Monday, January 5, 2015

YA Review: Awkward

Awkward (Smith High, 1) by Marni Bates, January 1, 2011. 239 pages. Published by KTeen. Source: Library.
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... 
First Sentence:
You probably think you know me...and I understand why.

Twitter came through for me yet again with this one. After reading many a dark and heavy book, I was in need of something lighthearted and madly funny which was just what I got with Marni Bates writing.

Sometimes one just needs a break from their normal bookish fair and to strike out into new territory. Well that time came a few months back when I had read too many books within my favorite genres and was bordering on burnout, so, that's how I found myself reading my second Marni Bates book.
    While I knew she could write interesting and funny books, because of the time I read Decked with Holly, I pretty much knew this would be an okay read. Although, while I was prepared for an interesting read, I was surprised by how I could not set it aside. Not even for sleep!!! Granted, it only took me two hours to read Awkward... *grrr* this review is just not sounding right! Guys, I really, really enjoyed Awkward because it was the right mix of funny, light, and just what I needed at that time.

Oh goodness, I did not think there could be a characters more awkward and clumsy than Mia from the Princess Diaries. Yet, I think that Mackenzie out awkward-ed Mia by a long-shot. I about died from laughing when she was performing CPR on that one guy; it was hilarious, yet oh so painful to read about. But you know what, it was her total awkward and blundering self that made her such an interesting character to read about. While I loved her awkwarness, I admit the one thing that annoyed me about her was how blind she was to the obvious. Certain things were pretty obvious from the beginning, like who liked her, but it took her nearly the entire book to realize the truth.
    As one who generally loves reading a book with best friends, I must say that I disliked one of Mackenzie's friends. What really annoyed me about him was that he seemed, at least to me, to not be happy unless she was a) procuring tickets from her new-found fame and b) trying to get her to change the way she looked. To be truthful, he annoyed me to no end. He reminded me somewhat of Lily from the Princess Diaries...yeah...

On to the writing...

What I enjoyed about Marni Bates' writing would have to be the quick pace of the plot-line and how her writing just pulled me in. I know I've talked about Meg Cabot's the Princess Diaries an insane, okay only twice, amount in this review but it's for good reason. That reason being that both Ms. Bates and Ms. Cabot's writing is similar in their ability to bring awkward characters to life and fun to read about.
   *gah* What I'm trying to say, and failing miserably at, is that her writing was quite enjoyable. I enjoyed how easily the story developed going from living in the shadow to being in the spotlights. Yet, while I really enjoyed reading about the ever awkward Mackenzie, it was the way Ms. Bates slowly shifted the relationship between Mackenzie and a certain boy that ended up being my favorite part of the book. Even though I could usually care less about the relationships, those of the romantic kind, in books, I thought this one was done nicely and made for enjoyable reading.

Final Verdict: Awkward- Funny and enjoyable, that is my final thoughts on this one. Also, it was just the thing I needed to lighten my reading fare.

Awkward earns

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