Estelle: Awkward by Marni Bates

Awkward by Marni Bates
Publication Date: December 27, 2011
Publisher: Kensington
Pages: 300
Target audience: Young adult
Keywords: Youtube, best friendships, divorce, bullying
Format read: Paperback borrowed from library.

Summary: Mackenzie has accepted being invisible. She has two best friends, she’s super smart, and she has a lucrative job as a tutor. She’s the last one who would ever imagine receiving designer clothes in the mail, invites to parties, and chats with the Notable crowd. But after a YouTube of her attempting CPR on a Notable hits the web, her awkwardness makes her quite the celebrity and life as she knows it – for better or for worse — will never be the same again.

Fifty pages into this book, I turned to my husband and I said: I’m not going to like this. He gave me his standard reply: you always say that and then you love it. Okay fine. He was sort of right about this one. And it’s not because Awkward is realistic at all. In fact, it’s downright ridiculous and unbelievable. Sure, we’ve heard of certain YouTube sensations gaining exposure and becoming famous (Justin Bieber!) but there are just TOO many coincidences in this particular story for it to seem feasible.

But once you forget all that and concentrate more on the relationships and the voice of the character, Awkward sucks you in. In a huge way. In an “it’s burning a hole in my purse” sort of way. Like Mackenzie, I was never the coolest in school. (Bookworm, wearer of glasses and Disney t-shirts, majorette, website owner?) So I could feel for her: crushing on the popular guy, studying a lot, working after school to make money. She’s a mature girl. She’s had to deal with her dad ditching her family to start another one, her mom working multiple jobs so she takes it upon herself to be independent and responsible for herself. It’s admirable but it also stops her from letting people in.

You can’t blame her for taking advantage of her newfound fame. She’s finally invited to parties of the Notables (the popular crowd), the guy she’s had a crush on forever is speaking to her, and people keep sending her all kinds of free stuff. She’s gets the opportunity to act like a teenager for once, and she flails and gets a bit out of control. Again, a bit unrealistic — the sudden turn of events, a certain “hidden” talent but if you focus on her relationships — the one with her brother, friends who may or may not want to be friends with her because she is “famous”, and Logan, the guy she tutors — there’s a lot here.

Awkward is a cute book, the ultimate fantasy for any kid (or adult) who feels a little bit lost and in the shadows. Who wouldn’t want the opportunity to shine if they had it? The lessons that Mackenzie learns in the end are ones that will stay with her, and as a reader, will feel very satisfied with her decisions as she makes her way to her own kind of happy ending.

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7 thoughts on “Estelle: Awkward by Marni Bates

  1. April Books & Wine says:

    I really loved Awkward, and I am glad you really liked it. I agree about the unrealistic thing, but for me, my love of Mackenzie trumped that. 😀

    Also yes in the extreme to this being a cute book.

    AND YAY FOR THE LIBRARY! I just noticed in your disclosure that you borrowed it and I am like sitting here thinking damn I love the library.

  2. Mary says:

    This book had me at the title, so I’m glad it grew on you! Have you seen the MTV series Awkward? It’s amazingly awesome.

    It’s also interesting reading about this book b/c it sounds similar and yet in many ways opposite to Take A Bow, which I just read and reviewed today! I think its headed to my TBR pile regardless!

    • Estelle says:

      Mary, I haven’t watched AWKWARD yet on MTV but I keep hearing good things. I hope it’ll come on the Instant Netflix soon so I can check it out. I did wonder if the two were similar. I do hope you give this a read. I’m about to hop over to your blog right now! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Mary says:

    Estelle, you can watch online through MTV! There are ads, but let’s say you had a head cold and wanted to lie in bed and couldn’t even lift a book… You MIGHT accidentally find yourself watching the whole first season right there!

    Thanks for visiting our blog! We are only a few weeks in so we get all excited for every comment/potential moment to discuss books! Which is why we got started of course in the first place!

  4. VeganYANerds says:

    I haven’t heard a lot about this but I did want to read it based on the cover, it’s so cute! And I’m glad you enjoyed it, it doesn’t sound perfect but I really like the sound of Marni 🙂

  5. Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books says:

    Honestly, I think the reason that I want to read this book so badly is because I’m awkward in general. It’s not as bad now, but that was definitely me in high school. And even though this book sounds crazy and a bit farfetched, I think it’d be a lot of fun to read!

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