Author: Gurpreet Kaur
Publication date: June 13, 2020
Genre: YA, Fiction
Summary: Awkward is just a normal teen in India. Except she’s really awkward. And makes every situation she’s in awkward.
I’m not really a YA reader, but, when the author contacted me for a review and mentioned it was a comedy with plenty of awkwardness, I was intrigued. After looking into it, it looked really cute and I could already see awkward pieces of myself in Awkward, so I was more than happy to read this quick book!
The Characters: Cute and Awkward
The main character is Awkward, a seventeen-year-old student in India. She has the uncanny ability to make everything awkward, but still has so much heart and is always trying. She’s adorable and lovable, and truly epitomizes the awkwardness we all have in us.
Then there’s Extrovert. He’s kind of everything Awkward is not. He’s cool and good looking and everyone swoons over him. He felt like the stereotypical cool guy, but, underneath, is a heart of gold.
The Setting: India, But Really Anywhere
Since the storytelling in this book is quite different from a typical novel, there isn’t a real introduction to the setting or much about where it takes place other than mentions of school, Awkward’s home, a cemetery, a grocery store. Instead, the setting, India, came to life within the storytelling. It was there in how the characters behaved, in how events were celebrated. The story starts with Valentine’s Day, which turns out to be a week-long event in India. There’s also a wedding that somehow made me feel like I was there despite the incredible lack of in-depth details one would expect in books.
At the same time, even though I know it takes place in India, especially since it mentions India a few times, it also felt like it could be anywhere. That awkwardness is so normal in adolescence, the things that happen to high school students so universal, that it could have been any teen at any school in the world.
The Plot: Adorably Awkward
This is a cute, quick story that captures adolescence so well, especially for an awkward teenager. It’s quite a different sort of book as it’s all tell and practically no show and is told in brief chapters that focus on a single awkward moment in Awkward’s life. Still, it managed to tell a complete story. This is both Awkward’s awkward story and a beautiful, awkward love story.
I was surprised by how much I liked this story. It was short and sweet and incredibly concise. It struck right to the core, and absolutely softened my heart towards Awkward. As I mentioned YA is far from my preferred genre, but this was a really cute story that had only a bit of drama and a lot of heart. It was fun and I think many people can probably see at least a little bit of themselves in Awkward.
Overall: Sweet and Universal
For all the awkward and formerly awkward, there’s a good chance this book will speak to your heart. I don’t think I can say how cute it is enough. The love story was incredibly sweet, and I loved how funnily awkward Awkward was able to make just about every situation in her life. I loved that it didn’t focus too much on all the negatives of adolescence with things like peer pressure and ostracism, but instead focused on something universal and made it both relatable and funny. Overall, an excellent really quick read that managed to steal my heart.
How many cups of tea will you need?
5 cups, and some chocolate
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