Sunday, 7 September 2014

Mini-Reviews: Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes and Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

Anatomy of a MisfitTitle: Anatomy of a Misfit
Author: Andrea Portes
Publisher: Harper Children's
Buy This Book: Amazon / Book Depository

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. (Goodreads summary.)

I usually like to do a full review for every book that I read, but I honestly don't have that much to say about Anatomy of a Misfit. It was a book that frustrated me, then bored me and then made me wonder why I had bothered. But it didn't make me really feel anything, it barely got one page worth of notes out of me. I will do a short review for it, followed by one for Rites of Passage, a book that I eventually had to DNF.

I had a lot of issues with Anatomy of a Misfit and reasons why I just couldn't get into it, enjoy it or connect to the characters. My main reasons that I really didn't get along with this book were:

The unspecified year it's set it: The blurb makes no mention of the fact that this book is set in the past, and it's never actually mentioned in the book. I would have much rather have known that going in. It's not clear when exactly this book it's set, but I highly doubt it's set recently. From the racism, to the language used and cultural references, it's clear that it's set sometime in the past. I would rather have known when this was set, it was getting on my nerves that I couldn't figure out when it was supposed to be set.


Anika: I really didn't like her as a character. She's very immature and talks like a twelve year old, rather than a fifteen year old. She also insults everyone, every girl she mentions is a 'slut' and she uses the word gay as an adjective and an insult. I couldn't really understand her or her decision making. She's quite a complex character, but mostly she just isn't very nice as a person.

The romance: No. I didn't come to like the romance in this at all. I didn't really see it, if you get what I mean and I couldn't understand why Anika comes to fall for the guy. This is mostly because of one scene in the book that just left me in shock, I couldn't understand how Anika would want to date anyone who could do that. I found the romance in this to be a little bit disturbing. It also has a love triangle, which I am pretty fed up of seeing in fiction.

The 'shock' ending: I felt absolutely nothing at the shock ending and what Anika does after it. I just felt it was too little too late. I hadn't come to feel like I knew, liked or connected to any of the characters in this book, so I didn't really come to care about what happened to any of them.

2/5 Butterflies

This just didn't work for me at all. I didn't like the main character, I just felt she was very immature and I couldn't connect to her. I didn't like that there isn't a hint to the fact it's not set now in the blurb, if I had known that then I probably wouldn't have read it. The romances in this didn't work for me at all, nor did the fact that it has a pointless love triangle in it. This just didn't work for me, I kind of wish I had given up and put it as a DNF.



*I received a copy of this novel from the author/publisher/publicist via Edelweiss in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.


Rites of Passage
Author: Joy N. Hensley
Publisher: HarperTeen
Buy This Book: Amazon / Book Depository

Sam McKenna’s never turned down a dare. And she's not going to start with the last one her brother gave her before he died.
So Sam joins the first-ever class of girls at the prestigious Denmark Military Academy. She’s expecting push-ups and long runs, rope climbing and mud-crawling. As a military brat, she can handle an obstacle course just as well as the boys. She's even expecting the hostility she gets from some of the cadets who don’t think girls belong there. What she’s not expecting is her fiery attraction to her drill sergeant. But dating is strictly forbidden and Sam won't risk her future, or the dare, on something so petty...no matter how much she wants him.
As Sam struggles to prove herself, she discovers that some of the boys don’t just want her gone—they will stop at nothing to drive her out. When their petty threats turn to brutal hazing, bleeding into every corner of her life, she realizes they are not acting alone. A decades-old secret society is alive and active… and determined to force her out.
At any cost.
Now time's running short. Sam must decide who she can trust...and choosing the wrong person could have deadly consequences. (Goodreads summary.)

I feel like it's been so long since I put a book down as a DNF, but I really couldn't continue with Rites of Passage. I probably could have forced myself to read on, but I am fed up of wasting time forcing myself to finish books that I am not interested in. I got 25% in and just couldn't go any further, I wasn't really sold on the story and didn't feel like I wanted to go on.

This was set at a military academy, which didn't really excite or interest me as much as I thought it would. It's set at an academy that has just started to allow girls to attend it, it was previously all boys. I knew I would be dealing with sexism in this book, but all the stupid comments about women just got on my nerves.

When I requested this, I didn't see the whole blurb because I don't remember any mention of a secret society. I mean, come on. Really? I don't know, that just seems silly to me. Am I the only person who doesn't get what all the fuss is about. It's just some girls going to a military academy, it's not that big of a deal. But your telling me people are willing to go to ridiculously extreme measures just to force them out. I didn't even get to all of that, I was bored and couldn't really hold out for the story to pick up or get interesting.

