May 24th 2012
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?
I am seriously in love with this book. It's been a while since I've read a book with a character whose voice is as distinct as Jeane's, and it kind of wasn't like a lot of contemps that I've read in the way that the romance happened in a weird way. Plus the dual narration between Jeane and Michael worked really well in favour of the story and I can't decide whose chapters I liked more.
Jeane was really interesting to read about, and I really did love her despite the fact that there were a lot of times where she needed a slap or for someone to shake her or something. I think that it was incredible all the things she'd done with her life and the whole Adorkable thing, and I liked how her relationship with Michael developed. She could be really disagreeable at times, and she could be a bit of a bitch because of how much she thought it was important to stand out from the crowd and to push people from 'the crowd' away, but there also were a lot of times where I could relate a lot and I thought that it was really great that we got to see her more vulnerable side too, and she made a really great emotional journey throughout the book. If you think you don't like her for the first half of the book, you will by the end, I guarantee.
Michael was also really, really cool, and I can't believe I didn't realise it was a dual perspective book! I liked getting to see the whole weird thing from his point of view, too. He was a lot more than Jeane first made him out to be, and I actually liked him a lot. I don't think I could've handled a whole book written from Jeane's perspective so it was nice to have something a bit more neutral, I guess? But he had a good voice too, and I liked getting to see what he thought of Jeane, which at first wasn't always good things. Plus I just really, really loved the way the romance developed and whatever they might've thought, they so work as a couple.
I also really liked the way it dealt with the internet aspect of the book. I love that more books are including social media and seeing tweets between characters always makes me happy. Obviously, because of the whole Jeane being the head of a burgeoning media-dork-empire, there was a lot about Twitter and blogging in here, and the idea that people on the internet aren't always middle aged men, and that it is OK to find people on the internet who are like who because they probably aren't actually homicidal maniacs. I liked how it showed that the internet is a good place for making friends with people who are like you, who you can't find IRL, because that's exactly what happened to me. But I also liked how it showed that having read friends and family are just as important and you shouldn't shun the people closest to you because you already have friends on the internet. I liked how it showed you can have both, because I need both otherwise I'd have no sanity left! Or maybe I WOULD be actually sane! I can't think which is worse. (I'm not insane, just so you know.)
Also, and I just want to talk about this because I have to, the sex scene in this book is possible the most British thing I've ever read in my life. It's not exactly tasteful, fade-to-black, but I really admired the fact that yes teens have sex, and yes they know about sex, and we shouldn't always shy away from talking about sex with them. Also, ot was just kind of awkward and typically British feeling and I know I've already said that, but I felt to say it again. It's my blog and I do what I want ;p I enjoy books that are open about the fact that sex happens, but that don't, like, romanticise it all either. Not that that's a bad thing either, but sometimes reading about awkward sex is good too, and it seems to be something that British authors are really good at doing. Writing about, I mean! (Just an observation of British books I've read that involve sex and other books I've read that involve sex. Maybe it's a cultural thing. I think I'm done talking about sex now, I can practically feel myself blushing.) (Not that I have any right to talk about this kind of stuff either because I really don't know much about sex, because I'm still kind of in that Ewww-Gross-Sex stage of my life. I'm practically a ten year old.)
So, after the awkwardess paragraph ever, Adorkable is one of the best British contemps I've read, and I just really adored it! Or adorked it, though that doesn't sound quite as good. It is well and truly adorkable!