Author: Marni Bates
Book Depository | Goodreads
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 was really lucky with high school. Lucky, because my class was only about 120 kids, and we all knew each other. Then I went to a high school in a different state for senior year in a class of about a thousand kids, and I got to see first hand what real cliques were like. When I went to that new high school I became an Invisible, as Mackenzie Wellesley describes in Awkward. I like to think I wasn't as bad as she was, at least, and I got along just fine with the jocks or nerds or whomever when I had cause to talk to them. I was content being an invisible as long as people left me alone. So when I read a book like Awkward, I sort of get what the unpopular high school kids are going through, though I can usually only sympathize with them at best.
Awkward excelled at punching me in the face with what life would be like as a girl like Mackenzie, who was not only an invisible at her school, but totally...well, awkward.
I can't even deal with how much second hand embarrassment I got from Mackenzie as I read, but after the first few ordeals it actually began to be charming. It was just another part of Mackenzie as I got to know her, and I really began to love her. She's a fantastic character, and it's great to watch her evolution as a person as the novel goes on. It's especially great to see her pull up her big girl panties in the last third of the book and become the sort of girl she wants to be. She's still a babbly, awkward mess, but she's taken control of her life and her choices, and it's awesome to watch.
The romance was actually quite adorable, and I loved Logan. Mackenzie's friends were great (loved the LGBT inclusion, yay!). And while I felt parts of the book were very self-indulgent (friends with rock stars who she records a song with, a whole segment of her on the Ellen DeGeneres show, etc) they didn't take away from my feelings on the book as a whole, which were positive. I read Awkward in one delightful two hour sitting, and I don't regret it one bit.
P.S. Awkward is not even a real word to me anymore after writing this review. Awkward awkward awkward awkward awkward. Such a strange sounding word. Awwwwwkwaaaaaard.