Thursday, May 31, 2012

Review: Adorkable by Sarra Manning

Adorkable by Sarra Manning
Reviewed by Maggie: May 31, 2012
Published May 24, 2012 by Atom
Goodreads • Buy now at Book DepositoryKindle
Preorder paperback at Amazon

J'adork. I know I was just THIS BOOK GETS ME-ing about Holier Than Thou but... this book gets me! Adorkable gets the online me -- the one who tweets and tumblrs and blogs and pins. If the last sentence makes no sense to you, this book may not be for you because one of the things I love about Adorkable is that it doesn't feel the need to explain all that. You either get it or you don't.

Jeane Smith gets it. She's a 17-year-old student and blogger who runs a mini online empire based on all things adorkable. #4 on The Ad♥rkable Manifesto is:
Suffering doesn't necessarily improve you but it does give you something to blog about.
Jeane is smart and sassy. She's Jessica Darling meets Tavi Gevinson. Tavi, for those unfamiliar, is a fashion blogger who at 13 was sitting front row at fashion shows around the world and featured in magazines, including French Vogue. Now 16, Tavi turned her Style Rookie blog into Rookie Magazine and even got Jon Hamm to contribute to her 'Ask a Grown Man' series.
No big deal. Jeane Smith has a million followers on Twitter and is flown around the world too. Tavi and Jeane also both had gray hair at one point.

Michael Lee, on the other hand, doesn't get it. Who cares about online popularity when you're actually popular, right? He's the Big Man On Campus -- perfect looks, perfect jock, perfect family. He's also half-Asian, which made me very happy. The main thing upsetting his life is his girlfriend, Scarlett, who is suspiciously spending a lot of time with Jeane's boyfriend, Barney. And there's nothing adorkable about Barney -- he is a straight up dork. Michael decides to confront Jeane about her boyfriend, and thus begins a series of encounters, both online and in real life.

I freakin' loved this book. At first, I was hesitant about the dual points of view because the male voice wasn't convincing. Michael says something about Jeane's "fugly face" and immediately an image of Regina George popped into my head. Thankfully, this was short-lived and Manning got Michael's voice. The star, though, was Jeane. She was as infuriating as she was endearing, but she cracked me up. My notes at one point were just a series of LOLs.

There are so many things that I loved, but on the top of the list is that Jeane isn't secret pretty, meaning she sees herself as a dork while the rest of the world sees her as some supermodel. This is such a tired trope. Jeane is short with some wobbly bits, and she's totally fine with that. That doesn't affect her sex life because -- NEWSFLASH -- 17-year-olds have sex lives! Jeane says:
I wound myself around him and in that moment I just wanted to be closer still, even if it meant climbing inside him like he was a sleeping bag, which actually doesn't really work as an analogy and makes me sound like some kind of sick serial killer who likes to wear my victims' skins.
There's also mention of female masturbation, which actually is a newsflash to Michael. Oh boys.

Adorkable gets how we interact now and the disconnected connectedness of those social networks. Manning sums up their appeal with this line:
This was what I loved most about Twitter: riffing on utter nonsense with a complete stranger who turned out to be on the same bizarro wavelength as me.
The tone of the high school characters is also perfect, or totes perfect. Adorkable is a cute, contemporary story that won't give you a toothache (copyright: Cher Horowitz). Now read it so we can tweet each other about it!

Rating: 4/5 stars.

For British Eyes Only
Twat count: 4
This is something we do on our Saturday Night Skins sessions on Wear The Old Coat. You can read how it began here.


  1. I seriously can't wait to read this book! I'm so happy that you loved it and I love the twat count lol. Awesome review Maggie! :)

  2. Watching Jon Hamm dish out advice to teenage girls is one of the most priceless things I've ever seen. Why are they asking grown men for advice anyway? This book sounds very cute though and I love that it doesn't purity-wash the female sexuality.

    Also I have to confess that I hate Skins more than almost anything on Earth (I know...don't judge) but I love watching you ladies chat about it. It's better than the show! Great review today Maggie!

  3. MAGGIE!
    I am so excited to read this book. I'm saving it up for my Jubilee Weekend READATHON.

    Also, Ms Manning seems like the coolest woman on earth and she used to write for J17 if that means anything to you?

    Also, good twat count! ;) FANNY.

  4. This review is so fetch! No seriously, I love it, Magz. I can't wait to get to know Jeane who sounds like a brill main character and hooray for Sarra writing about teens with sex lives!

    I have another of Sarra's books sitting on my shelf unread, I think I should bump it up my list AND I am going to the Book Depo to order this NOW!

  5. I'm gonna go ahead and black out the part above here where that PERSON I blog with said those horrible words about an amazing television show that I love. Must. Not. Flip. My. Shit. ;-) Anyway, I think this book may or may have me written all over it. Even though I am tall and non-Asian, I think I will really identify with Jeane. Seriously though, who is named Barney in 2012 and donneven try to argue about HIMYM.

    1. I think I must just be too old for that show. You can comfort yourself with your precious youth. I'll be at home knitting and watching Downtown Abbey.

      (Seriously though...I watched five episodes! I just don't get it. At least Tatiana loves it, right? 2 outta 3 ain't bad!)

  6. So I already left a comment on your Goodreads review but I just want to say it again - I want to read this!

  7. Lol @ Twat count! I've been seeing good things on this one and it sounds really awesome! I really enjoy Dual POvs too and fugly face rocks MY face! :D

  8. In a city like Dubai, fashion keeps the trendy populace on their toes with such out-of-the-box picks in textiles and many other domains. Women's Fashion in Dubai has defined new limits for girls across the world who loves following the latest fad!

  9. I LOLed at the serial killer line, too, but I totes struggled with some of the slang in this book. I'm obviously ancient at 26!

    It took me ages to get to like Jeane, but I really found that I related to her towards the end. Michael not so much--I found his treatment of Jeane pretty deplorable, like he was using her, first for sex, and then for her connections.

    Stephanie @ Read in a Single Sitting

  10. Aah, Maggie - why haven't I read this yet? You should read Let's Get Lost - it's the best out of her other's I've read, although, previously, I don't think Manning has managed to nail the love interests very well - they all seem a bit simpering and pathetic. So I want to get acquainted with this Michael Lee. This week, I hope...


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