Seventeen-year-old Gemma’s favorite kind of beach is an empty one. Social interactions are too much for her to handle. She always says the wrong thing—if she manages to say anything at all. She can’t even bring herself to speak to her longtime crush, Beau Booker, without losing sleep over her own awkwardness.
During a solo outing to her favorite beach, Gemma realizes—to her horror—that the popular kids from school have shown up to throw a party. Before she can sneak away (and possibly puke behind her car) Gemma is pulled into the action and ends up talking to Beau, who asks her to pretend that they’re “close.” Gemma is too flustered and flattered to refuse, and mostly, she’s wondering why Beau is talking to her at all . . . right up until the moment when he falls off the boat, hits his head, and ends up in a coma.
After rescuing Beau from the water, Gemma is mistaken for Beau’s girlfriend by his friends and family, including his mysterious older brother, Griff, who has returned to town after a year away. Gemma tries to correct the record, but her social anxiety (and a nosy reporter) gets in the way at every turn. Before she knows it, she’s in too deep to backtrack. And when Beau’s warm, boisterous family pulls Gemma into their orbit, she realizes how much she wants to keep them in her life.
For the first time, Gemma has everything she’s ever wanted: friends, big family dinners, and Griff—a boy who she can be herself around. But how can she embrace her new dream life when everything is built on a lie?
Title: This Might Get Awkward
Author: Kara McDowell
Publication Date: March 1, 2022
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
I loved this book SO MUCH!!!! It had amazing rom-com energy, great mental health representation, and characters that I couldn’t get enough of. Is it too soon to read it again?
The first note I made about this book was that it was funny and I found that stood true for the whole book. We have awkward, social anxiety ridden Gemma who is just so funny. Sometimes she means to be, but most times she doesn’t. Then there’s the Booker family who has some fun and humorous kids that I couldn’t get enough of.
Second, I noted how much I love the characters. I’ll start with Gemma, our main girl. She has major anxiety when it comes to social interactions and wouldn’t even know how to interact with others if she tried. She’s a lover of Lake Powell, in love with the golden boy of her town, and oh so lonely. Right off the bat, I was drawn to her character because of how real she felt. We get a lot of thoughts from her (most of them hilarious), and so we get to know her and her train of thought pretty well. As well, her evolution through this book is so amazing. I would 100% be best friends with her.
Next, I have to spotlight lovely, lovely Griff. He’s the older brother of our golden boy and the complete opposite of him. No one really knows him, but EVERYONE knows of him. Rumors plague the town about all the things he did before abruptly leaving for Ohio. Well, now he’s back, and thank goodness he is. If you love the broody, you’re-the-only-one-I-care-about type, say hello to Griff! I would sacrifice entire universes for him. His evolution in this book is also quite impressive.
Honorable mentions go to Sofia, who breaks the stereotypical mold, and Winnie for being the coolest 9 year old.
Now, onto the romance. It is truly unparalleled. The slow burn made me cry and shout with rage and fall in love until I started the cycle all over again. Griff is just…and then Gemma is…I just love them so much. And the best part is you know exactly when things start to change for them and it hurts so bad that they can’t see it!
The plot was so well-paced and interesting that I read this book in one sitting. I never stood a chance of walking away for it. It gives the perfect ode to one of the best rom-coms of all time, While You Were Sleeping, while having its own flair. Plus, the setting just sounded so beautiful and peaceful that it nearly soothed my poor, I-can’t-believe-this-book-exists heart.
Overall, I can’t recommend this book enough. Run, don’t walk to buy/library request it! I will be reading this book as many times as my brain will allow.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
To check out my other reviews, click here. Or to check out more books by Kara McDowell, go to her Goodreads profile or visit her website.
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