Released: May 24th 2012
My Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
Jeane Smith is seventeen and has turned her self-styled dorkiness into an art form, a lifestyle choice and a profitable website and consultancy business. She writes a style column for a Japanese teen magazine and came number seven in The Guardian's 30 People Under 30 Who Are Changing The World. And yet, in spite of the accolades, hundreds of Internet friendships and a cool boyfriend, she feels inexplicably lonely, a situation made infinitely worse when Michael Lee, the most mass-market, popular and predictably all-rounded boy at school tells Jeane of his suspicion that Jeane's boyfriend is secretly seeing his girlfriend. Michael and Jeane have NOTHING in common - she is cool and individual; he is the golden boy in an Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt. So why can't she stop talking to him? (from Goodreads)
What to say about Adorkable? I loved it. The main characters had to be the highlight of the book. How I would love to be as daring as Jeane! She really made me think about perceptions and how the whole world is basically based on what other people think of you – and that’s kind of sad. That’s why I admired Jeane (despite all her flaws), because it takes a lot of courage to do your own thing and really speak your mind.
Jeane was a very intriguing character. She was juggling so many things – had achieved so much by just seventeen, which was very impressive. I loved reading about her, but I think if I knew her in real life, she’d drive me crazy. But then I think that’d probably make me like her even more! She was self-centred, eccentric, kind of controlling, brave, sarcastic, generous, difficult, funny and sort of closed off to the world. She had to rely on herself (she was practically independent from an early age) and I don’t think she even knew how unhappy she was. It wasn’t until she realised what it was like to have a real family that she understood how alone she’d been feeling. She was all outspoken and confident on the outside, but she wasn’t actually anywhere near as content with her life as she claimed to me. In that way I could relate to her, because even though we were so different, I think everyone knows the feeling of struggling through life, not know exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. And as much as Jean wanted to deny, she was having a hard time. Meeting Michael complicated things, and I loved the fact that the book was told from both Jeane and Michael’s POVs, because their views were so contrasting (initially) and it was interesting to see how each saw the other.
Michael started off as kind of bleh for me. I figured he’d just be the typical popular character type – kind of boring with no real personality. But as I read on, I realised I was wrong. He actually had a lot of imperfections too, and despite being the complete opposite of Jeane, they actually sort of balanced each other out. It was great to read about his relationship with Jeane and how he slowly began to realise that he actually really cared for her. Plus, sometimes their arguments were so funny. And there was this one scene where Michael made this hilarious Justin Bieber comment – well, you gotta love him after that. Though, to be honest, Michael frustrated me just as much as Jeane did, even though she was supposedly more selfish and impetuous. They were both incredibly stubborn and so many situations could have been resolved so much earlier if they had just been willing to just talk things out (but then the book would have ended after a 100 pages and that would have been a damn shame :P).
The secondary characters were ones that grew on me. I started off really disliking Barney and Scarlett but by the end, I really appreciated them! They were actually good friends, and I liked Scarlett’s transformation from wimpy and too afraid to speak to opinionated and thoughtful! What was really great about Adorkable though was that it actually portrayed teens pretty realistically. There was no pretence that these relationships were “one true loves” and would last forever. Sex wasn’t conveyed as something sacred and mystical – the things people did were pretty much the things you’d expect real teens to do (my only concern being the trip to New York – slightly far-fetced, but forgivable seeing as the rest of the book was more believable). The characters were realistic because they all had flaws and their actions were realistic because they actually made mistakes. I’ve said it before, and I shall continue to say it – perfect characters are the absolute WORST.
Adorkable was really well-paced for me, and I actually finished the book in one day. I mentioned before that I enjoyed the dual narration, and I really do think it made the book a lot more interesting. It wasn’t confusing either –sometimes it’s hard to keep up with more than one point of view, but I think things fit well together in Adorkable. I really liked the little blog posts, tweets and emails that were included too – there was just enough to give you insight into Jeane’s online personality without making the book seem like it was all about social media.
Overall, Adorkable was a very engaging book with fantastic characters, a lot of humour and a lot of drama. Recommended to fans of contemporary novels everywhere (and if you’re not a fan, give this a try anyway and see what you think :P)!