Anatomy of a Misfit

by Andrea Portes

Get the eBook or Audiobook

October 13 – 28, 2014

From bestselling adult novelist Andrea Portes comes her Young Adult debut: ANATOMY OF A MISFIT (published: 9/2/2014; 9780062313645; Ages 14 up; $10.99 USD), an emotionally resonant story that Publishers Weekly raves is “instantly endearing” with a “highly memorable heroine” and voice.

Anika is the third most popular girl in her high school–despite feeling she doesn’t fit in with the popular crowd in her small Nebraskan town. To maintain her social status, Anika does whatever Becky Vilhauser (first most popular girl in school) tells her to do. But when loner Logan McDonough returns from summer vacation hotter, and more mysterious than ever, Anika has a hard time staying away–even when Becky forbids her to date him. Anika’s glimpse into Logan’s troubled home life only draws her closer, but despite her blossoming feelings, Anika breaks up with him. In an emotionally devastating ending (*spoiler alert*), Logan’s father’s violent abuse turns deadly. He kills Logan, Logan’s mother, and then himself, leaving Anika in the wake of tragedy. The novel concludes with Anika’s revelation that we have only one chance to be true to ourselves, and nothing is more important than listening to your own heart.

ANATOMY OF A MISFIT is based on Andrea Portes’ real-life experiences as a teenager. She will be profiled as a Face of Courage in September for Moms Demand Action, the group lobbying for gun sense reform.

Please note: Contains adult themes and language.

A self-deprecating and highly memorable heroine . . . . instantly endearing.” Publishers Weekly STARRED Review

“Anika’s droll voice shines, and her emotions are palpable.” School Library Journal

Included in PopCrush’s “10 Most Anticipated Books for the Rest of 2014.”

Meet Andrea Portes


Andrea Portes is the bestselling novelist of the critically lauded adult novel, Hick. The book was her debut and has since been made into a feature film starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Alec Baldwin, Blake Lively, Eddie Redmayne, and Juliette Lewis. Bury This, her second novel, was published in January 2014 by Soft Skull Press. Anatomy of a Misfit is her third novel, and her first for young adult readers.

Andrea grew up shuffled around between such disparate locales as Nebraska, Brasília, Texas, Rio de Janiero, Baltimore, North Dakota, California, Wisconsin, and North Carolina. Finally, Andrea was granted relief from this nomadic existence when she was accepted to Bryn Mawr College, where she attended on full scholarship and later graduated cum laude, with a major in English literature. She then earned her Masters in Fine Arts degree from UC San Diego.

After her relentless education, Andrea moved to the neighborhood of Echo Park in Los Angeles, where she spent years mostly getting into trouble. It was in this period of vague nothingness that Andrea penned her debut novel, in longhand in three notebooks. Currently, she lives in the neighborhood of Los Feliz, in Los Angeles.

Click here to to read the exclusive interview with Andrea.

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What is Big Library Read?

Join the fun!  Big Library Read is the first-ever “global eBook club,” connecting readers around the world who read the same eBook, and listen to the same audiobook at the same time. Over the past year, thousands of libraries and schools and millions of patrons have embraced the program. Here’s how it works:  Program sponsor OverDrive teams with a noted eBook publisher to make a popular eBook available to public libraries and schools for lending.

During the two-week program, the Big Library Read title is available for checkout through participating libraries and schools.  It’s free, and there’s never a waiting list during the program. All you need is a library card (or student ID) to join the global eBook club.  See below for program dates, title details and how you can join an online community all about Big Library Read!

More titles to enjoy from HarperCollins

Comments 78

  1. Cyndi Starzyk

    I think this program is great I don’t know that I would have chosen this book without the big reads post catching my eye I’m sure I’ll be reading many other books through this that I might not have chosen before

  2. George

    She (the author) almost lost me with the line about the #2 most popular girl being “the biggest p****” a boy had “ever f***ed.” I read the warning about adult content, and am surprised that the choice for a global book discussion has that in the first chapter. I’m still not sure I’m going to finish it (7 chapters in now on the audio). The reader is quite good.

    1. Tiffany

      I can’t see the offense of reading a book that is basically written from a teenage girls thoughts. You have never been a teenage girl, so you can’t possibly relate! I hope you finish the book because it’s not all bad words and sex talk…

  3. Ruth

    Just heard about this book and the Big Library Read, downloaded and read it all today! Very interesting and created such a good bond with this quirky but strong character!

  4. karmarjor

    I was quite excited to be a part of this, but it’s been incredibly disappointing. First, this is not a very good way to have a forum of discussion. It’s unwieldy and hard to follow since you have to read all the way through and most people don’t, so you get the exact same questions and comments over and over again. Second, the book isn’t what I would consider a good read. The random bad language is a huge turn off. You can get your point across without trying to sound cool, you just end up sounding like an idiot. I love good young adult literature, and this is not. We need an actual forum, I’m really not into reading the whole comment section again only to learn there isn’t actually any discussion.

  5. Vic

    Started this a few days ago. It is kind of vulgar, seems to be accepting of bullying teenagers who casually either discuss or participate in premarital sex, ignorant parents who are on continual rollercoasters of divorces and marriages, siblings who are basically enemies. One of the teenaged characters steals prescription medicine from her family then habitually and surreptitiously feeds it to an adult. The adult happens to actually be her employer. She might as well be poisoning him.

    So, it is a book populated with teenaged reform school candidates. All of them are vulgar, twisted, and emotionally crippled. We’re supposed to view them as the protagonists though. They’re presented in a quasi-sympathetic manner.

