About Books #23: The Story of Awkward

Sometimes you come across those rare instances where a free book is actually good. And really, really exceptionally, you find a book that’s not just good, it’s genious. It hits all the right spots, it’s not too anything, it just gets it right and you’re left wondering why on earth this book would be for free? Yeah, that’s The Story of Awkward for you 🙂

1. Story

Let’s go to goodreads for this one, why don’t we? 🙂
“If you are looking for a happy book about beautiful people, this is the wrong story.
If you are looking for a narrative without emotion, without regrets, and without mistakes, this is definitely the wrong story.
This is by no means an uncomplicated tale about uncomplicated people. It is by no means sweet or light.

This story is ugly.
This story is complicated.
This story is emotional.
This story is tragic.
In short, this story is about being awkward.
Peregrine Storke is an artist with an odd sketchbook full of pictures she’s drawn since she was a child. It is a book full of strange sketches and awkward characters, for there is no better way to hide from bullying and life than to create a world of your own. With a stroke of her pencil, she has given life to a spectacled princess, a freckle-nosed king, a candy loving troll, a two-horned unicorn, and a graceless fairy.
At nineteen, Peregrine leaves her home, her sketchbook, and awkwardness behind. But what happens when something goes wrong in the world of Awkward? Trapped inside of her complex realm with the bully she thought to leave behind, Peregrine discovers there is nothing worse than falling for your own villain.”
Now, if you feel as if that resume was somewhat split in two, you’re probably right. As a matter of fact, the first pages of the book felt that way for me as well. There’s this overly didactic author trying to tell you what to pay attention to, and then there’s the actual story. My advise to you? Skip the author’s introduction, go straight to the story – that’s where the gold is at!
(Also: don’t expect this plot to necessarily be all too coherent. It is, in its own way. But that’s not really the point of the story, I don’t think.)

2. