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Adorkable Paperback – May 7, 2013
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Londoner Jeane Smith might seem to have it all: her own anticonsumerist lifestyle brand (Adorkable), a job writing for foreign teen magazines, her own apartment while her family travels the world, and tons of Twitter followers. Despite it all, though, she is deeply lonely and insecure, and she can’t blog her way out of the facts that she isn’t properly caring for herself, and her boyfriend has been cheating on her with cutie Michael’s girlfriend. Jeane veers between competent, insightful observations about her generation and utterly self-destructive behavior, including hiding that she has fallen for Michael. What might come across as a fluffy, light teen novel is a surprisingly deep story about a girl who is struggling to define herself in a postrecession world full of posers and followers. The brands and trends may quickly date this book, but the characters’ authentic, late-teen angst and snappy, believable dialogue, as well as Jeane and Michael’s experiences, give this one legs. Jeane might not be the twenty-first-century Bridget Jones, but she is awfully close. Grades 10-12. --Erin Downey Howerton
Witty, original and an up-to-date boy meets girl, boy hates girl, girl hates boy love story. . .a grown-up, truthful coming-of-age story.―The Daily Telegraph
Top customer reviews
I bought Adorkable for my kindle cause I thought it looked fun and I started reading it at work earlier today and I COULD NOT STOP. I got home, had a phone meeting, and then proceeded to spend all afternoon reading the rest of Adorkable.
First of all, Sarra Manning knows teens. Adorkable was hilarious and fun and so freaking relatable. Sure, I don't live in London and I've never experienced the British school system, but I totally know what it's like to not fit in all the time and to be obsessed with Twitter and run a blog and make out with people that I shouldn't be making out with.
And legit, I loved Adorkable so much I'm going to include a few quotes to show what I mean about how relatable Adorkable is. And I never include quotes.
"No! I hate hospitals! I think I can feel my toes. Would I be able to feel my toes if it was broken? Shall I ask Twitter?" - Adorkable, 24% in Kindle version
"So, do you think my foxtrotting days are over?" she asked Dad. "And do you mind if I live-tweet my medical examination?" - Adorkable, 24% in Kindle version
Jeane is such a bitter protagonist and her humour was so biting, I loved every second of it. Sure she totally got on my nerves at some point because she was so freaking self-destructive, but I understood her and I loved her for her faults. Just like I understood Michael and loved him for his faults. There was lots of sexual tension and lots of sexy times and it was awesome. Adorkable, hands down, had one of my favourite couples of 2012 thus far.
Oh, and the POV changes with each chapter - usually they annoy me, but I loved getting both sides of the relationship in Adorkable. Both Jeane and Michael are complex people with crazy, a bit messed up lives and it was interesting to see how both of them reacted to stuff throughout Adorkable.
And I loved the plot! It was super refreshing to have a protagonist going after a dream and doing things - things I could almost kind of relate to like blogging and tweeting - and I thought that aspect of it was awesome.
Basically, in case you couldn't tell, I loved Adorkable by Sarra Manning. This is the first book I've read by her and it certainly will not be the last.
What’s sad, is that there are so many reasons I could have loved this book. I’m a dork myself, so I’m all for “pro dork” books. I like high school romances. I like “popular guy falls in love with nerdy girl” books. I love books about blogging, bloggers, and social media. I love all of those things.
What I don’t like are massive b**ches. And that’s exactly what Jeane Smith is. A massive, MASSIVE b**ch. I have never read about a character in a book that is this massively mean.
Here’s my problem: I’m all for dorks. I’m all for being different. I’m all for going against the norm. That’s basically what I am and what I do. What I’m NOT for is insulting and hating on people just because they’re not like you, and that’s what Jeane is all about. She’s the dork version of the queen bee high school b**ch. That queen bee hates on everyone who doesn’t wear the cool clothes and go to the cool parties and date the cool guys. In contrast, Jeane hates on everyone who DOES do those things, even if they’re a perfectly nice person. She just hates their very existence. Her motto is basically: if you don’t go against what’s cool, then you’re my enemy. That is NOT okay with me.
Another thing that bugged me was how two-sided Jeane was. Here’s a quote from Michael:
"[Jeane was] a girl who was friendlier on the internet than she was in the flesh."
“everyone pretends to be someone else on the internet and that Jeane’s friendliness was only Wi-Fi-enabled.”
It made her look so two-faced. She’s quite social and friendly to anyone who approaches her on Twitter. But if you approach her in real life, she will stare you down and yell at you to get the heck away from her (I swear that’s not even much of an exaggeration). Example, starting with a line from Michael:
“Oh, I was just passing and I thought I’d come over and say hi.”
“Why the hell would you want to do that?” I asked very coldly. “Did you think that because we had one unpleasant conversation at the jumble sale we’re now on hello terms? We’re not. We have nothing to talk about so just, like, go away.”
Michael was being NICE. He wasn’t being sarcastic or mean, he literally just came over to say hi and she completely threw that in his face for no reason. Or, her reason is: because he wears designer clothes and people like him. And she then goes on to make tons and tons of assumptions about him just based on how he dresses and who his friends are:
“That was the deal with the really good-looking boys: they automatically assume you were pining and panting for them and wouldn’t be satisfied until you’d had their babies, no matter how ugly their personalities might be.”
And another thing I hated was how she treated her boyfriend Barney like a pet or a follower. She knew that they had zero chemistry and she hated kissing him. He’s not really her boyfriend, he’s like a doll to her. She dresses him up and teaches him to act in certain ways. This really comes out when they kind of break up and she rages about how he betrayed her because she gave him the ‘gift’ of attention and a social life:
“I’d raised Barney in my own image: he was on my side, on the side of dorks, on the side of all that was good and pure.”
“[Barney] leeched my cool like he was trying to jump-start a car battery.”
“You were nothing before me,” I screamed finally, as Barney cowered where he stood. “And you’ll be nothing again, just a spotty geek immersed in World of Warcraft with no social skills.”
That last line in particular sounds EXACTLY like something that would come out of an exaggerated queen bee b**ch's mouth. Literally. It sounds like Regina George from Mean Girls.
And after she was done with Barney she wrote a massive hate post about him on her blog where she named him. That’s a great example of what well known and respected bloggers SHOULDN’T DO. You don’t use your popularity as a platform to voice your hate for an individual, and that’s exactly what she did.
Above all, I was disgusted with Jeane. I couldn’t believe how she treated people! That’s not what I’m all about at all. Sure, stick up for dorks, but respect the non-dorks too! I don’t want to read a book about a character being a total b**ch to anyone who’s not like her… which is funny, because she claims to be all about supporting people who are different.. but at the same time there are also certain things you explicitly CANNOT be in her mind.
After about 60 pages of this, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I think Jeane might be my most hated character in all of literature. She’s exactly like those evil, manipulative queen bee b**ches, but instead of lashing out at people for being “unpopular”, she lashes out at them for being “popular”. That makes her no better. She’s mean, b**chy, manipulative, and thinks she’s so high and mighty. I couldn’t stand this character so much that I physically could not bring myself to finish the rest of the book. Even if she changes at the end, I didn’t care. I didn’t WANT to sympathize with her or be glad that she changed. I don’t want to feel any good or nice feelings about this character ever. She doesn’t deserve my forgiveness for being a massive bitch at the beginning.
(Note: I have no idea if she even does change at the end or not, I’m just assuming she does.)
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