I have to say I had huge problems writing this review because I liked it so much. Adorkable is one of those books that just draws you in, such an absorbing read; so much so that I actually stayed up all not reading it.
Written in first person narrative, from Jeane's perspective, she's never fitted in anywhere even her own family, so she's exaggerates the differences. She is a fabulously quirky character with confidence enviable for someone her age. Yet, underneath it all she is a complete melting pot of conflicting emotions; a factor that makes her so translatable. How many of us go through each day with a persona we show the world and one that actually goes on inside our heads. Isn't that the reason we are bloggers/writers; to reconcile the 2 parts of ourselves. Jeane is like a mascot for bloggers everywhere.
I felt as if Jeane's narrative voice was far more mature than that of your average teen, this may have been intentional to emphasize just how different Jeane is. Jeane's mature attitude to sex was an admirable quality and quite correct `if you can't discuss it then you shouldn't be doing it.' Jeane's background showed how deeply upbringing impacts our lives in both good and bad ways.
For people like myself, Jeanne is completely relatable, where online interaction is a huge part of life; a way of personal expression and finding like-minded individuals. A way of connecting with people with similar tastes that sometimes doesn't happen in `real' life no matter how many `friends' we have. It's a way of feeling less alone or different, the world really does become a much smaller place.
The portrayal of teen life and the apathy towards education was unnervingly accurate. I liked how Jeane challenged the information she was given in an informed and knowledgeable way. A very different thing to being disruptive. Unfortunately, with the pressure on teachers it is not possible to fully explore alternatives within the classroom. Proving frustrating for both pupil and teacher.
Jeane's presentation about Teens Today really hit the nail on the head for me; the way teens feel they don't have to try in a world full of unemployment, student loans and recession; that they can just live off benefits and debt. Jeane did prove that there are alternatives if you can be bothered to look. It's all about being who you want to be rather than what you're expected to be.
The romance added depth to the story. Michael Lee is Jeane's opposite in every way from family to popularity but when lust takes hold they both just go with the flow, not realizing just how perfect they are for each other. Jeane livens Michael up while he tones her down = balance. Both are caring, genuine people who challenge each other, not willing to put up with any rubbish. An equal partnership, they accept each other even the bits they don't particularly like.
So if you too reach for your phone to check twitter the minute you get up, compose tweets in your head, tweet the instance anything happens and carry a note-book in order to jot down the myriad of ideas floating about in your head - you HAVE to read this book. I promise you'll love it as much as I did.
on 2 July 2012
Now being 26 I may be a little mature to be reading teen fiction but when it's Sarra Manning you know it's not going to be your conventional teen read. Jeane, as all Sarra's best girl characters, isn't perfect but it's her flaws that make her care for her. Being an Internet famous blogger and leader of dorks everywhere she thinks she has the world, and Michael Lee all figured out. Michael Lee thinks being perfect and normal is what everyone wants and people like Jeane are to be tolerated. When their worlds collide with their respective ex's joining forces it makes them both question each others views and realising that if they're that different after all.
Having the perspective from Jeane and Michael is interesting, wilst coming across confident they both have insecurities that all teens (and 'grown ups') can relate to. Jeane is a great character, very strong minded but also someone who learns that being yourself doesn't mean disregarding everyone else's views and Michael may be the least toxic of all Sarra's toxic boys but he is one of my faves.
I disagree with a lot of the other reviews. Jeane IS a likeable character and a great teen role model. She is successful but shows that success isn't everything. She learns during the story without losing who she is totally. Also she does say 'totes' etc a lot but that IS how young people and people in general speak and it's refreshing read.
All in all I loved the book and will be keeping it for re-reading and passing on to my niceses when they're old enough
Ps also loved the appearance of Molly and Jane again, makes you feel like you're seeing an old friend that you lost touch with for a while
on 21 September 2013
I'm pretty sure we all know the quote, "We read to know we are not alone," by C.S. Lewis. That sums up what this book means to me. This book is the closest that has ever come to being a reflection of me and my life up to now. It is so relatable, and when I find books like that, I start crying. Needless to say, this book is an all-time favorite for me - one of the most special books I have ever read. However, not everyone will have that reaction to this book. So I'm going to try to point out the merits aside from how this is such a great reflection of me, and then I'll get to the validation-of-my-life-story parts after that.
