Title: Anatomy of a Misfit
Author: Andrea Portes
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Format Read: Paperback, 336 pages
Publication Date: 1st September 2014 by Harper Collins Australia
Synopsis: “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.” (Taken from Goodreads)
I must admit that I was a little skeptical when first approaching this book. When I initially read the blurb, I thought it would just be another clichéd love story/triangle. Instead, I found a brutally honest depiction of bigotry, abuse and bullying that will stay with me for days.
Anatomy of a Misfit is a contemporary YA novel that follows ninth grader Anika Dragomir (Dragomir? Vampire Academy anyone?) as she struggles to maintain her ‘third most popular’ social standing in a Mean Girls-esque high school setting where rumours and bullying can make or break a person. Immediately branded as an outsider for her Romanian descent, Anika must stick to her manipulative ‘first most popular’ friend Becky Vilhauer in an effort to avoid becoming an eternal social pariah. Enter loner and newly turned hottie Logan McDonough with his unique views of the world and suddenly the life Anika has grown used to, doesn’t seem so great after all. What should Anika do? Follow her heart and beliefs, or follow the crowd?
I loved Anika and her quirky personality. She was sarcastic, hilarious and unashamedly honest. Her various diabolical plots were incredibly entertaining as she struggled with her desire to do right even with the looming threat of unpopularity. Logan was harder to like. He made these incredibly sweet gestures of romance to Anika but his underlying anger issues at times (and in one particular scene) were quite frightening. Hats off to Portes for this realistic portrayal.
Honestly, I wouldn’t really call it a black and white love story. The relationship itself is pushed to the side when acknowledging the bigger issues portrayed in this novel. I liked this about it though and found it refreshingly realistic that Anika’s entire life didn’t revolve around Logan.
One thing I have to say is that I did NOT see that ending coming. I mean I know the blurb itself boasts a ‘devastating penultimate tragedy’ but it definitely came out of nowhere. I won’t spoil it for you, but I recommend chocolate, or tissues.
This book had me laughing to myself on the train (to the dismay of the very cute boy I may have scared half to death) and close to tears (damn you, Andrea Portes). ‘Anatomy of A Misfit’ was a wonderful and at times incredibly daring book that honestly tackled important problems without trivializing them.
Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good and surprising read. Portes does a wonderful job at realistically portraying not only the incredible difficulties of surviving high school, but of the ingrained and often overlooked problems within society as a whole. Don’t be fooled. This is not simply a love story; it’s a candid portrayal of a young girl coming to terms with not only the underlying prejudices of society, but with herself.
Thank you to Harper Collins Australia for providing a physical copy in exchange for an honest review.
Latest posts by Alana (see all)
- Book Subscription Box Review: The Best Damn Book Box – Game of Thrones - September 6, 2016
- Happy 4th Birthday to Thoughts by J! - August 16, 2016
- Discussion: Would you take an eReader or paperbacks on a holiday? - June 21, 2016