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Review: Awkward

my thoughts in a few sentences: Awkward by Marni Bates is a delightful, short little thing that packs a punch that's gone epically wrong. HOLD ON. You’re probably like, was the book really that bad? The answer is NOT ON YOUR LIFE. What I mean by that statement: You ever witness someone TRY to punch someone else, but when it doesn’t work and their fist flops back leaving no marks, bruises, or internal bleeding, you have to laugh hysterically because they look ridiculous and don’t care. Like Kristen Stewart in that one movie where she played that girl in my favorite books-turned-movies, and she hit that guy, her best friend, the one that turns into a freakishly huge dog. Awkward made me laugh hysterically, and while the story is light and frivolous, the characters do leave a mark, but in a place where it’s not visible. HINT: That place beats.

hooking first line: "You probably think you know me... and I understand why."

Kensington • Borrowed • Contemporary Romance • 1/1/12 • $9.95



Awkward by Marni Bates


Mackenzie Wellesley has spent her life avoiding the spotlight. At Smith High, she's the awkward junior people only notice when they need help with homework. Until she sends a burly football player flying with her massive backpack and makes a disastrous - not to mention unwelcome - attempt at CPR. Before the day is out, the whole fiasco explodes on YouTube. And then the strangest thing happens. Suddenly, Mackenzie is an Internet sensation, with four million hits and counting. Sucked into a whirlwind of rock stars, paparazzi, and free designer clothes, she even catches the eye of the most popular guy at school. And that's when life gets really interesting...
I’ve been hearing LOADS of stuff about this book. I read this mainly because I enjoy main characters who are awkward—a social pariah, with an insanely stupid crush on a stupid boy but ends up with the right one who has seen her all along and likes her anyway, awkwardness and all. That may seem like a predictable story line, a formula that’s easy to pinpoint, and, in a way, it is, but, not only is it a fun, enjoyable one that I never get tired of, Awkward by Marni Bates does it with quirky flair, an endearing main character who manages to be oblivious even while being self-aware and not inclined to change, and a whole SLEW of adorable friends and family members and evil bishes that make us grin along with everything else that goes down.

Mackenzie Wellesley has a whole heck of a lot of humor, which becomes an immediately recognizable quality once we get into the swing of things. After a brutally heart-wrenching opening, in which we glimpse the heart-numbing event that stole her father from her childhood and onwards, a connection is drawn and we can’t help but relate to this nerdy girl who reluctantly chats with one best friend about boys and school, manages to become a Youtube sensation with a cringe-worthy act that is downright EXCRUCIATING and uncomfortable to say the least, and is strangely flustered by Logan Beckett, the boy she tutors after school for some extra cash. We are forced to squash the urge to *face-palm* several times, because between the babbling and other awkward social skills, Mackenzie is PAINFULLY clumsy, although she is a good girl with a head full of smarts, a fabulous sense of humor, and who is very serious about her independence. Watching her go from pariah to socialite, experiencing all her firsts (drinking, concerts, and kissing), and then retain the person she is, shifting only in how she’s come to view herself, is fun, entertaining, and seriously warming, as we feel almost as if we’ve taken this girl under our wings, casually protecting her and rooting for her triumph!

Sexy, sweet jock with reading problems aside for a second, the other characters in the story highlight the delightfulness of this book. From Jane, fellow nerd extraordinaire, to Corey, fashionister extreme and excellent dance partner, to Tim Goff, fast friend and neighborhood rockstar, Mackenzie makes so many new friends, who are happy to get to know her, even while staying true to her best friends, never succumbing to the hideousness that tends to overcome a person so that fame is all they define themselves by. With a family at home that comforts and defends and supports when push comes to shove, and friends who really matter, Awkward by Marni Bates only gets more enjoyable with each person we meet.

The romance strikes as very obvious, yet the tension can be spooned with a mechanical crane, that’s how spectacularly and deliciously huge and palpable it is. Mackenzie, never having dated and already admitted less-than-knowledgeable about boys, is quite oblivious to the feelings she’s forming and to the fact that the boy she is developing them for has been subtly hinting that he returns them. It’s sweet, how Logan is constantly dropping subtle hints, protecting her from his crowd at school, looking out for her when she finds herself in sticky situations. Realization may come slowly, but the reward is gushiness-worthy and brimming with swooniness in an adorable, sweet way.

Awkward by Marni Bates ends with a slow-shift, where everything is all crazy in the climax and grows to gradual by the time we get to the resolution, giving us a teaser as to Mackenzie’s future with an embrace we’ve been waiting for and totally leaves us grinning. Every moment flows and feels completely natural, the build-up fanning our anticipation, but when that delicious conclusion happens, happiness bursts from us in tsunami-like waves.

Rating: Sud-Kissed
Looking for books with a similar feel? Try checking out the following:



Got something specific in mind? Dare I believe I might NOT have covered something you wish to know? If so, let me know down in the comments section. Don't be shy!

25 comments:

Jenny said...

Ahhhhh I need to read this immediately! I love the awkward girl protagonist, I so relate to her every time! And the opening sounds incredibly intense, and I'm already cringing at just the mention of this excruciating YouTube video. Wonderful review Asher, you have me crazy excited to get my hands on this one:)

elena said...

Aww, this is SUCH an adorable review! I'm probably the most awkward person alive so I can relate to its main character. Love that the supporting characters are equally as great. It sounds like such a fun, delightful book! Love your review. :)

Stephanie said...

I've seen a lot of positive reviews for this book, too, and each time it has sounded like a read that would make me giddy from how cute and adorable it is -- your review only adds to that! It sounds like the protagonist is a character that is easy to relate to because, god, yes, those awkward moments in life...eeeeeesh. I really hope to pick this one up soon!

