Source Received from the publisher at BEA
Published by HarperCollins Children's Books on September 2, 2014
Received from the publisher at BEA in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Cover image and summary from Goodreads:
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.
I’ve said before that contemporary is not my favourite genre. I’m more of a paranormal, science fiction, historical fiction girl. I’m very hit or miss with contemporary reads. I seem to either love or hate them.
I’m so glad that I have this book a chance, because I loved it. My feelings were a mess when I finished readings this! This book was funny, but sad, and I loved the message at the end. And then I remembered that there was a note from the author at the beginning of the book that says this is based on her grade nine junior high experience, which made my feelings even more intense.
Anika, the main character, was funny and sarcastic, and I liked her voice a lot. Her family was interesting and I enjoyed reading about them. I like books where the MC’s family is present in her/his life.
There were two things holding me back from giving this book five stars:
1. The romance: there was a bit of a love triangle, but I never really got a sense of who either of the guys was. The romance seemed to move along pretty quickly, considering that there wasn’t a ton of dialogue between Anika and either Jared or Logan.
2. Becky, Anika’s ‘mean girl’ friend: we’re told that Becky is Anika’s friend, but I didn’t see it. There was a lot made of Anika being afraid of Becky, and Becky threatening Anika, but I never felt that I actually saw any friendship between them.
That said, Anatomy of a Misfit was one of those books that pleasantly surprised me. I was reminded of Andrew Smith’s Winger (one of my favourites), I think because of the quirky humour and emotionally devastating ending.
This is a contemporary book that I loved. Highly recommended!