Title: Anatomy of a Misfit
Author: Andrea Portes
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Source: ARC from Publisher
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 all 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 results 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 a Mean Girls meets 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.
Andrea Portes’s Anatomy of a Misfit is one of those books I had really high expectations for, it was one of the books I was most looking forward to getting my hands on at BEA earlier this year. Though it didn’t quite meet those expectations, Anatomy of a Misfit was still a very interesting read.
To the outside observer, it would look like Anika Dragomir has everything going for her, after all she is the third most popular girl in school. All she has to do to stay in that position is stay in line, otherwise Becky Vilhauer will make her life miserable. On the inside though, it’s a completely different story. On the inside, Anika has the makings of a freak. Dark thoughts, evil plots and even the DNA of a vampire is rumours around town are to be believed. And that all leads Anika to Logan McDonough. Previously a loner, Logan comes back at the start of the school year looking better than ever and he seems to want Anika. Anika knows what will happen to her social position if she shows interest in Logan, but she can’t help but be drawn to this mysterious nerd. There’s something more going on with Logan, Anika just knows it, but will she do something about it and risk being miserable the rest of her high school life.
As I’ve already mentioned, I had pretty high expectations for Anatomy of a Misfit. It was one of those books that when I first heard about it, I knew I absolutely wanted to read it. To the point that it was one of a few books that I most wanted to grab when I was at BEA earlier this year. So needless to say that I was really excited at the prospect of reading Anatomy of a Misfit. When I started reading, I quickly realized that it was going to be different than what I thought it was going to be. That’s not to say it was a bad kind of different. I really enjoyed this story. Granted, I had some issues with it at times, but it still didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the story. This story is to the point. Anika is blunt in the way she tells her story, but she’s also quirky and has a rather dry sense of humour. I will say this though, the story ends up packing quite a punch. Though there were many hints dropped along the way, the ending still took me by surprise. As emotional as it was, it was the appropriate ending for this story. And much like it was a good ending for the story, this story wouldn’t have worked with someone other than Anika as the narrator.
Anika was interesting. As I’ve already mentioned, she was quirky and had a rather dry sense of humour. But I liked the way her brain worked. The only thing that really bugged me was the amount of emphasis that was put on keeping things hidden in the name keeping her social standing. Granted that was kind of the point of the story and she needed to go through that to where she got by the end, but at times I felt like I was being hit over the head with that aspect of the story. My other complaint would be that I could have gotten to know the other characters a little better. As much as I could see the appeal of both Logan and Jared, but I feel like I didn’t know them well enough for everything that happened with them to make complete sense. Though I feel like that could be said more about Jared than Logan. In a way, it felt like Jared kind of came out of nowhere, just to make Anika rethink everything to do with Logan. But again, that didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the story.
I really enjoyed reading Andrea Portes’s Anatomy of a Misfit. Though the story wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, it was a story with a message that is ultimately an important one. If you’re looking for something a little different with a quirky narrator, than this is the book for you.