Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes


Wow. Just wow.

I'm still reeling from this poignant, rare, heart-breaking story of love and loss and misfits.

Anika is the third most popular girl in school. Her best friend Shelli is number two. And Becky, the shrew who ruins people's lives over a stick of gum, is number one. Anika lives in Becky's shadow, too afraid to speak out about all the mean things she does to her classmates, afraid that she'll become the next victim. So she hides.

But Logan sees her. He is a nerd, a loser, a loner--and Anika can't help but be attracted to him. But she can't let Becky know. It would be social suicide. So they sneak around, hoping no one will ever find out. However, the pressure to be popular begins to take over, forcing Anika to overlook her feelings for Logan--and onto Jared, the most popular boy in their Nebraska town. Will she risk her reputation for Logan or will she give up love for the acceptance of her peers?

No matter how this book is described to you, I will tell you this is true: This is not a love story. It's a story of trying to fit in, even when it hurts you and the people you love. It's about the dangers peer pressure and the sting of regret. And yes, there is some romance, but this is Anika's story and Anika alone. She's fighting to survive in a world that is killing her uniqueness. And that might sound cheesy, but it's true. It's bullying and peer pressure and high school bullshit that make teenagers think that being unique is wrong. Anatomy of a Misfit is not a story of heroics. It's a cautionary tale.

It took me a while to get into this book. The narration at first is really immature, almost like an author is trying too hard to sound like a teenager and it's really unrealistic. I mean, her insides are spider soup? Come on! But after about 60 pages, the narration fits perfectly with the story and with Anika as a character. She's goofy and immature and wants so much to be accepted--even if it means hurting her heart in the process. It was so very authentic--probably one of the best written characters I've read in a while.

But, a warning to all the readers: this book with smash your heart into a million pieces. And it doesn't help that it's inspired by true fucking events the author experienced herself. The ending is hard to read, and it was the first book in a while (not counting re-readings) that made me cry. This warning though should not hinder you from reading this book. It was incredibly unique, and a book I will recommend for years to come.

Anatomy of a Misfit is a novel I will never forget.

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