Monday, April 20, 2015

Review: Anatomy of a Misfit

Title: Anatomy of a Misfit
Author: Andrea Portes
Release Date: September 2nd 2014
Publisher: Harper Children's
Pages: 336  pages
Rating: 5 Cows

Goodreads Description: 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 is a beautiful YA book written by Andrea Portes about self-discovery, school hierarchy, and the social pressure to fit in.  Not only did it bring me to tears, but it also made me laugh. A LOT. Even out loud.  There were actual moments in which I caught myself laughing at a part in the book and I couldn’t stop.  In fact, the times I found myself laughing the hardest were moments when Anika wasn’t even intentionally trying to be funny. She just is.  Her character is one of the strangest, yet coolest YA characters I’ve come across in ages.  She’s not your typical run-of-the-mill YA protagonist, and for that, I thank you Andrea Portes.
And dear future daughter of mine, if you turn out even half as cool as Anika, I will be one happy mama:)  I hope you are just as witty, smart, funny, and downright eccentric as she is.  And I hope you think about things in life and the impact of your actions on those around you like she does.  Having confessed all these wishes of mine, I’m putting this book away till I can give it to you one day.  You might hate me for making you read this, and you don’t even have to enjoy it (although I sincerely pray you will), but I am doing it anyhow.  Because I wish this book was around when I was in high school, or heck, even middle school, because it could have done wonders for me (or any teens that age).  If you walk away having read it and take with you even the smallest inkling of the message being portrayed here in this book, then I will be content.
 Andrea Portes was onto something brilliant with this book.  Knowing that it was based off her own experiences in her ninth-grade year of high school made me connect with this book that much more.  I say that because I felt like she trying to show teens what she went through, in the hopes that they will learn from her mistakes, and not get sucked into the high school notion that popularity is everything.  The message being portrayed in this book is incredibly inspiring, and when I say I will be recommending this book to everyone, I truly mean it.  This book is a perfect example of YA that should be taught in classroom curriculums.  There’s so much teenagers can learn from this, and I hope librarians and teachers everywhere realize the potential this kind of story has, and share it with as many students as possible.  If only half of kids were like Anika, this world would be a much better place. 



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