Lately, I’ve been coming across this particular type of character development and I find myself liking it- character is really unlikeable, so unlikeable I imagined giving her a little knuckle blow in the head. She’s mean and offensive, my eyes hurt from excessive rolling at her judgmental thoughts and words. She’s friends with the most popular girl in school even though she hates her like poison and she’s best friends with the second most popular girl even though she slut shames her fifty percent of her narrative. That’s Anika Dragomir and no she isn’t a vampire even though her dad is Romanian. A vampire is probably more likable.
What I like about Anika though is how she admits her flaws and even succumbs to them often. But even though she clearly knows who she is, she also knows what she needs for self-preservation. As she juggles her different persona, she also tries to make amends by doing what she thinks is good for other people even though they may sound stupid to others. She won’t probably magically transform into a goody two shoes because she’s good and evil (but probably more evil) combined. By getting to know her, the reader gets to understand the Anatomy of a Misfit. I also have to say, she’s hilarious.
“I mean if there was any justice in the world, you wouldn’t even have to go to school during your period. You’d just stay home for five days and eat chocolate and cry.” Lol!
Anika’s character is I think what I liked best in the story and if the plot was a bit more clear-cut and focused on addressing her inner conflicts- to be who she wants to be versus to be someone accepted, I think I would have loved the book. But instead the plot tried to be so many things at once that it became too overwhelming. The conflicts have become quite too heavy and even the love triangle which I thought worked so well to challenge Anika’s inner conflict has turned into something too complicated, even tragic. I couldn’t reconcile this tragedy with the entire concept of the story. I just find it unnecessary.
I did enjoy most of the book though and despite my complaints, I still think it’s a compelling and gripping read. In fact except for the rest room and snack breaks, I read it in one sitting and even though I wasn’t too happy about the entire plot, I would still recommend the book for its relevant messages and themes.