Thursday, 24 May 2012

Adorkable


Adorkable by Sarra Manning
Paperback, 385 pages

Published May 24th 2012 by Atom

My shelves: 
arc-or-review, books-i-own, contemporary, let-down, read-in-2012, realistic-fiction, title-appeal, to-be-reviewed, too-much-hype, young-adult
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Description via 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?

My thanks go to Atom for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.

As soon as I heard that there was going to be a book called Adorkable, I jumped at the chance to read it! I mean really - a title that includes the word 'dork' just has to be good, doesn't it? The premise sounded pretty cool too -  the story is about a self-proclaimed dork called Jeane and her ever-changing relationship with the 'cool' guy at school, Michael. I've not read anything else by Sarra Manning, so I wasn't sure what to expect but this one looked like a fun read.

Every review I've read for this book so far have been raving 4 or 5 stars and I do feel bad that I've not managed to rate this one higher, but I think I must've missed something. I'm all for dorkiness and I'd definitely call myself a nerd. Like Jeane, I am not afraid to speak my mind or opinion (something that's gotten me into trouble a couple of times) and I'm not afraid to express myself in the way I want, whether it's through my clothing, music or art. I am also, as you may be able to tell, pretty much addicted to blogging and twitter. So yes, you could say I'm a lot like Jeane Smith, however, I still just couldn't connect with her. At points, I just felt that she was trying so hard to be different or 'out-there' that it started to annoy me and I felt as though she was a little bit hypocritical at times.  Jeane often began criticising other people for what they wore, watched or listened to, even though that may have just been what they liked which I found to be a bit unnecessary - she might like being 'different', but she didn't need to force her opinions on others. At times, I felt she was slightly inconsiderate and making a big deal over nothing. Jeane was also meant to be an international online celebrity which had potential to be really great, but due to her slight arrogance, I couldn't get away with it. I don't know though - maybe I do see a bit of myself in her and I don't like it. 


I did enjoy reading about the more personal, quiet side to Jeane though, and that seemed to come out more when she interacted with Michael Lee, the boy who seemed to have it all - looks, popularity and good grades. I didn't dislike Michael until he started to become ashamed of being seen with Jeane which just seemed ridiculous. I did find it interesting to see how his opinions changed and it was good to see them both exploring different aspects of how the other one lived. The more 'hidden' and quiet side of Jeane was probably the most intriguing part of the book for me - I mush preferred the second half of the book as we got to learn more about the real feelings of the characters and it seemed a lot more eventful. 


I think that the reason I didn't enjoy this book as much as I could have was because it just didn't ring true to me. I may be living in my own little bubble, but at least where I am, I'd like to think you're not completely excluded because of the way you dress - I actually like to think the diversity in dress is something that's becoming more popular. It's true that Jeane also wasn't very popular due to her attitude, but it didn't really seem that way. I did like the use of fun, teenage language and phrases. There were a lot of popular culture references, and that was enjoyable, but I think the book could age easily. The writing itself was fine - I can't complain about that.


With my inability to really love the characters and my quite high expectations, this book didn't really satisfy me as much as it could have. I think that a lot of people will love the outspoken Jeane and the trials and tribulations of her friendship with Michael. I am certainly not put off the author from this book - I have given this book 3 stars and I think that's actually pretty good. It certainly wasn't painful to read and the writing was new, fresh. Unfortunately, I just couldn't bring myself to really care for the characters, which was disappointing.


10 comments:

  1. Thanks for the honest review, Stephanie, it's a shame you didn't enjoy that much :( I'm so eager to read this book because it sounds like something I'd enjoy and plus, it's written by a British author. I like the sound of Michael even though he's ashamed to be seen with Jeane - that's so harsh! I'll definitely give this one a go :)

    Beverley
    A Reading Daydreamer

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  2. I just love the title and the cover is super cute. Too bad you couldn't relate to the characters. I think I'll give it a try someday :)

    xoMar

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  3. Ahh, shame you didn't love Adorkable - personally, I enjoyed it, although I can see where you're coming from with Jeane being a bit irritating and judgemental. At the end, though, I think she did realise how wrong she had been and how judgemental and hypocritical she actually was...

    My review of Adorkable is here if you'd like to see it :)

    Catherine x

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  4. Everyone has their own opinions. I always feel bad giving a low star rating too, but you can't help how you feel and your followers will appreciate honest reviews. I hadn't even heard about this one before so at least you're helping spread awareness of it. =)

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  5. What a great, honest review, Steph. I only heard about this book earlier in the week and I have to say the title made me want to read it and even though you didn't enjoy it completely, I'd like to read it and see what I make of Jeane

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  6. A copy of this arrived on my desk a week or so ago--complete with a huge batch of marketing materials. I've seen the massive marketing push that's been going on for it, so I'm curious to see if it's my cup of tea, or whether, like you, I'll have some problems with it.

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  7. Yes, i have got to agree that the title just pulls you in, too bad you didn't like it. Although, i'm still reading it! :)

    Great review! =D

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  8. oh no, im reading this one this week sometime (not next but after the next I think!) and I was really looking forward to it, I hope I enjoy it a little more than you did!

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  9. I've just read Adorkable and I loved it. Stephanie, you comment that you found Jeane hypocritical. I agree - she is hypocritical. She doesn’t always practice what she preaches, and she changes her spots quite quickly - but this is the whole point. It’s an epiphany for her toward the end of the book when she realises that simply the act of telling other people how they should be, how wearing brands etc is wrong, is going against her belief that everyone has a right to dress or to believe in whatever they want. She realises that instead of trying to get dorks as accepted as anti-dorks, trying to show that everyone, dork or not, is equal, she’s actually just been trying to make everyone into a dork. And with this realisation she’s able to accept both herself and everyone else’s choices. Now that’s empowerment.

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  10. Too bad you didn't enjoy this one as much, I'm planning to read this soon but maybe I'll put it off. Glad you're a fellow dork - go nerds! ;D x

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