The Anatomy of a Misfit didn’t get off to the greatest start if I’m being honest. It felt slow, and the whole anti-hero archetype of the main character, Anika Dragomir, didn’t sit well with me in the first couple of chapters. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself drawn in by the complex web Anika is trapped in. I found her surprisingly relatable, especially when she was wrestling with her conscience over what’s right. Whether to stand up to her so-called friend Becky or to keep her head down in order to survive High School. Everyone can relate to that. All anyone wants to do is survive the hellish journey of adolescence without being called out and humiliated. Well, I do.
Anyway, the storyline was pretty basic and the male characters that admire Anika: the nerd turned social pariah moped driver Logan and the brooding James Dean -esque bad boy Jared were quite endearing, especially Logan (who vaguely reminded me of Augustus Waters). Anika finds herself battling with the high school hierarchy and her heart as she makes a choice between Jared and Logan. Although the book was in itself quite clichéd (the sweet supportive mother, the grumpy stepdad, annoying siblings, Queen Bee b*tch etc.) it was surprisingly pleasing and enjoyable, because sometimes you need a bit of a cheesefest.
I laughed my way through this book and the plot twist near the end was like a punch to my gut. I didn’t expect it coming (not even with the flashbacks throughout the novel) and I found myself suddenly overcome with emotion and disbelief. Then, at the end Anika does something completely expected and stands up to the Queen Bee. But, as predictable as the ending is, you still find yourself feeling proud of Anika and feel like punching the air because she does what we all long to do, stands up (metaphorically and physically) .
Rating: 3 1/2 stars ( as much as I enjoyed it, it was clichéd and certain characters felt quite 2 dimensional)