Adorkable is adorable. HA. I thought I might as well get that out of the way first of all. If you're a blogger, you will have an instant connection to Jeane, because I feel like all of us are to a certain extent outsiders in our real life worlds. But at the same time, through blogging and through Twitter and such, we've found like minded people who are spread far and wide but who definitely mean something. If you've felt that discrepancy between online life and real life, between your online personality and your real life personality, between how people see you in real life and how they see you online - you need to read Adorkable, because it hits the nail on the head.
Both main characters I absolutely loved. Jeane, I already mentioned, the blogger, is eccentric and at times horribly stuck up and conceited. But at the same time, you can feel that there's much more to her than that. When she's defensive and closed off, you know there's something else to the story. I related to that part a lot, and I'll get to that later. But Jeane does send a great message about owning who you are and not apologizing for that, about finding your own voice and making it loud and clear, and about standing for something and being independent. Michael, the popular boy who "hates" her, is just a winner. He comes off as quite abrasive at first, in his ignorance, but he really quickly grows from that. He's just a truly caring, golden boy. His devotion and attentiveness to others really made me swoon. To be honest though, I swooned from his first mention.
Adorkable is told from the alternating perspectives of Jeane and Michael. Usually I don't like alternating perspectives at all, but this is probably my favorite book that's done that so far. The two personalities are extremely distinctive, and due to their circumstances (the love-hate thing) you need that look into their inner thoughts. It's hilarious when they're oblivious to each other's feelings and intentions. They also contradict themselves in their narrations every once in a while, which becomes clear when it switches perspectives again. It's a very unique writing style that is absolutely absorbing. You really get to know two fleshed out characters very well and see development on both sides, as they learn from each other. Authors, if you want to do alternating perspectives, read this book. This is how you make it convincing.
So I know you're wondering about that romance. This may be my favorite written romance ever. I'm thinking now if I have a bookish (canon) couple that tops it, and I'm not sure I do. You'll probably know I'm a huge fan of love-hate relationships, and this one hit all the right notes. The chemistry was astounding. There will be involuntary flailing and squealing - you have been warned. Sarra uses all the right tropes, like the kiss-you-to-shut-you-up thing, and seriously, that's one device that will definitely make me like your book. Then the transitions in and development of the relationship, the ups and downs, it was all very real, absorbing, and addictive. AND HOT. VERY HOT. I just loved every minute of it, and I don't know how to make that more clear.
But let's wrap this up so it's not entirely a novel of a review. How Jeane is as a person is extremely close to how I am - except that I'm a little less abrasive (I hope) and I don't dress quite as crazily. I've felt like an outsider all of my life, I've been shunned and looked down on by my mother, of course I am also a blogger, and I'm extremely defensive. I don't really let people close to me too easily for fear of getting hurt. I keep myself busy so that I don't have to think about complicated feelings. I avoid confrontation like it's the end of the world. So I understood a lot of Jeane's behavior that other readers might not.
Honestly though, the kicker was this scene towards the end of the book, where Jeane ends up alone on Christmas day. If I wasn't in the car, reading this, with a colleague next to me, I would have been bawling. If I had been at home reading this, I would have just laid down on the floor and curled up into a ball. (Yeah, I do that sometimes, no judging.) Why? I've had that exact experience. I know exactly how that feels. And that all just came rushing back. I'm honestly almost in tears as I'm typing this. Experiences like that suck and hopefully most people don't know how that feels. You may not relate to it as well as I did, but know that that scene and the underlying emotions were right on the mark.
I didn't know anything about this book when I picked it up. I had never heard of it, but it was at Boekenfestijn, a Dutch book fair, for, I think, 2 euros. I quickly read the back and instantly knew this was for me. As such it was the first of the 9 books I bought at Boekenfestijn that I read. I expected it to be enjoyable and that I would have a few laughs, but I never expected it to be a book that would be so dear to my heart. It's by far the best spent 2 euros of my life.
I loved everything about this book. I have an everything-I-wanted shelf on Goodreads, and this definitely has a spot on there. From the two awesome main characters, their depth, growth, witty banter, and awesome romance, to the great British humor and pop culture references, to the themes of finding your own voice and celebrating your uniqueness, to the relatable scenes that had me crying, to the perfect ending... I honestly don't have a single complaint. I mean, look at this massive review, and I still feel like I'm not doing this book justice. (I barely even talked about the plot, EEP.) asdfjkl; If it were up to me, everyone in the world would be required to read this.