Sam @ Realm of Fiction said...

You're right, the story line does sound pretty predictable but this is the sort of book where that is allowed! This sounds like a quick fun read and I will have to add it to my TBR now. Awesome review! :)

TG said...

I just saw this at my library today and was thinking it looked so cute! I do not mind predictable stories if they make you feel good at the end and it sounds like this one does.

Asher_Knight said...

 Honestly, the awkward, adorakable ones tend to be the best contemporary protagonists. It's just fun, because we recognize the girl in the story. I visibly cringed at the opening, very hurt on behalf of Mackenzie, and that's about the point I knew I was hooked. THE VIDEO. So funny and humiliating, you don't know which to feel. Thanks, Jenny <33 I hope you like it!

Asher_Knight said...

 Why, thank you, Elena <3 I'm glad you thought so. AWKWARD PEOPLE POWERS ACTIVATE, because, girlfriend, you are NOT ALONE. And I found myself laughing and happy with the side characters, particularly her best friends, when they each had something fortunate happen to them. Awkward is so entertaining and fun!

Asher_Knight said...

 Stephanie, WOW, you have special powers BECAUSE THAT IS EXACTLY THE FEELING I HAD. Mackenzie can put the 'awk' in awkward like no other, let me tell you XD But it's funny and real when she acts all strange and clumsy. I hope you enjoy it when you do!

Asher_Knight said...

EXACTLY. This is the kind of predictable that feels like slipping into your favorite pair of socks or getting under a really comfy blanket. It's definitely entertaining! Thanks, Sam <33

Asher_Knight said...

 If you saw at the library, I'd definitely recommend picking it up! This kind of predictable gives you the warm and fuzzies, trust me :)

Sophie said...

I love socially awkward main characters, too! And yes, that sounds like a very clich├ęd plot, but if it's well done, what can I say? And oh my gosh, the love story sounds like something I'll REALLY enjoy (hey! don't blame, I just got out of highschool). I didn't really know this book, but after this review I think I'm going to give it a go...

Asher_Knight said...

 The plot is enough to make you grin and swoon, and OH I JUST ADORED THIS BOOK. It isn't cheesy predictable but cute and expected predictable, with a few sweet surprises, but the characters are what MADE THE BOOK. And hey, I wouldn't blame you, because I'm STILL IN high school, finishing, but still there *LOL* Try it, try it, DEFINITELY.

Sonia said...

I LOVE these kinds of reads... the ones where the MC is crazy funny/relatable and all types of bizarre things happen to them but mostly the book is just breezy, adorable and light-hearted. I NEED TO READ SOME MORE OF THEM.

Mackenize sounds like a fabulous MC and I'm so curious about the Youtube thing now! Cringe-worthy act? WHAT DOES SHE DO? *waits expectantly*

Ahhh well, guess I'll have to read and find out for myself :) Amazing review AS PER USUAL, Asher. KEEP ROCKING.

Sophie said...

Yay, now I have another book to buy with my birthday money! *---* I'm sooo in need of a sweet and innocent love story <3

Asher_Knight said...

 Yep, a good old-fashioned teen love story. Those are the best! And was it your birthday? HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

Asher_Knight said...

THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT IT'S LIKE, so you're really going to like Awkward ;)

OMG. If only you knew exactly what went up on Youtube. Oh, boy, poor thing. I found myself blushing like YOU WOULDN'T BELIEVE, because of how humiliating it was. BUT I WON'T TELL YOU. You have to read the book :P

Thanks, Sonia <333 *rocks* If you insist.

Amy said...

Sigh. I loved Awkward! I thought it was both cute and hilarious, but also heartwarming and satisfying and well-rounded. It wasn't ALL fluff! And I totally agree that the video experience was excruciating, but I kind of laughed and cringed while reading it. Oops! But I loved it, and I'm SO EXCITED to read a book about Jane!! (Did you see that little excerpt at the end? YAY!)

Sophie said...

Well, in fact it's this Sunday (April 22nd). I was merely doing plans for the near future muahahaha

Heidi said...

I'm really excited for this one, I too enjoy somewhat awkward main characters, even though I'm worried this one may be awkward to the point of painful.  I won a copy from Amy (Tripping Over Books), and am so excited for it to come!

Asher_Knight said...

 *does a dance* Oh, yeah, me too. So good and delightful and funny and it made me CRAZY happy. And I agree that it wasn't ALL fluff *nods*, which made it even better and easier to appreciate. It's so funny because when IT was actually happening, I closed my eyes like I was really forced to watch it XD OMG. I didn't see that AT ALL. I just gave back my library copy, freaking DAMMIT.

Asher_Knight said...

Hehe, speaking of Amy, she is just below you. It's not TOO awkward where you shut your eyes the whole time and PRAY that didn't happen, but it's awkward enough in a disarmingly sweet way that's also hilarious. Trust me, it'll be fun. :D

Giselleco said...

I keep totally forgetting to get this book it sounds really good and I love any book with humor!! Mackenzie sounds like a really awesome protagonist I'm sure i'd love her. Or at least be amused by her!!  Also, you changed your blog design I really like it!! :)

Asher_Knight said...

Oh, you'll laugh alright. This is just one of those books that makes you smile with its sincerity and cuteness, but it's not all fluff. It's about moving on too. I think everyone can relate to Mackenzie, even if they're nowhere near as awkward.

THANKS, Giselle. I really like how it turned out too ;D

Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said...

Wasn't this one so cute?? I just really enjoyed it. =D

Asher_Knight said...

It was downright adorable and funny and just... *sigh* I want to cuddle this book.