Posted in Book review

Series Review: Awkward/Berrybrook Middle School Vol. 1-3

I finally got around to reading Awkward in December (yes, I still have books to review from then) and immediately picked up Brave and had my library purchase Crush for my branch. I now have all three at my branch and I’m so excited to recommend them like crazy! I wanted to share my love for each of these books, so reviews will be below. 

Tl;dr: These are the cutest graphic novels that are also emotionally impacting and 10/10 I highly recommend them. 

Awkward (Awkward, #1)Awkward

Synopsis from Goodreads: 
Cardinal rule #1 for surviving school: Don’t get noticed by the mean kids.

Cardinal rule #2 for surviving school: Seek out groups with similar interests and join them.

On her first day at her new school, Penelope–Peppi–Torres reminds herself of these basics. But when she trips into a quiet boy in the hall, Jaime Thompson, she’s already broken the first rule, and the mean kids start calling her the “nerder girlfriend.” How does she handle this crisis? By shoving poor Jaime and running away!

Falling back on rule two and surrounding herself with new friends in the art club, Peppi still can’t help feeling ashamed about the way she treated Jaime. Things are already awkward enough between the two, but to make matters worse, he’s a member of her own club’s archrivals–the science club! And when the two clubs go to war, Peppi realizes that sometimes you have to break the rules to survive middle school!

Review:
These characters are ridiculously cute. I absolutely loved reading about their rivalry and their journey to becoming friends and bridging the gap between their two clubs. Yet, while the artwork is adorable and the novel is on the light side, this doesn’t mean there is nothing deep here.

There are actually some bigger issues that come up in the book, although I don’t want to give anything away in case it is seen as spoilers. Just know that this book will tug on your heartstrings.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Brave (Awkward, #2)

Brave

Synopsis from Goodreads: 
In his daydreams, Jensen is the biggest hero that ever was, saving the world and his friends on a daily basis. But his middle school reality is VERY different – math is hard, getting along with friends is hard…Even finding a partner for the class project is a big problem when you always get picked last. And the pressure’s on even more once the school newspaper’s dynamic duo, Jenny and Akilah, draw Jensen into the whirlwind of school news, social experiment projects, and behind-the-scenes club drama. Jensen’s always played the middle school game one level at a time, but suddenly, someone’s cranked up the difficulty setting. Will those daring daydreams of his finally work in his favor, or will he have to find real solutions to his real life problems?

Review:
#JensenProtectionSquad

Jensen is the most precious cinnamon roll, I swear above. I absolutely loved him and my heart broke for him over and over again. See, this book is about bullying and I think one of the worst parts is how Jensen doesn’t realize he is being bullied. Almost cried a few times.

This book is a bit sadder than the first since Jensen is a bit alone. There are still some funny moments and times where my heart warmed, but wow this could be so emotional at times.

I forgot to mention in the review for the first book, but I love all the representation here. The characters, even those in the background are all different (not all white or same religion). This is truly a special book.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Crush (Awkward, #3) Crush

Synopsis from Goodreads: 
Jorge seems to have it all together. He’s big enough that nobody really messes with him, but he’s also a genuinely sweet guy with a solid, reliable group of friends. The only time he ever really feels off his game is when he crosses paths with a certain girl… But when the group dynamic among the boys starts to shift, will Jorge be able to balance what his friends expect of him versus what he actually wants?

Review:
I swear the messages and content that these books deal with is fantastic.

Bullying is at the heart of most of them and here we even see unhealthy relationships, toxic masculinity, dealing with peer pressure, and staying true to yourself.

Jorge is fantastic and a male protagonist that young kids really need to see more of. He is an athlete, but he is also the sheriff of the halls, stopping bullying and just being an all around great guy who blushes around his crush and UGH Jorge is so cute!! Seriously, just amazing.

So, as usual there are some lighter moments and we get to see some of the past protagonists, but the issues are pretty impressive and hit home in the current climate.

I’m seriously in love with this series and am looking forward to more. Please let there be more!!

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


If you haven’t read this series but like graphic novels I definitely suggest you add it to your TBR! 

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