Awkward: Book Review

August 2nd, 2015 by

Awkward_Svetlana-Chmakova_coverIt’s happened to all of us. You’re reading a book when suddenly you feel like the scene on the pages has been lifted from your own life — so much so that you suspiciously look around for hidden cameras… What is this sorcery that the author has done to just GET you? That’s how I felt when I read Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova!

As Kidsmomo readers know, I’m OLD. Like, waaaaaaaaaa….aaaaa…..aaaaayyyyy out of middle school. But despite this, I totally felt like Awkward was an excellent representation of middle school: classes (yuck), clubs (yay!), and everything in between.

The official description for Awkward:

Cardinal rule #1 for surviving school: Don’t get noticed by the mean kids.

Cardinal rule #2 for surviving school: Seek out groups with similar interests and join them.

On her first day at her new school, Penelope — Peppi — Torres reminds herself of these basics. But when she trips into a quiet boy in the hall, Jaime Thompson, she’s already broken the first rule, and the mean kids start calling her the “nerder girlfriend.” How does she handle this crisis? By shoving poor Jaime and running away!

Falling back on rule two and surrounding herself with new friends in the art club, Peppi still can’t help feeling ashamed about the way she treated Jaime. Things are already awkward enough between the two, but to make matters worse, he’s a member of her own club’s archrivals — the science club! And when the two clubs go to war, Peppi realizes that sometimes you have to break the rules to survive middle school!

I read Awkward in one sitting, and I think once you pick it up, you might too. Both the writing and drawings are really funny and clever — I felt like I was part of the art club when I was reading about Peppi’s experience. In addition to the main story, it was also fun to look at what’s going on in the background of some panels. It’s not just Peppi’s story — each one of her classmates and teachers is interesting!

Peppi’s dilemna — not whether she should apologize for shoving Jaime, but how to do it without embarrassing him — is so relatable. After all, haven’t we all panicked and done something we regret? When Jaime is assigned as her science tutor, Peppi is finally given the opportunity to make amends. But if she’s in the art club and he’s in the science club, can they be friends? Or are will they follow the so-called “rules” and stay “enemies” forever?

Check out this excerpt from Awkward:

Still not convinced you should read this book? If you like ANY of the following, you’ll probably like Awkward.


Still not convinced? Here’s a final sacrifice to you, dear readers, as a plea to read this awesome book:

Nancy’s Top 3 AWKWARD Middle School Moments

  • Seagulls pooped on me at lunchtime not once, not twice, but THREE times! Those seagulls had it out for me.
  • In art class, I spilled a huge cup of bright orange paint on my dress and didn’t notice the stain (until someone pointed it out) for three class periods.
  • Gym. First. Class. Period. Smelly. ‘Nuff said.

If you’ve read Awkward, let me know what you think in the comments below or send in a review!

— Nancy

icon_nancyNancy laughed while sipping her tea while reading this book. It dribbled all over her shirt. Awkward.

More about Nancy »

7 Responses

  • Karen writes:
    August 2nd, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    If you are as tragically old as I am, you have to read Holm’s Sunny Side Up. The inclusion of Bicentennial events was perfect! I’m definitely looking for a copy of this one. (Roller Girl was good as well!)

  • AMY writes:
    October 20th, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    ME TOO!! I have read Sunny Side up, Awkward, Happy Clover, The Importance Of Space Traveling, Babysitting Club, and sooo much more
    (Still young)

  • Sasha writes:
    November 3rd, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    This is an excellent book, I won’t have to edit it when reading it to my 8 year old daughter.

  • ij0ookokih writes:
    December 3rd, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    i love this boookkkkk!!!!!!!!!

  • Hogan writes:
    April 18th, 2017 at 9:56 am

    THIS BOOK WAS GOOOOOOOOOOOOD. I heard the 2nd book is out. read it on the link below!

  • nicky writes:
    January 28th, 2018 at 4:28 pm

    I am in love with the series! I have read not just the first one, but also the second one, Brave! I hear that the third book, Crush is coming out in 2018. Very excited to read it!

  • Sphamandla writes:
    June 4th, 2019 at 11:14 am

    this is how I met my girlfriend except no one laughed at her.she is a very humble the comic pls keep it up

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