DNF



*I received a copy of this novel from the author/publisher/publicist via Edelweiss in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.

16 comments:

  1. These books hadn't interested me much anyway I must confess, but I'm still sad they didn't have you love them, it's such a shame, you have a great read and then a meh read, and I have to say, I'm glad you're starting to DNF a little more, you push through so many meh books and it gets you down, so please, never force yourself like that if it's so bad, okay? These were good mini reviews, definitely mini sized :)

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    1. I hate when you have brilliant reads and then just move on to crap. I'd love to have a run of 4/5 or higher reads. Like 4 in a row or something. That would be amazing.

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  2. Well that stinks about Rites of Passage. Had heard some good things about it. Hopefully the next up will go better for ya than these did.

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    1. I just couldn't get into it. Might be one of those books you have to get a bit further into before you really start to enjoy it. I just didn't have the patience for it.

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  3. I totally agree that Anatomy of a Misfit could NOT have been set recently. Even just down to "gay" being a derogatory term, I mean, yeah that's still happening now, but just the slurs all seemed too old, you know? Like the really obvious racism and the music they listened to. WHY DIDN'T IT JUST SAY WHAT THE EXACT DATE WAS?!!

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    1. The racism really bothered me, I just had to keep reminding myself that it wasn't set in the present day. I just wish they had specified a date. I also wish they had said it was set in the past on the blurb, because that wasn't what I was expecting.

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  4. I originally wasn't all that interested in these books from their synopsis and now after reading your review I think I will for sure be skipping these. Not knowing when the setting of a book takes place also drives me freaking crazy! Sorry these didn't work out for ya.

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    1. I just don't get what's so hard about specifying a date. It frustrates me when they don't specify!!!

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  5. Sorry you had such a hard time with both of these. I really hope your next week is way better.

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  6. I disliked Anatomy of a Misfit too. Anika was a terrible main character, and then like you said, why keep dating that person after he did that thing at the boat house? I almost didn't finish it either.

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    1. I wish I hadn't finished it, such a ridiculous ending. I know, I couldn't trust her judgement after that. She just justifies it because of how he was treated by his own father. I just don't understand how or why you could date someone like that.

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  7. Oh man, I am sorry these didn't work for you. I have to say, basically every review I have read about Anatomy of a Misfit has the same exact gripes. Is it masochistic that I really want to read it just to see how bad it is? Plus, the whole thing about absolutely NO ONE knowing when this book is set is driving me batty. From the reviews I have read, I have been putting together the pieces (which honestly is more fun at this point than the actual book probably is), and it seems like it HAS to be 1981 or after because someone was watching MTV? But then they reference very 50s and 60s stuff like The Rolling Stones and Brigitte Bardot? I have no idea.

    The Rites of Passage DNF is bumming me out! I have heard such great things, it really stinks that you didn't like it. I pre-ordered it even after hearing so many great things, I am a bit nervous, but this is actually a good thing- maybe lowered expectations are a bonus?

    Great reviews! I hope your next books work out better :)

    -Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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    1. All the references to different times get very confusing. I couldn't quite figure out the exact time and that really bugged me. I'd kind of love to read your review. I am loving seeing all the different opinions on this book.

      I just couldn't get into it, maybe I should have given it more of chance. But, after already detesting Anatomy, I didn't want to push through another book I wasn't enjoying.

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  8. Oh man. Two books I'm excited to pick up.
    I actually bought Anatomy of a Misfit last week. I'd heard about it but when the girls at Epic Reads were talking more in depth about the writing style and the MC's voice it got me excited. Sounded like my kind of book. I haven't had the chance to pick it up yet, but I'm hoping to fit it in this month. Fingers crossed I do a hell of a lot better with it than you did.
    There's been such good praise for Rites of Passage. I honestly think yours is the first negative review. But hey, it is what it is. I almost bought the book today but decided it was to expensive and could wait. Maybe I should be checking it out of the library instead. I've heard that it's a book that makes readers(especially females) angry but ultimately everyone says it's worth it. I'm not one to easily put up with blatant sexism in a book either. So maybe it will be beyond my patience too. I'll probably be checking it soon though.
    Great reviews!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

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  9. Oh no, I have Rites of Passage, but I haven't started it yet. Hope I like it better than you did!! ~Pam

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