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. A GIF? Sure. As a matter of fact, I have the perfect one.
But let's wrap this up so it's not entirely a novel of a review. If you read my extremely long and personal post of last week and related to it or had massive feels because of it, read this book. Because we're now to the part about how this book relates to me. It's my life story. All of the feelings I poured into that post last week were also in this book, along with more things. 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 won't rehash last week's post, because I'm trying to keep this short, but 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, [spoiler]where Jeane ends up alone on Christmas day and comes to the realization that she has absolutely nowhere to go, and when shit hits the fan, there's no one for her to call either.[/spoiler] 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 related to my very long and personal post, all bloggers, and basically everyone. ...Yeah.