Monday, July 9, 2018

The Year of Living Awkward by Emma Chastain-- Review of 1st book & GIVEAWAY!!

The Year of Living Awkwardly: Sophomore Year

(Chloe Snow's Diary #2)
by Emma Chastain
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: July 10, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
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High school student Chloe Snow chronicles another year in her life while she navigates the highs and lows of family, friendship, school, and love in her diary.

It’s Chloe Snow’s sophomore year of high school, and life has only grown more complicated.

Last year, Chloe was the star of the musical. This year, after an audition so disastrous she runs off the stage in tears, she’s cast as a lowly member of the ensemble. Will she be able to make it through the show knowing everyone’s either pitying her or reveling in her downfall?

Chloe’s best friend, Hannah, is no help: she’s been sucked into the orbit of Lex, the velvet-gloved, iron-fisted ruler of the sophomore class. Chloe’s dad is busy falling in love with Miss Murphy, and Chloe is no longer speaking to her mother, who is sending her increasingly desperate and unhinged emails from Mexico. As her parents’ divorce negotiations unravel, a custody battle looms.

If only Chloe could talk to Grady about it: his parents are divorced, and he’s easy to talk to. Or he was, until he declared his love for Chloe, and she turned him down because despite all her rational brain cells she can’t seem to get over Mac, and then Grady promptly started going out with Lex.

As the performance of the show approaches, Chloe must find a way to navigate all the messy elements of her life and make it through to the end of the year.

First Book in the Series

Confessions of a High School Disaster

(Chloe Snow's Diary #1)
by Emma Chastain
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary


In the tradition of Bridget Jones’s Diary, a lovably flawed high school student chronicles her life as she navigates the highs and lows of family, friendship, school, and love in a diary that sparkles with humor and warmth.

I’m Chloe Snow, and my life is kiiiiind of a disaster.

1. I’m a kissing virgin (so so so embarrassing).
2. My best friend, Hannah, is driving me insane.
3. I think I’m in love with Mac Brody, senior football star, whose girlfriend is so beautiful she doesn’t even need eyeliner.
4. My dad won’t stop asking me if I’m okay.
5. Oh, and my mom moved to Mexico to work on her novel. But it’s fine—she’ll be back soon. She said so.

Mom says the only thing sadder than remembering is forgetting, so I’m going to write down everything that happens to me in this diary. That way, even when I’m ninety, I’ll remember how awkward and horrible and exciting it is to be in high school

For my stop on the tour, I want to talk about discovering this series!!  Chloe Snow is one of those voices that will stay with me long after I've read all the books in her series (which I definitely will!).  She's one of those hilariously naive, honest, endearing, and addicting narrators.  I couldn't get enough of her 14-year-old view of the world!!

In Confessions of a High School Disaster, Chloe Snow takes us through her entire Freshman year of high school.  Her mother leaves for Mexico to "write", she makes a vow to lose her kissing virginity, she has some epic misunderstandings, she auditions for the school acapella group and the high school musical, she gets a maybe-not-really boyfriend, and her reliable dad does something utterly unreliable.

I loved Chloe's take on her world.  This book reads young and immature, but the character is, in fact, young and immature.  If you don't like reading younger voices who ramble and word vomit, you probably won't like this book.  If you like LOLing about high school hijinks and cringe-worthy situations, this is totally your book!!

I didn't even realize how much I missed reading about a character like Chloe until I started this book.  She reminded me of Ruby Oliver (The Boyfriend List) & Kelsey Finkelstein (Freshman Year and Other Disasters) mixed with Rose Zarelli (Confessions of an Angry Girl) & Freshman Devi (Gimme a Call).  These characters get into my heart, make me LOL, and there is a void when they aren't in my reading life.

My fave things about the 1st book:
  • Chloe has a Boston terrier named Snickers (I'm a proud BT owner and can confirm that they are indeed farting machines).
  • Loved the diary format.  It totally worked here & made it hard to put down-- I kept telling myself "one more entry and I'll stop for the night".
  • Lightness-- I read a lot of books about SERIOUS subjects, so sometimes it refreshes me to read about things that are just a normal level of serious.
  • It brought me back to how I used to obsess about the DUMBEST things.  By dumb I mean things that I thought were so important and obsess-worthy which actually turned out to be a giant waste of my time-- but no one could've convinced me of that back then!!
  • Chloe's epic Googling skills-- Googling example: "no boyfriend virgin happy anyway".  So much LOL, and also I totally would've Googled such things if I had access to internet as a 9th grader.

This book series is so me, that I can't believe it wasn't on my radar before.  Upon finishing the first book, I immediately started the 2nd one!!

OVERALL: LOVEDDDD!!  Chloe Snow is so cute and funny-- she's what I've been missing in my reading life for a while.  If you like coming-of-age cringe worthy oversharing, Chloe is going to be your girl.  I will definitely be reading the rest of the series (book 3 is in the works, so YAY!!) & you should too!!

My Rating: 5/5

Emma Chastain is a graduate of Barnard College and the creative writing MFA program at Boston University. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and children.

  • 3 copies of THE YEAR OF LIVING AWKWARDLY by Emma Chastain
  • US Only
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  1. OMG, yes! Her google searches were epic, and the format was, I believe, done really well. I loved the confessional nature of it, and I loved Chloe.

    1. I SO loved Chloe!! She was so funny and real. I remember having all the same feelings she did when I was in HS. Plus, she made me laugh multiple times and that doesn't happen often from books!! I should've listened to you on this one a WHILE ago!!

  2. Chloe Snow makes me smile -- this sounds like so much fun!