About the book
Adorkable is a stand-alone contemporary young adult book by Sarra Manning. It was published by Atom on 24th May and the book is 400 pages long.
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 snogging him?
What I thought
I've only ever read one of Sarra Manning's other books and that was Nobody's Girl. It is still one of my all-time favourite books. When I heard about Adorkable, I couldn't wait to read it - especially as blogging is such a big thing to me, so just the basic aspect of the story interested me a lot.
The protagonist of Adorkable is Jeane, blogger and all round crazy girl. She knows exactly who she is and isn't afraid to voice her feelings and thoughts - hence the blog and constant tweeting. What I loved most about Jeane that she wasn't scared to be anyone other than herself. She didn't care what people thought about her or what they said behind her back. As long as she was doing what she wanted and how she wanted to, Jeane was happy and content. Although not all of the book is told from Jeane's point of view, these parts are fresh, exciting and much needed for the YA genre in general. It's about time we have a female protagonist that speaks her mind and does the kinds of things that teenage girls do without overthinking everything.
Then we have Michael, love interest and all round pretty boy. As I just said, not all of the book is told from Jeane's point of view - it is split with words from Michael. I really enjoyed having both a male and female perspective on the story as it made it possible to understand the feelings of these two characters from both sides. I thought that Michael would be a character I would hate, for many of the reasons that Jeane didn't like him but I just couldn't. It was clear from the start that Michael was different than his friends and others 'like' him. He had depth, personality and a certain charm about him. He is the complete opposite of Jeane but that's what I think made these two characters so special.
One of the biggest mistakes an author can make is letting their characters fall for each other too quickly. This is one of my biggest hates about YA books but Sarra Manning doesn't do this. Jeane and Michael don't even like each other to begin with - in fact, they hate each other. Their relationship is fuelled with tension, arguments and disagreements which end up turning into passion. I really loved the way that these two characters found each other and the way that their relationship developed throughout the book. The chemistry between the two was extremely believable and so were their after thoughts. Neither character is happy about having some kind of feelings for the other to begin with and the way that they both react to certain things was very entertaining.
One issue that Adorkable does deal with is teenage sex - another thing lacking in YA books. Now, I'm not advocating teenagers sleeping around or whatever but the truth is, teens have sex. I don't know why some authors shy away from this subject because it happens regardless of what they write. Manning approaches the situation in a mature and sensible way but still showing the feelings that people can have for one another. I actually really enjoyed the way that the sex scene was written as it wasn't over the top - it did exactly what it needed to and was perfect for the characters involved.
With things like blogs, Twitter and Facebook being such a big part of teenager's lives, Adorkable makes its plot easy to relate to. Although these things aren't the main focus of the book, they do have a lot to do with the way that things turn out and events that happen. Jeane, after all, is a blogger who is supposed to be amazing - she even gets paid to talk at conferences. These kinds of things made the book a lot more interesting as different settings are able to be used and everything isn't just set in a school. This book mixes up everything that the YA genre has previously been and is very different to anything else I have read. The characters are funny, quirky and sexy at the same time making sure that there is something for everyone. Adorkable ticked all of the right boxes for me and it makes me want to read Manning's other books so much more now.