ogre, and maintains contact with her father, she calls him Count Chocula, through phone calls which she dreads because she fears not being able to meet his high standards.

The story is mainly that of her first romances and deals with the high school need to conform to the group and high school bullies, too. She is fascinated with former loner Logan McDonough but the most popular girl at Pound High School - Becky - has made him off-limits. Anika has to choose between Logan or Becky and Becky has the power to ruin her whole time in high school. She decides to sneak around with Logan and the two have a sweet romance.

However, it wouldn't be a teen novel without a love triangle. The other boy who is interested in Anika is THE Jared Kline. Recent graduate and the one that everyone wants to date or be best friends with, Jared takes a liking to her and asks her mother to date her. It is Anika's first official date. This was a little problematical for me because, at most, she is a sophomore and he has graduated. Worse of all, Becky is dating Jared's younger brother and would very much like to date Jared too.

The style of this book was rather hard for me to get into. It is told in tight first person from Anika's quirky point of view. It is almost stream of consciousness but, mercifully, with punctuation. We see all the characters and all the events through Anika's eyes. And Anika is sort of a drama queen. I didn't like Anika very much through most of the first two-thirds of the book.

I'm glad I stuck with this one because the ending redeemed both the book and Anika for me. Teen readers will enjoy the look at high school and will likely recognize some of the characters and situations.

Favorite Quote:
Shelli's mom is a real freak, like, she's a total Christian and is always talking about what would Jesus do, and the real meaning of Christmas, and how to hate gay people. If she only knew that before her very eyes she was raising her own personal Mary Magdalene, her eyes would probably roll into the back of her head and she's start speaking in tongues.
I got this eARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

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