Review: Awkward by Marni Bates

Awkward by Marni Bates

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…

Title: Awkward
Author: Marni Bates
Publication date: January 1, 2012

Awkward and I got off on the wrong foot, with me thinking that while Mackenzie is a likable enough character, she basically needs to calm the fuck down. Her behavior at the beginning of the book practically screams “LOOK AT ME! I’M WACKY! I SHOULD BE IN A SITCOM!”

I hate (most) sitcoms.

It’s just too much. Mackenzie is too much. But once she becomes famous, once the designer clothes start showing up on her doorstep and the Notables (seriously?) start noticing her, an Invisible (really?), Mackenzie does calm the fuck down. The things that happen as a result of her newfound fame are still unusual, but most of the things she does after the initial incident are pretty normal, not awkward. She handles her fame well, not that she has much choice with the paparazzi camping out in her front yard. She manages to have actual conversations with Notables and even attends her first party. She gets drunk and embarrasses herself, sure, but that happens every weekend pretty much in every town in the country. That’s not awkward, that’s just being a teenager. The weirdest thing she does there is to take her brother along, who’s only in middle school.

Best book ever? Not by a long shot. Worth continuing the series? Maybe. The next book is about Jane, who, despite barely being in this book, is supposed to be Mackenzie’s best friend. I could be down on Mackenzie for ditching her best friend over some attention from the Notables (and the world), but I won’t. The Notable Mackenzie spends the most time with is Logan and that’s mostly because she’s his tutor. You don’t really take your best friend along on a job. Jane’s the one who decides not to go to the party. Jane actually sounds a little boring, to be honest. Mackenzie and their other friend Corey suddenly both have good things going on, and Jane’s just kind of sitting home studying all weekend. Which, if that’s what she likes, is fine. Just on the boring side.

Jane’s not the only character who isn’t very well-developed. Corey gets his own little storyline and Logan’s okay. He’s kind of a generic popular guy, not a jerk but nothing makes him stand out either. The more interesting characters to me are actually Mackenzie’s younger brother Dylan and her new friend Melanie. I thought it was a little weird that Melanie was present more than Jane, especially since Jane’s her best friend and she just met Melanie. But I liked Melanie so I didn’t mind too much. I’d like to read more about both of them instead of Jane.

The reason I chose to read Awkward now is because I want to read Decked with Holly this holiday season (probably for the HoHoHo Readathon) and I was under the impression that it was part of the Smith High series. Awkward is the first book in the series and I like to read series in order, so…But now looking at Goodreads, it doesn’t appear that Decked with Holly is part of the series at all so maybe I shouldn’t have bothered. I guess I’m mostly left with a feeling of indifference. I’m not sorry I read Awkward and there are some funny moments, but Mackenzie isn’t a character I’ll ever think about again if I don’t read the rest of the books or once I finish them if I do.

3 stars



  1. I have had this one on my tbr for a very long time. Sucks it the book didn’t hit it off with you right away. Not sure I would like McKenzie.
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