Title: Anatomy of a Misfit
Author: Andrea PortesISBN: 0062313649
Book Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: September 2nd 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen
Book Source: Edelweiss
Goodreads Synopsis: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 I first started this book, I hated it, I really really hated it. I could have stopped and it would have been the end of things, but I didn't and I am kind of not sure if I'm happy or not that I didn't.
I think that there is a particular level of success or let's say reward a book gets when you learn something valuable by the end, like a moral to the story or something. So anyhow, what I learned from this story is that there are levels of psychotic and sociopathic behavior that range from bad to pure, unadulterated evil. Apparently some levels of psychotic are either necessary or just completely acceptable and shouldn't be morally reprehensible because there are worse things out there. Which I guess is how we differentiate between Anika (just your average psychopath) and her not really friend but needs to stay on her good side Becky (complete sociopath).
Here's Becky's description:
"Everyone loves her, yet she is pure unadulterated evil.The weird thing is… it's not like you can point to anything that made her that way. It's not like her dad's a criminal or her mom's a crack addict or she was raised in an orphanage or something. That would actually explain her demonic powers. It's just like she was born, she did a few print ads for the Penney's catalog, and abracadabra- BEELZEBUB!The only possible justification is that, potentially, when she was in the nursery, a dissatisfied ghost of some sort crept into her crib, possessed her baby body, and decided to wreak havoc on the living as revenge for some unanswered injustice. That's really the simplest explanation."
So really Anika (who just happens to not stand up to Becky, poisons her boss daily and steals from work, is heaps better in comparison.) But see here, because of her heritage she's number 3 on the popular list and can never be number one because she's half Romanian. Standing by Becky means she would never be the one bullied, so it's a safety measure and she does have a lot of shit going on with her family, it's all dysfunctional really with her dad, her mum and stepdad, siblings AND step siblings. I guess that's where we're supposed to feel sorry for her, this slowly turns into a story of finding out the hard way how to stand up to herself and to other people around her. She does try to do good deeds, but she can't actively show she's doing them, since hello, she doesn't want to be a pariah. You know, for being good.
Here's how she describes herself:
"I look like vanilla pudding so nobody knows that on the inside I am spider soup."
I'm still not sure what that means precisely, but I'm assuming it's that as normal as may appear on the outside, she's pretty fucked up on the inside, but we've already established that. Anika as a character is a bit strange to follow through with, the story has a lot of racist and offensive commentary even whilst trying not to be. It's a bit too much to stomach at times, since for her it's all normal in that messed up brain of hers. Spider soup huh?
What isn't mentioned in the synopsis, is that there happens to be a love triangle of sorts. The problem is, I don't think that side of the plot took a chance to be well developed before everything came crashing down, and from how messed up Anika is and how hard it is to understand her, I don't think I got enough of an in-depth look into how she really feels about both boys.
Aside from that, if we go and focus onto the writing, which has an interesting brand of humor, it does help with the story and makes you hate the parts you hate less. At least, it's what made it easy to get through the book to the end.
"He says he has a surprise for me and I know that's the kind of thing serial killers say before they haul you off to a hole in their basement somewhere and start dressing you up like their mom before they strangle you. But, considering that we've been on over thirty after-school moped rides together and not once has he asked me if he could cut off my scalp and use it for a bonnet, I think I'm in the clear."