Current Giveaways

Word Spelunking’s temporary hiatus is now permanent. All requests are closed and there will be no new content. Thank you to everyone I’ve worked with and everyone who has read and supported this blog. Y’all are awesome!!

Aeicha @ Word Spelunking

Monday, December 26, 2011

ARC Review and Giveaway- AWKWARD by Marni Bates

TITLE: Awkward                                   AUTHOR: Marni Bates
PUB: Kensington Teen                           PUB DATE: 1/1/12
FORMAT: ARC, 259 pgs                       SOURCE: publisher

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.

THREE WORDS: Funny. Charming. Quirky.

MY REVIEW: Marni Bates’ Awkward was a pleasant surprise that had me laughing out loud and left me with the biggest smile on my face. Bates has taken a familiar storyline and breathed new life into it with endearing characters, a story that is outlandish enough to be fun and exciting but realistic enough to be relatable, and a wonderfully quirky spark.

Seventeen year old Mackenzie Wellesley has always gone out of her way to be invisible. In a high school divided into the Notables (the rich and popular) and the Invisibles, Mackenzie knows her place. But that all changes after her most embarrassing moment ever is captured on film and posted on YouTube. Suddenly, awkward, geeky Mackenzie is famous. Reporters are hounding her for interviews, talk shows are inviting her to appear on their shows, designer clothes are appearing on her doorstop, and the It band of the moment, ReadySet uses her video in their latest music video. Invisibility is no longer an option for Mackenzie. And things get even more complicated when cute, infuriating boys enter the picture.

I’ll admit that I wasn’t expecting anything extraordinary from this book; the synopsis after all isn’t anything we haven’t seen in YA before. But, Awkward turned out to be such a refreshing, charming, and enjoyable read.

Yes, the basic plot is familiar- awkward, outcast girl rises above the social hierarchy of high school, outwitting the mean girls and bullies, and gets the hot guy in the end-but Bates has managed to take this basic plot and create something quite special and meaningful.

I really loved how funny this book was. Bates writes with a smart and honest wit. There were scenes and dialogue that literally had me giggle-snorting! Awkward manages to explore the world of high school realistically, but I wouldn’t call it edgy. Yet, I wouldn’t simply call it light hearted fluff either. There’s talk of sex and underage drinking, but overall it’s a rather “clean” read.

Bates offers readers a really empowering message throughout this book. A message about self-acceptance and being true to who you are. Bates also gives readers an insightful and honest glimpse into the varying family dynamics and relationships that exist. This book isn’t just about Mackenzie’s struggle at school, it’s also very much about her broken, little family’s struggle to stay strong and endure.

Awkward paces nicely and never drags; I actually found it quite a quick read. The dialogue is fresh and hip. Modern pop culture plays a significant role throughout this book, which can be a tricky and dangerous move for an author to take. On the one hand, this makes the book fun, relatable, and very much in the moment, yet, on the other hand all the modern pop culture references may alienate some readers who are not familiar with them. I think for the most part though, most teenagers today will find the pop culture focus in Awkward to be fun and entertaining.

I found myself really liking and connecting with the characters in this book. On the surface these characters are a bit stereotypical and familiar, but Bates does a wonderful job of making them engaging and relatable.

Mackenzie *sighs*. Oh how I can relate to this awkward, quirky girl! I really loved this character and not just because as a teenager, I kinda was her (okay, even as an adult I’m still the awkward, slightly geeky girl who rambles off useless facts when nervous). She really is endearing and likable. Her dorky awkwardness is never too much; it really does come across as natural. Even the most popular, self confidant reader will be able to relate to this character. What I really loved about Mackenzie is how invested in her story and journey I became. By the end of the book, she felt less like a character and more like a friend.

Mackenzie’s two best friends, Corey and Jane, complete our main and lovable trio. Corey is a funny, impossible to not like character. As a gay, fashion obsessed male teenager, his character is rather cliché, but that never got in my way of simply enjoying him as a character. We don’t get to know Jane all that much in Awkward which is a shame because there seems to be so much more to her than just the quiet, studious girl she comes across as in this book…however, we do get to explore Jane’s story in the upcoming Invisible by Marni Bates which makes me super excited!

