Author: Sarra Manning
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
May 24, 2012
Age Group: YA
Okay, there isn’t anything really original about this book — not the characters, not the plot, not the themes or big ideas: dorky girl and hot jock; hipster-hating, card-carrying feminist outcast using hardcore persona to mask lonely heart; the impassioned, heated, honest-to-goodness desire to save the world (one dork fashion statement at a time).
So we’ve seen it before but it is refreshing. Adorkable is exactly what you’d expect from a book with such a cover, but Manning adds a bit of extra — and that bit of extra is what ultimately glues your feelings to these characters, perhaps without even knowing it. I say that because Jeane is, for so much of the time, insufferable. She is loud, hate-y and obnoxious and she is so good at it, we want to give up on her just as much as the rest of the student body seems to have done. But we stay because of the sweet, good breeding of Michael Lee, who sometimes seems to be a little too good to be true — I mean, I wish the jocks at my high school were just as understanding and all-embracing.
The top notes of Adorkable display quirkiness, cuteness, fun, and actual hilarity. Excerpt!
“…Barney and Scarlett? It made no sense. They defied all laws of God and man. I’d raised Barney in my own image: he was on my side, the side of the dorks, on the side of all that was good and pure. Scarlett was strictly darkside all the way.”
The base notes are made up entirely of loneliness. Excerpt…
“I don’t have a mum fussing about me, or a dad for that matter, so I always leave some homework on reserve so I don’t have a chance to start wallowing.”
Jeane talks so much you miss these slivers of raw emotion wedged tightly between drawn out speeches on whatever the blog topic of the week is. She is as hurt and isolated from the world as much as she is tuned-in and connected through the media. Her cries for help are layered in snark but they are there and the tragedy is not that few people hear them, but that Jeane cannot help herself deflecting the very soul-to-soul connections she craves.
Sara Manning’s writing is hilarious. Like, actual LOL material. I like that not everything laid out is what they seem. We see through Jeane’s eyes and we see through Micheal’s eyes and I’m glad to find a difference. It only makes the characters more believable because aren’t we all delusional in the way we view things sometimes? Because surprise, the pretty bitch Scarlett of Jeane is really the shy, insecure Scarlett of Micheal. Emotions get in the way and sometimes we are harsh in our judgements. I love that Jeane had petty, jealous thoughts. But for all her faults, Jeane is most definitely not a Mary Sue. That, at the moment, is an achievement.
Adorkable has flaws, quite a few of them. But for this particular book, I’m going to go with a good book is anything that moves you. So screw all the negative ways Adorkable can be dissected. I liked it, alright?
This review also appears on Goodreads.