Review: Awkward by Marni Bates

AwkwardTitle: Awkward
Author: Marni Bates
Publisher: January 1st 2012 by Kensington Pub Corp
Format: Paperback, 300 pages
Source: Won from Kensington Publishing


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…

My Thoughts

Mackenzie is your typical high school shy girl. She stays in the background and likes it that way. Better to be invisible than to be noticed and judged by the popular kids (aka The Notables). She is awkward and clumsy and dorky and nice and friendly and has a great group of other nerdy friends. Just when she gets the courage to talk to a Notable, she swings her backpack around too hard, flattens a football player and, in her panic, attempts unneeded CPR. Not her best moment. Unfortunately for her, someone recorded the incident and posted it to YouTube. Now the news is calling, bands are using her video for their songs, designers are sending her clothing. And the most Notable of all, the boy she’s loved since forever, has finally taken notice of her. The shy and trying-to-be-invisible Mackenzie is suddenly very very visible.

The plot is unique and so topical to the times we live in. Who hasn’t done something stupid and looked around to make sure nobody was looking? How easy would it be for someone to record anything with their cell phone and put it on the web? Too easy, history has shown us. But I digress. I thought Kenzie acted very typical of someone in her position and all of her interactions with her friends and family were believable. She had a great sense of self and wasn’t quick to let her ‘fame’ change her. I loved her sense of humor, it was on the dry side, but she was able to laugh at herself, too.

All of the characters were very well developed and had their own flaws and quirks, though sometimes I felt that Mackenzie’s mom was a bit unrealistic in her attitude toward Mackenzie’s behavior and the situations she found herself in. Her friends didn’t let themselves get drawn into the fame and drama surrounding Mackenzie either. They were supportive and nice and friendly. I enjoyed the sense of humor all of them had. And the rock stars were not cliches, they were just normal guys who happened to be famous.

There was very little romance, just sweet stuff. I especially thought the new romance between her gay best friend and his friend was sweet. This would be a great ‘clean’ book for teens with no super sexy or steamy scenes.

The whole attitude of the book was light and fun and entertaining, nothing serious or heavy.

The only thing that bothered me was the excessive foreshadowing. It certainly wasn’t a deal-breaker, but it did get to be a little annoying when the last line of almost every chapter ended like this:

And things were about to get so much worse. 

If I’d had any idea what was in store for me, I never would have left my room again. 

Too bad the feeling didnt last.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any weirder…well, I guess they did.

The Sum Up

A fresh and fun book. Perfect for the beach or a relaxing weekend. Plus, any book that mourns the loss of Firefly deserves massive kudos.

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  1. cute . lov light hearted contemp