    The characters are all shallow people, utterly superficial. Most of them are just teenagers, which makes it very scary for the future of a world which is destined to be led by the adults that they’ll become. They seem to be living lives without true meaning. Their goals are arrogant and self centered and ephemeral. This is making the book an ordeal. Why are these people even alive? To arrogantly and selfishly suck all the goodness out of the earth till we all die? To pollute the societies of earth with their lack of common sense and aggravation until everyone else is driven to distraction?

    In any case, if I can stand to finish this ordeal of a book I will try to enter an update. After all, I am being pretty unfair by posting this without giving the book a full reading. Please take note that these are only my initial reactions.

    Discuss. Serious answers only please. Thanks in advance.

    1. karmarjor

      Ok, so I just finished the book and I’m still as disappointed as I was when I first started. I would have thought a huge book club like this is supposed to be, would have chosen a better book. The story line has a lot of potential, and I understand that she us telling her story, and that is great, but it really should never have been chosen for a book club. And seriously, you can get your point across without all the unnecessary bad language. It just makes you look like an uneducated idiot. As for this ‘discussion’, the format is ridiculous. I actually found that there is a site that is devoted to this, but it’s virtually empty. Why are they making us use this format when there is already a forum ready to go. I have pasted the website below. This is pretty much like the book: I have absolutely no idea what they were thinking.

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    1. Lynn Greenberg

      Just finished the book. I liked it, but I wanted more. Some of the transitions between chapters and the timeline were a bit bumpy.

  7. Cathy

    When does the official discussion start? (Trying to avoid spoilers.) Will posts be sent to my email or do I have to keep checking here? Enjoying the book so far!

    1. karmarjor

      It doesn’t. This is it. Perhaps for the next book the coordinators will actually have a ‘book club’ rather than a ‘book recommendation’, which is really what this is. Very disappointing.

  8. Rita

    Just finished the book … I’m sure I’ll be the oldest reader for the Big Library Read…60!
    I can tell you some of theses “characters” were around when I went to high school in the 70’s,too. I hope you can relate with this author’s story and can live in the moment.

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    1. Vic

      Hi Adam and Andrea:

      My question is dealing with the location of the story’s setting – Lincoln Nebraska. Noting that the authoress’s biography stated her high school years were in Lincoln Nebraska, is it only a coincidence the book’s setting’s in Lincoln?

      Thanks in advance, Vic

  10. Lily

    I would like to know who chooses the books? Adam, are you our facilitator/host?
    As an avid reader, I enjoy almost every literary genre, and I’m looking forward to an E-Book Club. This is an excellent idea and I think the writers might benefit from our discussions as well! :)

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  11. Lauren

    I was not prepared for that plot twisted. Took me by surprise. I know the novel is based on the author’s expiernce. I just wonder if that situation really did happen to her. I’m still in shock.

  12. Marilyn Mansfield

    Just finished listening to the audiobook. I enjoyed it and the description does not give away everything. The author kept me guessing right up to the end. Yes, there are some stock characters (the mean girl, the bigot, the Christian hypocrite, etc) but there was real insight into how group dynamics affect people especially in high school. Loved the main character.

  13. Kristina

    I am really disappointed that there was such a huge spoiler in the blurb above- it is enough to make me apprehensive about reading the book. Maybe you can tell me- did that ruin it? Or is there enough that it is still worth reading? It reminds me of movie trailers that give the entire movie plot away.

    1. Cacy

      Still worth reading. Author foreshadows same thing right from chapter one. Main character/narrator has a great voice and personality that’ll make you want to keep reading. Narration and dialogue has some really funny moments.

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    1. Jeannie Poe

      I will admit I almost stopped reading it in the beginning as I thought the main character was not very admirable/bratty in the beginning and disliked her attitude so much but I am glad I stuck with it and enjoyed how the book evolved

    1. Amy

      So far, as a reader of YA literature, I am not overly impressed but I am going to plug on to see how these characters develop. Unlikeable teens, what feels like cardboard cut outs of “typical types: such as the mean girls, geeks, etc. and some phrases that have just made cringe. I am hoping to see the characters get more depth and learn some lessons as the story progresses.

    2. Kym

      I just finished it. I did spend a good portion of the book thinking that it was a random story, seemingly about nothing, and wondering what the point was. It’s all just general build up to the “unimaginable tragedy” referenced in the summary, which is 5 chapters before the end. I was listening to it so I didn’t even realize I was at the end so, when I finally got there only to realize it was done so soon, I felt let down. While it all wraps up in a very “afterschool special” way, I wasn’t impressed overall. I’d say it may be an accurate rambling through the mind of a teen – feeling like you don’t fit in even in your crowd, emotional seesaws, hiding secrets and insecurities – but I don’t feel like I got anything out of this book. No good laughs, no good cries, not even any moments of a single tear, or anything.

  14. David Conrad

    You really need something like a discussion board with multiple threads. This will become unwieldy if large numbers of people start participating. But kudos for promoting reading.

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      1. mutherovpurl

        What about the Twitter #bglmisfit? Using the comments section makes it difficult to discuss the book. And a book club is all about discussion.

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      Adam Sockel

      Hi Luna- We’ll do a skype interview next week and post the recording so if you have any questions you’d like to ask you can leave them here and I’ll ask those questions next week!

  15. Barbara Motley

    This is a national or global book club…should be interesting. I am a part of two book clubs, but I do need to increase my reading and less tv.

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      1. S.N.A

        so is there a forum where everyone reading the book get to discuss it together? The article said there’d be dates but I don’t see any.

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    1. Leona

      Barbara if you don’t have time to sit and read, try the audible version. The narrator is excellent and the full impact of this book is then realized. I must warn you the explicitives is a tad jarring to thze ear especially coming from a 15 year old mouth. But it’s an excellent book. It will make you laugh, angry, shocking and proud in the end.

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