Jul 032014

cover for Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes. A bright teal background with the title in yellow handwriting. Across the bottom are a half dozen chairs, most of them yellow but one bright blue.School Library Journal: Anika Dragomir is the third most popular girl in school, despite being of mixed heritage in an overwhemingly white neighborhood. She’s smart, attractive, and knows that the most popular girl, Becky Vilhauer, is a bully. Still, Anika clings to the tenuous friendship for fear of the total social annihilation that Becky will put her through if she displeases her in any way. Anika is constantly trying to reconcile the “spider stew” of her true self with her social persona, which leads to a series of hilarious escapades and a decidedly double life. When she finds herself falling for former nerd turned hottie, Logan McDonough, she manages to keep their relationship secret by arranging regular midnight rendezvous. In a clandestine act of defiance as employee of Bunza Hut, when she is angered by her boss’s hateful treatment of her best friend/coworker, she exacts revenge by covertly dosing him with her mother’s valium and routinely stealing from the till. But it’s not until her feelings for Logan become muddled by his own personal spider stew that Anika finds her life completely unraveling. Allowing herself to be flattered into a date with the neighborhood heartthrob, she realizes too late that she’s in love with Logan. Told in the first person, Anika’s droll voice shines, and her emotions are palpable. After a heartbreaking tragedy, Anika’s ending, if not particularly realistic, will leave readers cheering