Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Review: Adorkable by Sarra Manning

Adorkable by Sarra Manning
Publisher: Atom
Released: May 24th 2012
My Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

Jeane Smith is seventeen and has turned her self-styled dorkiness into an art form, a lifestyle choice and a profitable website and consultancy business. She writes a style column for a Japanese teen magazine and came number seven in The Guardian's 30 People Under 30 Who Are Changing The World. And yet, in spite of the accolades, hundreds of Internet friendships and a cool boyfriend, she feels inexplicably lonely, a situation made infinitely worse when Michael Lee, the most mass-market, popular and predictably all-rounded boy at school tells Jeane of his suspicion that Jeane's boyfriend is secretly seeing his girlfriend. Michael and Jeane have NOTHING in common - she is cool and individual; he is the golden boy in an Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt. So why can't she stop talking to him? (from Goodreads)

What to say about Adorkable? I loved it. The main characters had to be the highlight of the book. How I would love to be as daring as Jeane! She really made me think about perceptions and how the whole world is basically based on what other people think of you – and that’s kind of sad. That’s why I admired Jeane (despite all her flaws), because it takes a lot of courage to do your own thing and really speak your mind.

Jeane was a very intriguing character. She was juggling so many things – had achieved so much by just seventeen, which was very impressive. I loved reading about her, but I think if I knew her in real life, she’d drive me crazy. But then I think that’d probably make me like her even more! She was self-centred, eccentric, kind of controlling, brave, sarcastic, generous, difficult, funny and sort of closed off to the world. She had to rely on herself (she was practically independent from an early age) and I don’t think she even knew how unhappy she was. It wasn’t until she realised what it was like to have a real family that she understood how alone she’d been feeling. She was all outspoken and confident on the outside, but she wasn’t actually anywhere near as content with her life as she claimed to me. In that way I could relate to her, because even though we were so different, I think everyone knows the feeling of struggling through life, not know exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. And as much as Jean wanted to deny, she was having a hard time. Meeting Michael complicated things, and I loved the fact that the book was told from both Jeane and Michael’s POVs, because their views were so contrasting (initially) and it was interesting to see how each saw the other.

Michael started off as kind of bleh for me. I figured he’d just be the typical popular character type – kind of boring with no real personality. But as I read on, I realised I was wrong. He actually had a lot of imperfections too, and despite being the complete opposite of Jeane, they actually sort of balanced each other out. It was great to read about his relationship with Jeane and how he slowly began to realise that he actually really cared for her. Plus, sometimes their arguments were so funny. And there was this one scene where Michael made this hilarious Justin Bieber comment – well, you gotta love him after that. Though, to be honest, Michael frustrated me just as much as Jeane did, even though she was supposedly more selfish and impetuous. They were both incredibly stubborn and so many situations could have been resolved so much earlier if they had just been willing to just talk things out (but then the book would have ended after a 100 pages and that would have been a damn shame :P).

The secondary characters were ones that grew on me. I started off really disliking Barney and Scarlett but by the end, I really appreciated them! They were actually good friends, and I liked Scarlett’s transformation from wimpy and too afraid to speak to opinionated and thoughtful! What was really great about Adorkable though was that it actually portrayed teens pretty realistically. There was no pretence that these relationships were “one true loves” and would last forever. Sex wasn’t conveyed as something sacred and mystical – the things people did were pretty much the things you’d expect real teens to do (my only concern being the trip to New York – slightly far-fetced, but forgivable seeing as the rest of the book was more believable). The characters were realistic because they all had flaws and their actions were realistic because they actually made mistakes. I’ve said it before, and I shall continue to say it – perfect characters are the absolute WORST.

Adorkable was really well-paced for me, and I actually finished the book in one day. I mentioned before that I enjoyed the dual narration, and I really do think it made the book a lot more interesting. It wasn’t confusing either –sometimes it’s hard to keep up with more than one point of view, but I think things fit well together in Adorkable. I really liked the little blog posts, tweets and emails that were included too – there was just enough to give you insight into Jeane’s online personality without making the book seem like it was all about social media.

Overall, Adorkable was a very engaging book with fantastic characters, a lot of humour and a lot of drama. Recommended to fans of contemporary novels everywhere (and if you’re not a fan, give this a try anyway and see what you think :P)!

14 comments:

  1. I love stories like this where the characters seem one way but then you learn more about them as the story goes on. Plus the main character sounds just like me when I was her age so this will probably be a huge hit with me.

    Thanks for the amazing review! So glad you enjoyed this one!

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  2. Oooooooh, this one sounds good! I haven't heard too much about it but it sounds FUN and I like fun :D Really, even the cover looks quirky...

    Haha, Jeane sounds like a great MC. Those 9 (!) traits you listed at the beginning for her all seem to sum up a character that would feel genuine and I like that she's described as having so many different sides and angles.

    Fantastic review, Liz! :) I hope I can read this someday!

    Sonia

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  3. Thanks for the recommendation. This one sounds like a lot of fun and I am glad you enjoyed it. Great review :)

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  4. nice idea.. thanks for sharing.

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  5. Everyone seems to be loving this one!b I must move it up my TBR pile!!

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  6. I didn't think I'd be able to take this one seriously, but you've made it seem like a pretty cute, fun read! I'll look out for it.

    Thanks for the review, Liz!

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  7. awww, this sounds so cute, i'll have to add it to my list!

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  8. Great review! I can't wait to read this. It sounds so sweet <3

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  9. This looks such a cute read, I really love the cover! Jeane sounds like a great mc and I love it when a book is told from both the male mc and the female mc's POV. Great review. =)

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  10. I've been super curious about this book, but haven't stopped to read any reviews of it yet. I love your review! The book sounds like a really cute read. I'm definitely going to have to add this to my to-read list!

    Great review!

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  11. My first time reading a review for this and I AM CONVINCED!! Why haven't I shown greater interest in this before?! It sounds like SUCH a fun read. I especially love that the characters are so flawed and FEEL real. Like you say, perfect characters are the worst. And they induce excessive eye-rolling while I'm trying to read.

    Also, it made me laugh when you said, "They were both incredibly stubborn and so many situations could have been resolved so much earlier if they had just been willing to just talk things out" I think you described my life perfectly LOL. I have stubborn-ness issues!!

    AWESOME review, Liz! I can't wait to read this.

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  12. Great review, I read this one on Friday and I loved it too! I cannot fault it! Its one of my faves of the year so far!

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  13. I've seen nothing but good things said about this and it sounds pretty cool! I love how believable and realistic you said it is, tho I think I'd find Jeane and Michael annoying in RL too. I'll have to look into this one more =]

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  14. I enjoyed this one, but it did take me a long time to warm to Jeane's character. I'd probably avoid her if I went to school with her, too!

    Stephanie @ Read in a Single Sitting

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