There are various other characters-peers, ReadySet band members, and Mackenzie’s family members-that round out the cast, and they are all nicely developed and fun to meet.

We get two very different love interests for our girl Mackenzie- Patrick and Logan. Patrick is the guy Mackenzie has been crushing on for forever and Logan is the popular Notable that she tutors…and I’ll leave it at that…ok, just kidding.

I don’t want to give too much away because the romantic aspect of this book plays such a significant (but not dominating or overwhelming) part. I will say that I really loved Mackenzie’s flirty, fun, full of sparks interaction with one of the boys and you will too! She totally ends up with the right guy in the end and I don’t think readers will be disappointed by the romance.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Awkward has charmed me completely! Marni Bates has created a laugh out loud funny and relatable story that will delight and entertain readers! A super fun read!


You can find Marni Bates here:
You can pre-order/purchase this book here:


Want my ARC of Awkward?! Well, I'm giving it away!
This giveaway will run from 12/26/11- 1/1/12
US only!
To enter simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below

  • Must be 13 or older to enter
  • US only
  • One main entry per person
  • Winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours or new winner will be chosen
  • I am NOT responsible for lost or damaged prizes in the mail

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Amy said...

This book sounds like a nice light and fun read. Thanks for the wonderful review.

Linda Henderson said...

This sounds like a fun read. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I hope you are having a joyous and safe holiday season.

seriousreader at live dot com

Maji Bookshelf said...

I always have a problem with girls ending with the wrong guy but I'm HAPPY that Mackenzie ends up with the right now!! Love triangles are awesome if done right!! ;D great review and the cover looks ADORABLE!

- juhina

Unknown said...

The book sounds like a really good read and you've given it 4/5 stars so I'm looking forward to it.

Thanks for the giveway.

Kara D. said...

Sounds like a nice and light read! I definitely need something funny to read!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I'd love to read this!


TayteH said...

Wow. I love the cover of this. It shows the stress of the girl anand the awesome design is really cool. :D The review was good. Everyone can relate to this girl at some point in their life. :D Thanks for the giveaway!

In Julie's Opinion said...

I don't read very much contemporary romance but you've definitely piqued my interest in this one! Thanks for the awesome review and for bringing this fun book to my attention!

Kelly said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I wouldn't have seen it without your review. I love funny quirky reads! I like to laugh and have some romance!
delivery.RN at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

The book sounds fun to read. I like the way you made the characters sound. Seems interesting.

misteedawnw at aol dot com

Brenda Demko said...

Thanks for the giveaway! This sounds like a good read.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

this looks like a cute, fun read. Thanks for a great review and giveaway!

Anonymous said...

this book sounds like my kind.

Lecea said...

I think I will love this book. It's seems like a good combination of humor and romance! Thanks for reviewing it :)

~ Lecea

Sarahbotbonkers said...

Wow what a great review! :) This book sounds like the type of book I'd read. Too bad I don't live in the US to qualify for the giveaway but I'd still surely keep my eyes peeled out for this when it's out in our local bookstores.

Sarah @ Smitten over Books

Anonymous said...

I love your review format! Also, this book sounds so good, I'd never heard of it before now--definitely going on my wishlist. Thanks for the chance to win!

Tiff Pull said...

Looks great i can't wait to read this.

Jackie M. said...

Wow, who can't relate to being a bit...awkward in their high school years. This sounds like a sweet book. I love when I can laugh out loud while reading something!

poeticallygreen said...

This sounds like a really good book and it would be an amazing win.

Sharmaine Chan said...

Great review!! I will surely love this book. I mean, everyone has certainly been in an awkward situation, especially during high school, so I really think I'll really laugh out loud while reading this book!

Sharmaine Chan said...

Great review!! I will surely love this book. I mean, everyone has certainly been in an awkward situation, especially during high school, so I really think I'll really laugh out loud while reading this book!

Anna (herding cats-burning soup) said...

I'm really enjoying your reviews :) this one sounds like a fun one!

Michele said...

Thanks for the giveaway

I love to find books that can make you laugh...

Try Happy Birthday to Me series by Brian Rowe...his books have a great sense of humor

GFC Michele Luker

jmluker at winco dot net

Helen said...

This sounds like a fun read. Thanks for the chance to read it :)