Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of This Might Get Awkward by Kara McDowell

This Might Get Awkward
by Kara McDowell
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Imprint: Scholastic Press
Release date: March 1, 2022
ISBN: 9781338746235

Gemma Wells’ social anxiety keeps her on the fringes of high school life until her major crush (and high school hot guy) Beau Booker is in a tragic boating accident.  Having grown up on Lake Powell, Gemma immediately springs into action, dragging Beau out of the water and performing the CPR that saves his life–except his injuries have meant that he is in a medically-induced coma.  Beau’s last Instagram post is of him and Gemma, and his claim that she is his girlfriend now provides her with entry into the hospital as family.  Being Beau’s dutiful girlfriend is her dream come true until she meets his older “black sheep” of a brother, Griff.  Now Gemma is caught in a web of lies, but how does she dump the comatose brother for Griff?

Gemma is a completely relatable character whose internal dialogue is as hilarious as it is genuine.  Supporting characters are likeable which contributes to the overall tone.  The spiralling, slightly implausible, plot moves quickly and provides a humorous escape as things quickly get out of control.  

Most teens won’t recognize the blatant retelling of the 1995 movie While You Were Sleeping, but those who do will enjoy the homage.  Otherwise, this will appeal  to teens who love cute romances that have a sweeter, humorous side. Finding Audrey  by Sophie Kinsella hits the same humorous tones while addressing social anxiety, while Under Rose Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall takes a much more serious approach to depression and anxiety. Katie Cotugno’s 99 Days is a great read alike for those willing to brave the trauma of falling for brothers, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s My Life Next Door has the same sweet family vibe.

– Jodi Kruse

Other Nominated Titles:

  • Flip the Script by Lyla Lee (May 31, 2022)
  • When You Get the Chance by Emma Lord (January 4, 2022)

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Published by

Quick Picks

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Blogging Team @ YALSA's The Hub.