Monday, September 2, 2013

Adorkable by Sarra Manning book review by Sharon

Author: Sarra Manning
Release Date: May 24nd 2012
Publisher: ATOM
Pages: 387
Rating; 4 stars 

"Welcome to the dorkside. It's going to be a bumpy ride..."

Jeane Smith's a blogger, a dreamer, a dare-to-dreamer, a jumble sale queen, CEO of her own lifestyle brand and has half a million followers on twitter.

Michael Lee's a star of school, stage and playing field. A golden boy in a Jack Wills hoodie.
They have nothing in common but a pair of cheating exes. So why can't they stop snogging?"    


Adorkable by Sarra Manning is one of those books that I have to talk about in two stages.
The first stage would be about the plot in itself- characters, relationship and summer read. The second would be about the whole blog sphere.

So, Jeane and Mike go to the same high school they are both in a relationship only that Jeane's boyfriend and Mike's girlfriend kind of fell in love with each other. That's what the synopsis in the back of the cover is all about. Truthfully, this is just the beginning. You, it doesn't take long for Jeane to come to terms with the fact that she likes her boyfriend like a friend and it is better for her and for him that he'd be with Scarlett. She even encourages Scarlett to break up with Mike and that's one hell of a nasty breakup. That's what leads me to the interesting side of the hypnosis- Mike's and Jeane's snogging.  So Mike is this cool boy- the most popular boy in school- that everyone likes, he has tons of friends from the Jocks to the nerds. Jeane is this blogger of a lifestyle brand- adorkable which is all about embracing your inner dork.
She is smart and snarky and cynical, she dresses funny with all sorts of colorful clothing that are interesting and weird and hurt the eyes. She's weird and proud of it. She had half a million followers on twitter, she knows big names, and she's something outside of school. In school she's rarely liked, everybody talk about her and nobody (beside her boyfriend/friend) talks to her. She doesn't like Mike because in her opinion someone who gets along with everybody probably doesn't have much depth and Mike doesn't like her because of how she dresses and acts and because the whole school doesn't. then he starts following her on twitter and there they get along well but not in real life, then an accident occur and their contact with each other increase and before long they start snogging and make out even though they don't like each other that much.

There's a lot happening- we get to see Mike's perfect family and Jeane's broken one. They form some sort of friendship with benefits that they keep a secret and soon Mike realize that maybe Jeane is as big as she says she is, and Jeane starts to see that maybe there's more to Mike then just his pretty face and friendliness (BTW, they are both smart).

From what I just described this is just another summer read. And it is, totally. Then the question is what is there to like about this book?

The answer is simple. 

First of all Sarra Manning created two characters that have many faults, they annoyed me more than once I dare say that even after the book ended I didn't find myself liking them too much if at all (I'm still debating) But they sounded like teens, they felt like teens and they talked like teens and it didn't feel forced to me. Manning also described the internet world wonderfully- but I'll get there soon. More importantly there was no slut shaming at all. Not even a tiny bit. Jeane has many admirable sides- I'm not sure if her sexual experience is vast but even so she was open about it, she was confident about herself in bed and she expressed her needs without being even a little embarrassed. The book doesn't dwell on the sexual and relationship part too much, and it doesn't preach but it shows all those things- that in a relationship a friendship and trust are important, that you need to care about the other, that you need to be accepted as yourself and it's important to feel comfortable and express your wants and needs. You may say such things are not important but I still wait for the moment in which the paranormal and dystopian sides of the YA books would also portray such relationships with no abuse and stupid Mary Sues and stalkerish violent boys. On that level the chick lit genre is doing the best in my opinion.

As I said I didn't like the MCs too much- both Mike and Jeane are arrogant fools. And I wanted to smack each of them more than once but they were also very rounded and I liked that. Truthfully, Jeane was more rounded on that regard and Mike was okay mostly, his POV was fine though I read better male's POV. There was one thing that got constantly on my nerves- Jeane's feminism, now, wait! I do not go against feminists in any way but one part of Jeane's feminism made her regard the opposite sex in a disrespectful tone that I didn't like one bit. Feminist have worked hard for women to have the same rights as men and be treated with respect at their own right, when I see a (supposed) feminist that treats the opposite sex or some women with less respect because of their gender or their tendencies- like women who decide to be a housewife- I get mad. Jeane isn't that bad, but she does make comments about training Mike and Barni (her ex) and on how weak willed Scarlett is that I saw as distasteful.

Now to the second part of the book- the whole blogger thingie. I'm new to it- when I read the book I was even newer. Manning portrays the whole "life on the net" thing wonderfully so even those who do not understand it can relate and understand and learn something new. While reading this book I actually had this urge to make people I debated with on the subject to read it, so that they'll understand. Also there's the oldest debate on the subject- net life vs. real life. Mike is more real life and Jeane is more net life- or so it seems at first, and Jeane is lonely at times. But on this day and age net life is part of real life- your friend through the net are still your friend a "total stranger on the net" can understand you on some levels better than your friends back home. Those two worlds are important, needed and real. Many times over people feel free to expose some parts of them on the net- they learn to be themselves and they meet a person like them that accepts them for who they are, that is a valuable lesson. And that is Manning's message- be yourself, both worlds are real. And frankly, IMO, I think we need to learn how to live in both because well- the world is growing smaller.

p.s. in the book there's a conference that talks about all kind of things that regard the future. Jeane has a speech in that conference- and her speech is worth reading with tons of remarks about the Y generation. .
       It's a good book, a really good one. One I'll probably re-read again in the future.


this review can also be found here

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