Anatomy of a Misfit

Author: Andrea Portes                     anatomy
Publisher:  Harper’s Children
Genre: Young Adult
Source:  BEA



Goodreads:  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.

Ope’s Opinion:  Let me start with explaining my rating for this book – I think I am the wrong reader for this book.  I do think some teens will really relate to and like Anika.  I think she was very negative and sort of a snob in her own way.  She may have had a rough life ( lots of us do ), but that made a shell on her that made me jsut not really care for her character enough to want things to be better for her.

The writing was another stumbling block for me.  The descriptions of people were hard to relate to.  I don’t think there was a positive description, except maybe Anika’s mother.  I believe the word “like” was over used in this book.  The way the students talked about other students was offensive.  Even if this is realistic, I don’t think I want to encourage teens to read this and reinforce that language.

The ending of this book was hard to get to, but almost made me give this book three chairs instead of two.  So you may be willing to read through it to get to the end.


Rating:  Two Chairs – I may have one friend who might like to read this book.




Alice on Board

Author:  Phyllis Reynolds Naylor          alice
Publisher: Atheneum Books
Genre:  Young Adult
Source: Purchased




Goodreads:  In her last adventure before starting college, Alice takes to the open sea for the summer and nothing can stop the tides of change.

Everything Alice has ever known is about to change from where she sleeps at night to how close her closest friends will be. So Alice is meeting that seasick feeling head-on by setting sail as staff on a Chesapeake Bay cruise ship. And like any last great adventure before starting college, Alice knows she will need sunblock, an open mind, and oh yeah, all her best girlfriends. It is the perfect summer job. Perfect, that is, when things are going perfectly. But when they are not, Alice has to figure out how to weather unexpected storms of all sorts. Which could be perfect after all;perfect training for her next big adventure college.

Ope’s Opinion:   It was great to see a young lady work before she leaves for college.  Alice was very independent.  

I have lived near the ports that the ship stopped at, so it was interesting to read about them.

I did feel like nothing really happened in this book.  Alice and Patrick’s relationship did not move forward – they did not break up.  Actually, they had little contact with each other.  The other girls in the group did not change their relationships much at all.

I will read the last one to see what happens when they all leave for college.

Rating:  Three Chairs – I like the book enough to suggest it to a friend or two.
3 chairs

Anna and the French Kiss

Author: Stephanie Perkins                anna
Publisher:  Speak
Genre:  Young Adult
Source: Purchased




Goodreads:  Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. She is less than thrilled about boarding school in Paris – until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, he has it all – including a serious girlfriend. Will Anna get her French kiss?

Ope’s Opinion:  Amazing!  That is the first word that comes to mind when I think of this book.  It is well written, easy to read and hard to put down.  The descriptions are so vivid I could see the exact picture Perkins was drawling.

Stephanie Perkins wrote the most engaging characters.  I enjoyed watching their relationships grow and change.  It was great to see how they related to each other and their families.  It all felt realistic to me.  I liked seeing the friends of the Anna and St. Claire have their own story lines.

The pace of this story was a steady incline.  I did not want the story to move any faster because I was savoring each moment.  I was in no hurry for this one to end.

I could recommend this to teens or to adults.  It captures the attention of anyone who enjoys reading young adult books.  I like that the language and sexual content are appropriate for age.

I am anxiously waiting to read Lola and the Boy Next Door.  And Isla and the Happily Ever After will come out this summer.                                                steph

Side note:  My daughter Kristin of Kritters Ramblings
I were fortunate to meet  Stephanie Perkins at an
author signing.
 She is sweet and fun to talk to.
Thanks Stephanie!



Five Chairs – this book is so good it will be pass on and on and on …..


Where Love Finds You

Author:  Marilyn Grey                                            where love finds you
Publisher:  Winslet Press
Pages:  158
Genre:  Contemporary Young Adult
Source:  Winslet Press

Goodreads: Ella and Matthew have many differences, but they share a common goal: to find the one person they are meant to spend their lives with.

Years ago, Ella Rhodes looked across a crowded cafe and saw the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. She left her number, but he never called. Wondering if he somehow missed the note on the back of the receipt, she spent her twenties waiting for this man to walk into her life again. After all this time, will Ella finally discover “the one” she’s been waiting for? Or, after being sent on various blind dates, will she give her heart to someone else?

Meanwhile, Matthew Ryan breaks up with his long-time girlfriend. Searching his heart he wonders if there is really a “one” for every person, or if there is simply a good, better, and best. Where does Lydia, the girl who would do anything for him, fit into the story of his life? Confused, Matthew sets out to explore his options and find the love he’s been looking for his entire life. Will he find love before it’s too late or will he lose everything?

Ope’s Opinion:   This is a must read!! 

The beginning didn’t move as fast as I would have liked, but keep reading… It is worth every minute of it.  Watching Matt and Ella grow through their relationships makes you root for them.

These characters are well developed and their friends have interesting personalities you want to know more about.

The ending was absolutely amazing!  I loved that it was not your traditional ending to a book.  The twists were awesome and very unexpected.  I do not want to say more – I don’t want to spoil it for anyone else.

I am starting the second book today!

Rating: Five Chairs – This book is so good it will be passed on and on and on…..   



Author: Elizabeth Woods
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers        chocker
Pages: 233
Genre: Young Adult 

Sixteen-year-old Cara Lange has been a loner ever since she moved away from her best and only friend, Zoe, years ago. She eats lunch with the other girls from the track team, but they’re not really her friends. Mostly she spends her time watching Ethan Gray from a distance, wishing he would finally notice her, and avoiding the popular girls who call her “Choker” after a humiliating incident in the cafeteria.

Then one day Cara comes home to find Zoe waiting for her. Zoe’s on the run from problems at home, and Cara agrees to help her hide. With her best friend back, Cara’s life changes overnight. Zoe gives her a new look and new confidence, and next thing she knows, she’s getting invited to parties and flirting with Ethan. Best of all, she has her BFF there to confide in.

But just as quickly as Cara’s life came together, it starts to unravel. A girl goes missing in her town, and everyone is a suspect—including Ethan. Worse still, Zoe starts behaving strangely, and Cara begins to wonder what exactly her friend does all day when she’s at school. You’re supposed to trust your best friend no matter what, but what if she turns into a total stranger?

Ope’s Opinion:  This is suppose to be a young adult book – it is absolutely not appropriate for young readers.  I have two daughters and I would not have wanted them to read this book at a young age.

Where are the parents in this book?  MIA?  How could they not know what was going on in their own house?  Knowing their daughters issues, they just went on with life like nothing was wrong.

This book is creepy, weird and not at all what the synopsis makes you think it is about. The cover does not go with the story line at all.  I was extremely disappointed in this read.

I don’t think I would read another book by this author – I don’t trust that the synopsis and cover would represent the story on the inside.

Rating:  One Chair – It is likely I will be the only one reading this book.
1 chair