Published by Harper Childrens on September 2, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Source: Literary Lushes
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.
What a read! Anatomy of a Misfit is filled with sarcasm, humor, and a whole lot of spunk. This is one of those books where you hear the voice of the story perfectly in your head. Sarcasm included. You’re taken on an emotional roller coaster as you work your way through the pages. One minute you’re laughing, the next you’re in compete and utter shock! I never really knew what was coming, but the short chapters that seemed like a “fast forward” was a hint that told me something was coming.
I felt like this depicted high school perfectly in a way. There will always be that popular girl who needs the attention 24/7. Her sidekicks who will struggle to find their own voices, but one who will help lead the other one to do so. The popular boy with the older brother everyone loves. And the guy who went through a complete makeover over the summer but is still considered the nerd. It’s the circle of life in the high school food chain.
But this isn’t just a quirky read about the woes of a high school girl. This book is so much more. It has so much depth, that at times, I needed to put the book down and take a deep breath before continuing on. Be sure to take a deep breath because the ending will knock it right out of you and leave you stumbling over your own emotions. Man! What a punch to the gut, not only to me as a reader, but to Anika, the voice of the story. So much heaviness, but the reality is…it happens. It’s a good reminder that you never know what the person next to you is going through.
I truly enjoyed this unique read and will certainly be purchasing a copy for my own bookshelves. Yes, it’s a heavy read, but it’s a pleasant reminder to use your own voice and to not worry about what other people are thinking about you. Follow your heart or else it might be too late.
Five out of five stars.