September 16, 2014
DNF Review: Anatomy of a Misfit
Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes
Release date: September 2, 2014
This ARC was provided by Read Between the Lynes in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: 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.
When did I stop reading?: I gave up at about 49% (chapter thirty, page 164).
The Short Review: The writing style is strange, Christians are stereotypical freaks, there's a lame love triangle, and I don't get the whole "misfit" part.
The Long Review: From pretty much the first page, Anatomy of a Misfit annoyed me. Anika, the protagonist, slut-shamed left and right when there wasn't really any evidence to back up the name-calling. Seriously, she called her sisters sluts pretty much every time she mentioned them and all I could gather is that they went out on dates. Also, I caught at least half a dozen references to Christians being freaks. It starts on page 52 of my ARC where Anika described Shelli's mom (why she was describing the lady in a chapter where she doesn't appear, I don't know) as "...a real freak. Like, she's a total Christian and is always talking about what would Jesus do, and the real meaning of Christmas, and how to hate gay people." Wall, meet my forehead. Anika also claimed that Christians don't believe in math. Excuse me while I go inform the main math/science teacher at my co-op of that.
I also can't neglect to mention the writing style. I guess it might be stream of consciousness? I don't have much experience with that style, so I can't say for sure. It didn't work well here, though, and half the dialogue, commentary, and descriptions are unnecessary. As you can guess from the synopsis, there's some semblance of a love triangle (I DNFed, so I can't say if it got worse). I felt so bad for Logan, though, because Anika seemed so ashamed of liking him, and he sounded like a nice guy.
Additionally, I cannot figure out what "Misfit" in the title refers to. Anika was the third most popular girl, for heaven's sake. She was smart, apparently pretty, and friends with the most popular girl. Sure, she had a thing for the so-called pariah (Logan), but that doesn't make her a misfit.
Plus, there's foul language, typical teenage partying and underage drinking, and plenty of sexual references.
The Verdict: Nope. I have no desire to finish this book. It's not worth your time, either.