Review: Anatomy of a Misfit

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Title: Anatomy of a Misfit
Author: Andrea Portes
Rating: ✭✭✭

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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.

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.

I’m so conflicted over whether or not I actually like this book…

After a couple of pages, I was so ready to abandon it. There is a lot of slut shaming, girls hating on other girls, the stereotypical ‘bitch’ of every high school and I thought that maybe that was what the whole book would consist of. But because I really liked Hick I stuck with it and it did get a bit more interesting after a few chapters. (There are regular snippets between chapters that foreshadowed something bad was going to eventually happen, so naturally I had to keep reading.)

I tried to let go of the slut shaming because considering these girls are only 15, it is unfortunately something very common for teenagers to do and overall I felt Anika did have a good moral compass and knew when she was doing something wrong. But then stuff like this kept happening:

“I know you’re not like all those girls. That’s why I like you”

and

“Or maybe she can’t add. She is a Christian. I don’t think they believe in math.”

and

“I’m gonna kiss you now and you’re gonna like it.”

Even more surprisingly though, I still managed to find about 80% of this book hilarious!

“Gross! Do you think he has a girlfriend?”

“Yeah, and her name is Rosy Palm.”

Anika really reminds me of Amber from Sorta Like A Rockstar (Who is one of my favourite book characters ever) but slightly more believable.Overall, the majority of the book is a pretty light read, and whilst I found the whole ‘love triangle’ between Logan and Jared quite odd considering Anika had what felt like maybe two conversations with each of them, the ending was pretty well done.

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amylee

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