Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It feels weird to say this, but I haven't seen enough good graphic novels that are just simply about school for older kids. The Knights of the Lunch Table comes close, but is for a younger audience, but Awkward ends up being a fun story that pits the artsy kids against the science kids in a pretty unique and different take. All the characters are fun and likable, the story is solid, and the way the story ends, while somewhat telegraphed, ends up being exactly what I wanted.
The story perhaps tries too hard in a few regards, though. It has a very anime feel to it, which kind of took me out of the tale a bit just because of how out-of-step it is with the current popular graphic climate. The diversity aspect, while to be commended in some ways, was also very noticeably checkbox in particular, and was kind of hard not to notice in its overintent. There's a way to do it without being so ham-fisted.
Overall, though, a really great read and one that really belongs on a lot of bookshelves. Looking forward to seeing what else we get from Chmakova.
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