Fifteen-year-old Dakota Lester has never been accused of being popular, having friends or even being remotely attractive. Convinced that by becoming a sarcastic, obnoxious cut-up he can win friends and maybe even climb out of Infinity High School’s social septic tank, Dakota adopts the persona of “Lester the Jester” to mask the hurt of being unaccepted both at school and by a father who walked out on him when he was younger. Skinny as a rail and as athletic as a lima bean, Dakota wants nothing more than to break into student government, if only to sniff the hair of senior super-beauty, Addie Wilkins. But when Infinity High School’s own in-house bully, Blake Blanton, tags Dakota as his personal chew toy, Dakota quickly finds himself immersed in a dangerous world of vandalism and moral ambiguity. Warring with a lack of identity and burdened by feelings of abandonment by his father, Dakota begins to cozy up to the life of a con-in-training while also trying to discern his feelings for his best friend, a misunderstood “emo” artist named Erin. With Blake Blanton thumbing Dakota’s pressure points, Dakota must face his own personal demons and determine whether he can accept himself for who he is and not for what others want him to be. Dakota Divided is a tale of feeling comfortable in your own shoes and being able to love and forgive even in the toughest of circumstances. Witty, heartwarming and real, Dakota is able to make you laugh and cry—sometimes at the same time
Dakota Divided by Josh Clark is one of the most refreshing YA books I've read in a long time. Dakota Lester is a social misfit who really wants to fit in. Obsessed with Addie Wilkins, the hottest girl in school, and trying to keep his cheating father out of his life, Dakota gets himself into one hilarious mishap after another when Infinity High School's biggest bully decides to make Dakota his pet project. This a great book about love, friendship, and learning how to forgive. The writing is funny, the story is engaging, and the plot is relevant. If you like books that can make you laugh and cry at the same time, this one's for you. Dakota Divided gets two thumbs way up!
I really liked Dakota Divided. Not only is it funny, but it is the perfect snapshot of the ups and downs of being a teenager. Dakota's language and delivery is what makes the book so funny, and the way it takes on tough issues like bullying and being the son of a deadbeat dad while still being fun and engaging is really cool. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a quick and funny read. I say five stars.