Awkward by Marni Bates
K Teen Books, 2012
Nobody I know particularly likes being embarrassed, especially during their high school years, but sometimes those situations are unavoidable and some people seem to have to deal with them a lot more than others. In her debut novel Awkward, Marni Bates captures all those feelings and begs the question, what would happen if one of your most horrifying moments was posted on the Internet for the whole world to see, and then that video went viral?
That's the situation Mackenzie finds herself in. After accidentally knocking over a football player with her book-filled backpack, she jumps on him to give him CPR because she thinks she killed him. Not only is that not the case, but someone records the whole thing and the video becomes a YouTube sensation. Now Mackenzie, the girl who wants nothing more than to be invisible, is the center of attention.
All in all, I found Awkward to be cute. It's a summer, read it in a day sort of novel. In many ways I could identify with Mackenzie and I found a lot of aspects about her and the way she reacts to things very realistic. At the same time, though, the numerous pop culture references have me wondering if this novel will be terribly relatable for very long. I enjoyed them now because I'm familiar with them, but whereas his novel shares a similar premise to the Robin Benway book Audrey, Wait!, I feel that the latter book has a slight advantage in that Audrey makes references to classic rock which has already proven can stand the test of time.
If you are in the mood for a fun, light, Saturday afternoon read, then Awkward is the book for you. I'm glad to have come across it on my library's shelf and I really enjoyed that it was what it was and didn't try to over reach, but at the same time, I'm also fine with returning it to their shelves.
Comments welcome and, as always, happy reading!
Marni Bates' Website
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