Publication date: January 2012 from Kensington Publishing
Rating: 4.5 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I really liked it!
Blame it on that grade school ballet recital, when I tripped and pulled the curtain down, only to reveal my father kissing my dance instructor. At Smith high, I’m doing a pretty good job of being the awkward junior people only notice when they need help with homework. Until I send a burly football player flying with my massive backpack, and make a disastrous – not to mention unwelcome – attempt at CPR. Just when I think it’s time for home schooling, the whole fiasco explodes on Youtube. And hen the strangest things happens. Suddenly, I’m the latest sensation, sucked into a whirlwind of rock stars, paparazzi, and free designer clothes. I even catch the eye of the most popular guy at school. That’s when life gets really interesting.
Awkward by Marni Bates is a feel-good contemporary. Mackenzie Wellesley feels like she is the most awkward girl in her school – she’s an Invisible who tutors Logan, a Notable who truthfully doesn’t seem as bad as some of his friends. Mackenzie’s suddenly thrust into the spotlight when one of the most awkward moments of her high school career is video tapes and uploaded to Youtube. Overnight she becomes a sensation, and when a popular rock group uses her video as their music video her fifteen minutes of fame suddenly seems much longer.
Mackenzie is such a great character. She is not just an awkward Invisible. She’s smart, confident in her ability, friendly, sassy, and as this whole thing spreads and grows she gains a confidence in herself that just needed a little shove to show up. Her best friends are amazing secondary characters, too. Jane is bookish, and doesn’t have an envious bone in her body, while Corey is the gay best friend who gets his own benefits from Mackenzie’s moments of fame. What I liked best? The fact that Mackenzie and her friends stayed friends through the whole thing. There wasn’t any jealousy, backstabbing or betrayal, and it was great.
Awkward by Marni Bates is a well written, light-hearted contemporary that any age can enjoy. The characters drive the storyline amidst awkward moments, budding romance and the pitfalls of instant internet fame. Mackenzie’s navigation of her rise to fame and how it affects her is captivating, and you can’t help but cheer for her. I devoured Awkward in one sitting and can’t wait to read the companion book that looks deeper into Jane’s character.
Paperback copy received through Shanyn at Chick Loves Lit as part of the blog tour. Thank you!