Awkward by Marni Bates
So, real talk: Who among us was never awkward in high school? Anyone? Is anybody raising their hand? Well, since I can’t actually SEE any of you, I’m just going to assume that we all have had–or continue to have–our moments or quirks. Because what’s life without a few embarrassing stories to save up to tell the kids in front of their friends, amiright? Hopefully, though, none of you have had to experience the kind of embarrassment that Mackenzie Wellesley does in the bright, funny, breezy debut novel, AWKWARD by Marni Bates. Although to be accurate, what is at first LITERAL embarrassment eventually turns into more an embarrassment of riches, and our girl Mackenzie is caught in the whirlwind of the viral-video famous. In short, AWKWARD is a hoot, friends. A perfect, fun contemporary with an endearing, and, yes, awkward main character whom you root for from page 1.
Would you guys judge me if I told you that I actually LOLed when I was reading about Mackenzie’s CPR incident? I mean, here’s this vibrant, nerdy, funny, charming girl who’s obviously not one of the cool kids at her school, POUNCING on a football player and POUNDING the crap out of his chest in front of other students, screaming and freaking out because she thinks she’s knocked him unconscious with her awkwardness. Even though he’s totally awake. But I can’t lie: I thought it was hilarious. And what makes AWKWARD by Marni Bates one of the funnier YA books I’ve read in a while is that this moment is only one of MANY LOL moments. Mackenzie just seemed to confidently if unwittingly throw herself into all these crazy shenanigans, and I loved it. (My fave funny part, though, involves Mackenzie and some ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ahhhlcohol. Seriously, I had to put the book down for a sec and collect myself.) To say that Mackenzie is a wonderful character doesn’t do her justice; she’s a STAR.
But one of my VERY favorite things about AWKWARD isn’t just Mackenzie, although she is fabulous. It’s all the other characters around her. Her best friends in particular, Corey and Jane, were fantastic. Corey is funny and confident and hilariously opinionated, and Jane is a sweet, overachieving, lovable nerd, and they both accept and love Mackenzie and each other, quirks and crazy and all. They shine, too, guys. And Mackenzie’s brother has his moments, too. They’re all unique and funny and super.
Of course, Marni Bates doesn’t just stop with the triumvirate of awesome friends. No no. Mackenzie get some loving feelings, too, for her popular kid/tutoree, Logan. Who is a hockey player. TANGENT: hockey-playing guys are hot to me. In fact, if I see that a book has a love interest who plays hockey, I’m in. TANGENT OVER. But Logan is swoony, guys. The relationship between him and Mackenzie in AWKWARD is so sweet and tingly and adorable. In fact, my favorite funny scene leads directly into one of my favorite Logan and Mackenzie scenes that just made me melty. There are some stumbling blocks thrown in there, but these two crazy kids are very cute together. *SIGH*
I love reading contemporaries like AWKWARD by Marni Bates. It’s like getting an extra helping of dessert: sweet, satisfying, and happy-making. And when it’s done well to boot? That just makes my day. AWKWARD is all of the things that I love about contemporary YA, and I hope you guys get a chance to read it SOON.
SPEAKING OF SOON, how does NOW sound to you all? Thanks to the AWESOME Marni Bates, her INCREDIBLE team, and the FABULOUS Shanyn from Chick Loves Lit (she’s hosting this most excellent blog tour), I have ONE FINISHED copy of AWKWARD to give away to one of you!! HOLLA! All you need to do is fill out the form below and cross your fingers. Well, and follow these simple rules, too:
- Be at least 13 years old.
- Live in the US–sorry rest of the world! :-(
- Respond to my, “HEY! You won AWKWARD! Do a happy dance!” email within 48 hours or someone else will be happy dancing instead.
- Tweet about this giveaway. Like, “@trippingbooks is giving away 1 copy of AWKWARD by @MarniBates and I wants it like the preciousss!” or something. As long as you paste the link on your entry form, we’re good. :-)
The giveaway closes at 11:59 PM on APRIL 8!! Winner will be selected at random. Of course, NONE of the information you submit to me will be shared with anyone EVER.