Published: September 2nd, 2014 by: HarperTeen
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Realistic-Fiction, Social-Issues
Rating: 3 Stars
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.
1) You will not like Anika, Shelli, nor Becky.
2) There are so many offensive things said in this book that I lost count.
3) The characters all have no distinctive voice. Each and every one of them uses the word “like” too many times.
4) The only likable character is Logan.
5) There’s a sorta love triangle going on, but it really goes nowhere. It does, however, impact the story at the end.
I’m sure that if the ending hadn’t been so moving, this would have been maybe 1 or 2 stars. I had to give it 3 for the effort, and the strong message at the end. You’ve got a mean girl, 2 minions who follow her around like Mary’s Little Lamb, a bad boy, a vampire dad (he’s not actually a vamp, but you’ll see what I mean if you read it), a guy named Logan who is the only character that had any depth, and a simple-minded boss whom you will want to junk punch. Seriously, I wanted to reach in and hit him so hard. I can’t imagine working for someone like that. Overall, this book was kind of hard to get through. So many offensive things said, and I really do not like bullying. Still, if you can get through this one and not be a little heated, then you are made of stone my friend.
Published: March 18th, 2014 by: Balzer+Bray
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Realistic-Fiction
Rating: 3 Stars
What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you?
When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, who she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her archnemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.
Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she caused irreparable damage to the people around her—and to the one person who matters most?
Julie Murphy’s Side Effects May Vary is a fearless and moving tour de force about love, life, and facing your own mortality.
To say that Alice is the worst protagonist ever, would be an understatement of epic proportions. I heard her thoughts, but I didn’t understand them. She was so freaking mean! She had to have the last word. No one was safe from her manipulation; not even Harvey – her best friend. I didn’t like him either, all that much. He let Alice use him, until he almost collapsed under it all. Alice reminds me very much of Evie from Amy Reed’s Invincible. Whereas Evie went on a path of destruction after her miraculous remission, Alice took a different route and was all about revenge. Both hurt the ones they love by the decisions they made. Alice and Harvey in the “then”, were so cute but it all felt so wrong at the same time. Wrong because, while we are getting the “then’s”, we’re also getting the “now’s”, so you know how toxic Alice is. I think if Alice had confronted her mother right from the start and let her explain, things would have been different. She was so angry about that secret, that it made her want to take it out on everyone. Overall, an okay read that I have no desire to read again. And, what’s up with that abrupt ending?