Anyone who wants to have an understanding of who I am as a person needs to read this book. It covers all the pain and insecurities I had in high school and college, and it aptly had me tearing up at those parts. However, it's also an inspiration to me. An inspiration in that I need to just be me and feel confident and reassured in that. It's also a reaffirmation of the love in this blogging community, and it has motivated me to keep blogging and expanding my life here. I'm going to own the fact that I'm a blogger, and I'm never going to be ashamed of that or hide that from others. To top it all off, it's given me a lot more ideas and goals that I want to accomplish as a blogger - so look forward to that!
Anyone who relates to the aforementioned feelings, all bloggers, and basically everyone. ...Yeah.
on 28 June 2013
I really enjoyed reading this book - it left me with the same smile on my face that 'Anna and the French Kiss' did. It took me a while to get to grips with Jeane and her personality (where as Michael Lee was a sweetheart), but once I did I couldn't stop reading. Both Jeane and Michael are really interesting, and both manage to steer clear from the usual cliches that a romance pair in YA tend to fall into. In fact, both of them have more brain power and logic between them than pretty much all the YA characters I've read.
The basic crux of this book is that Jeane is a bit of an outcast, with the most over-bearing (and persuasive) personality that I've come across! And yet she is completely endearing. Michael Lee is the popular guy at school (and can I say how much I love that he's half Chinese, and the author actually incorporates Chinese influences in his life) - and unsurprisingly, neither of them get on. Cue what could be a cliched coupling of the strange girl and the popular 'jock type' (if you like), but it doesn't quite go that way. I spent the initial part of the book wondering just how well those two would meld and then when it happens (gradually, gradually), it just sort of sneaks up on you and fits.
I would really recommend this book for anyone who needs a pick me up, and perhaps inspiration in life. I wish I knew a Jeanne (she promotes sisterhood! And feminism! And bettering yourself!)Still smiling about it even now :D
on 20 August 2014
Michael Lee is a typical teenager, and the cliché of perfect. He excels at everything he does, be it playing football or writing essays, he’s good-looking, popular and wears Jack Wills and Abercrombie.
Jeane Smith is anything but typical, and definitely no cliché. She’s strongly opinionated, sarky, a self-confessed dork, head of her own lifestyle brand, Adorkable, and dresses as outlandishly as possible.
Adorkable alternates between Michael’s and Jeane’s perspectives, which meant I really got to know and understand both main characters. I felt that whichever character’s viewpoint I was reading, I really empathised with – for example, at the beginning, when seeing through the eyes of Michael, Jeane really did seem very rude and snarky and not at all likable. However, when I read from Jeane’s perspective, I saw that there was more to her than her abrasive surface and, despite her not-so-nice facade, I actually found myself liking Jeane.
In fact, you really can’t help but admire Jeane. Aged only 17 and living alone, she is already a massive success with her own brand, Adorkable. She writes columns for teen magazines, speaks regularly at conferences and made the Guardian’s list of ’30 People Under 30 Who Are Changing The World’. This is not the sole reason behind my admiration for her, however. What makes me really admire Jeane is how sure she is of herself. She knows who she is. She knows what she wants. She knows what she believes in and she believes in herself. Jeane is incredibly quirky and unique, but she’s not afraid to be different. In fact, she relishes in being different! She is so completely her own person and she won’t let anyone or anything get in the way of that. This, I think, is a very admirable quality because most teenage girls are constantly worrying about how they look and what people think of them; I can honestly only think of a maximum of two people I know who are so secure within themselves like Jeane is.
At first, I didn’t particularly like the relationship between Jeane and Michael. It seemed weird to me how they hated each other and the only basis of their relationship was that they liked kissing each other. However, it was very nice to see how their friendship grew and progressed – it was by no means perfect, but then again, in real life nothing is really perfect, is it?
I was expecting Adorkable to be a light-hearted, enjoyable read. It was very light-hearted and funny, but it was actually so much more than that. There are some meaningful messages behind Adorkable that I think teen readers will definitely be able to relate to – for example, it’s okay to be different, and it’s okay to be whoever you want to be.
I loved this book – Sarra Manning has written yet another amazing novel for teens – Adorkable was funny, quirky and totes adorkable!
on 8 June 2014
Ever since I first fell in love with Dylan and Edie between the pages of J17 I've been a huge fan of Sarra Manning. I still have my frayed little paperbacks of the Diary of the Crush books that I got free with the magazine and I've bought and read pretty much every single thing she's had published since then. When I met her at the Atom blogger event last year and we talked Toddlers and Tiaras I definitely unlocked a life goal achievement. In short, I'm a big fan.
