Daily Archives: June 16, 2014

Anatomy of a Misfit – Andrea Portes

Anatomy of a Misfit
By Andrea Portes
Available Sept 2014

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?

This Blonde’s Review:
We can’t see what people are like inside just by looking at them. To look at her Anika is a popular, perfect, and blonde. Inside, she calls herself spider stew. Anika steals from her boss simply because she can, she doesn’t think well of her family or her friends or herself. She is more concerned with maintaining her popularity than being happy so she goes along with whatever Becky says even when it hurts other people.

In this book we get to see what it’s like for a girl who has to decide between the guy she can’t stop thinking about and the life she’s always known. When her life starts to come together better than she planned, and the guy everyone wants is interested in her, she can either make her secret life public or give him up. When you make a choice sometimes you can’t take it back.

This book had damaged characters all around. The hated and feared girl who ruled the school, the loner with the screwed up family life, the slut from the super religious family, and quite a few other commonly written high school characters that I don’t remember seeing in my high school. As Anika navigates all of this she has to decide what matters to her and who she needs to have in her life. When Logan does something that scares her she thinks the choice is easy. Until she realizes what really matters to her and thinks she can change her mind and go back to him. Life isn’t always as easy as changing your mind.

I couldn’t quite decide if I liked the characters in this book or not. Anika kept placing her popularity too high, Logan was so great until he suddenly wasn’t, Jared seemed like he might be more until he started to seem like exactly what he was rumored to be, and Becky was never anything but awful. It wasn’t until the very end that I had these characters pegged, around the same time that Anika herself figured it out. So it was interesting but I’m not sure that I can say whether I liked it or didn’t. At this point… it it somewhere in the middle. I can’t say that I disliked it. So I’m pretty sure I’d give the author another chance to see how I feel about other things she writes. And I’ll also see how I feel about this book on further thought. Sometimes you get a better idea after you think about it a little longer, either because you dismiss it or realize it sits with you. I’ll let you know if it sits with me.


Posted by on June 16, 2014 in Around The World Tours, Book Review


Adrenaline Crush – Laurie Boyle Crompton

Adrenaline Crush
By Laurie Boyle Crompton
Available Sept 2014

When a daredevil teen pushes herself too far, she must choose between two boys: the one who wants to keep her safe, and the one who dares her to return to her old self.

Seventeen-year-old Dyna comes from a family of risk takers and is an avid thrill-seeker herself, until the day she splinters her ankle in a terrible fall. Her whole life goes from mountain biking and rock climbing to sitting at home and attending group sessions at the bizarre alternative healing center that her hippie mother found. The boy who witnessed Dyna’s accident believes her injury is a wakeup call and he encourages her mild new lifestyle, but a young Afghanistan War veteran she meets at the healing center pushes her to start taking chances again. Forced to face the consequences of her daredevil impulses, Dyna finds herself in danger of risking the one thing she’s always treated with caution—her heart. 

This Blonde’s Review:
There is before and after. Before the accident Dyna was the kind of girl who went rock climbing, wanted to go sky diving, rode her bike with a speed and recklessness that had her at risk of collision at every turn, and didn’t have boyfriends. After the accident she kept her feet on the ground, let other people drive her around, and had a steady boyfriend who wanted to take care of her. Everything changed for Dyna the day she injured herself and she had to wonder if all of the thrill seeking was worth it. And now she was stuck with physical therapy and counseling on top of it all.

I loved Dyna’s family. The way her parents interacted was nothing like you usually see in books and was so refreshing and hilarious to me. Especially when her other was fed up with her father and started screaming over him. I could just picture it and couldn’t help but laugh. I would have loved to get to know the other people in her group more, especially since they were supposed to have grown so close at the end. In some ways I barely had glimpses of them and didn’t have clear pictures of them in my head. It felt like there were several areas of the book that could have spent a little more time, but I won’t really name them all off since if the author spent more time in all of those areas the book would have been significantly longer. The book included quite a bit and was evenly spaced and detailed, so my desire for more details in some areas would have made the book imbalanced. So while I really wanted more, I know that more wouldn’t have been right for what this book was, if that makes sense to you. Mostly, I wanted more because I liked these characters and I wanted to know more about them.

Sometimes you read a book and it is the right time to read it. This was one of those times. In this book there was a line that Dyna’s father says to her about one of her relationships that really got me to thinking. And it made me reevaluation some of my relationships. Because really we all have something like that that happens. It may not be some big thrill and then big physical injury, but there is always something that damages us and changes us. It causes us to look at ourselves and our lives differently. That’s where Dyna is. She didn’t just injure herself, she also damaged the way she sees herself and the world around her. She has to figure out how to see herself and her world after her injury, and how she wants to move on with her life from that point forward.

I really did enjoy this book. It had me disappointed that there wasn’t more to it and had me thinking about my life. All good things to do. I really would like to see some of these characters in other places, but I don’t think I will. Which is okay. I’m still looking forward to seeing more from this author.

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Posted by on June 16, 2014 in Around The World Tours, Book Review