I've been waiting for Adorkable to be released ever since it first came on my radar last year, I pre-ordered my copy months ago and dived into the story as soon as it clattered through my letter box. Now, I devoured Adorkable in a matter of hours and found myself laughing out loud one moment, then full on crying the next. Yes, another one to add to the list of books that made me cry and smudge my eyeliner.
Jeane is one of the most unique characters I've come across in YA fiction for a long time. She's original and quirky (I abhor the work 'quirky' with every fibre of my being, just so you know) to the point that she probably should be annoying but she was flawed and likeable enough that I couldn't help but warm to her. She admits that she's so desperate to stand out that she shuns anything popular and mainstream and it was her honesty that made me root for her. Also, her snark. There are so many layers to Jeane that she's definitely a realistic character. At first it seems as though she has everything but as we learn more about her family, her past and her present situation, we begin to realise that she's actual a very fragile, very lonely girl who needs somebody to look out for her.
Michael and Jeane's relationship was one of the highlights of Adorkable. They fight like enemies but can't keep their hands off of each other. The sexual tension was fantastic and I love that Manning didn't shy away from sex scenes - THANK YOU for the sexytimes. Finally, an actual depiction of sex that doesn't make me want to sling the book across the room because it's so cringe/poorly written/Fifty Shades of S***. It was great to see Jeane and Michael getting to know each other as Adorkable progressed and I like that their relationship wasn't plain sailing from beginning to end, they have highs and lows just like any other fledgling relationship. I thought Michael's chapters were great, especially when we got to read his thoughts into Jeane's look and Adorkable lifestyle - I thought his reaction was much more realistic than if he'd accepted everything right off the bat and hadn't cared about what his friends thought of Jeane's neon tights and grey rinse. He's a teenage boy, yo.
There are so many references to social media, bands and designers that teens are going to eat this one up. I'm not sure that the pop culture references will date Adorkable, either, which is good. I loved the roller derby references big time! Every single one led to me losing a big chunk of my afternoon to watching roller derby compliation videos on Youtube, which, to be honest, is not a bad way to spend two hours.
The message in Adorkable is loud and clear: Be yourself, not anybody else. Embrace who you are and keep your integrity. It's a great motto for anybody and I think this will have a particularly positive effect on teens as it isn't preachy but perfectly integrated into Jeane's story. The way Jeane develops throughout the novel is brilliant and I adored the ending - obviously I won't give anything away but I think it was the perfect way to end a fantastic story.
on 15 November 2013
Well, I never know how to start a review hahaha, Adorkable was a fun book, I was laughing a lot while reading it, I liked Jeane, she was so fun, she was so “straight to the point”, but it was obvious that she was lonely except for Barney, and then Barney fell for Scarlett… everything changed with that, so, I won't fill you up with spoilers (I would love to, but no hahaha) I liked how Jeane managed things in her mind (not her place, it was really messed up) to not freak out and not being a drama queen even if she was breaking inside, how she controlled herself when she was with people she didn't liked, and how open she was when she was in her field, the only one thing I didn't like about her was when she wanted to be no more adorkable, but at the end she got herself together, I really liked her as main character in this book. (Let's not talk about her family).
Now Michael, he had a perfect life but he had a lot of prejudices, he had this weird idea of Jeane wanting to scoff him and in the end it was him who was kind of hiding information such as his tweeter account… (that ladies and gentelmans is known as Stalking someone hahaha) And he was so hard to understand, sometimes he liked Jeane and sometimes he hated her, so make up your mind Michael, you know how she is so take it or leave it. Jeane was not an easy person, but it was what freaked him out about Scarlett so… who gets you Michael? But he was a good boy.
Hated Hilda/Heidy hahahaha so mean!
Well, it looks like at the end I gave you some spoilers hahaha, the thing is that I liked the book, maybe I even loved it...
on 26 October 2013
Adorkable is a book I'd been eyeing for quite some time and wondering whether I should pick it up or not. After reading a review for this book on someones blog, I knew I just had to get my hands on this book asap so I reserved a copy at my library.
I'm so glad I finally got around to reading this book! It was such a cute read! I got sucked into the story and I didn't want to put it down.
Jeane was such an amazing character. She was feisty, had an unusual style and was kind of up herself, but I just loved her. Even though she was pretentious, she was also a very likeable character. She was a blogger so I could relate to the slight insanity of always having to write a new post, but Jeane's blog was her life. She'd built a career around Adorkable and she was so mature for her age (well, most of the time). She had me laughing and smiling throughout this book and I just adored her.
Michael was a character that I started off hating but very quickly grew to love. Michael is the most popular guy in school and he really doesn't like Jeane. He's constantly bitching about her and just generally being an ass, but when he and Jeane are threw together and their relationship starts to develop, I started to really like Michael. He was a sweet and caring character. He's so lovely and he had me swooning throughout most of this book.
Jeane and Michael's relationship was an interesting one. They were together but hated each other which made for an extremely interesting relationship. I just adored seeing those two together and seeing their relationship gradually develop throughout the novel.
The storyline was a lot of fun too. I loved seeing how Jeane had built her company and what she does with it; I loved discovering Jeane and what 'Adorkable' meant to her; I enjoyed learning about Michael and I really loved seeing Jeane develop throughout the book. Jeane changed a lot from the character she was at the start of the book and it was great to see that. I also really loved how Jeane encouraged Michael to live his own life and stop letting his parents constantly monitor him.
Overall, this was such an amazing contemporary. Definitely one of the best I've read this year. If you haven't read this book yet, I seriously recommend that you do!
on 28 December 2012
Over the past month I have been really busy and stupidly I have not made enough time to read. I forgot that to be a good writer, you have to read... You have to be inspired! Not necessarily to write about what you read, just to want to reach out to your readers in the same way a book has got to you.
I do have a lot of books downloaded on my kindle app and I have started many of them, but I have to admit that a "real" book does not distract me like an eBook does... is this just me? I don't know...
Anyway, I have read books recently that got me hooked... but I was too busy to blog about them!
Until, I read another fantastic book from my now favourite author - SARRA MANNING! I have mentioned her before on a previous blog post, "You don't have to say you love me" was amazing. I got two of her books as christmas presents (yep, paperbacks!) and tucked into ADORKABLE yesterday... I have not been able to put this book down at all today... and I loved it!
It made me feel normal for loving Twitter, for enjoying writing blogs, for liking the fact that I have a personality that is not like everyone else... that I am a woman that does not fit the trend! Again, I GOT this book (although I have never been one to dress funny and wear 'out there' outfits... although, I did wear geeky wierd stuff as a teen). I may not be a teenager now, but I can relate to the main character, Jeane, on so many levels.
The enterpreneurial spirit, the need to work bloody hard, the drive and commitment to make something of yourself, the need to have an identity that explores boundries... I guess that's why I self published - I have never been very good at taking no for an answer... lol
Sarra Manning has a gift... she can make a strong woman out of a character, and yet show their vulnerable and lovable qualities. I also love the fact that her male characters are exceptionally normal, and yet are not "put off" by a strong, if eccentric, and slightly average looking, woman. This is the way it should be in the 21st century...
Of course, we don't need to see the characters married, with kids and responsibilities - that would ruin the image of equality! Ha ha
I highly recommend this book to women and men! A brilliant read, set in a modern and real background - I WOULD LOVE THIS BOOK AS A FILM! I am very jealous of Sarra Manning - she has the agent I dream of and has published with the publisher I love - Curtis Brown Agency (Karolina Sutton/ Catherine Saunders) & Atom books Publisher... you lucky, lucky author! I hope you all check her out!
This review was taken from my blog post! Hope it helps...
Vanessa Wester :) xx
on 8 November 2012
I am a huge fan of Sarra Manning's, having read all of her books several times over, so I was very excited to read Adorkable.
I did ultimately enjoy the book, but I think some will find Jeane irritating. She sometimes comes across a little two dimensional, and certainly snobbish about her dorkishness. She'll often make condescending remarks or judge people for shallow things, which makes it hard to swallow her right-on feminist schtick. I also don't think her family situation was mentioned in adequate detail, which made it difficult for the reader to empathise with why she is the way she is. In all honesty, I'd far rather have read about that than page after page of 'I love him but I hate him but I love him.' It just seemed like a fundamental part of her character, and to skim over it that way left a gap in the tale.
Michael is likeable, but also a bit stereotypical. All the way through I was just crying out for either of them to do something out of character, but sure enough, they always conform to their stereotypes. Michael's half Asian, so naturally he is pressured to be the perfect student (cough)- again, this might be interesting if focussed on a little more, but we only get flashes and it seems glossed over somehow.
I love the way that Manning's writing is peppered with pop-culture references, as well as the fact that she always writes strong-willed, independent teenage girls who are not in any way defined by their love interests. It's still a good read, just not as engaging as Pretty Things or Let's Get Lost.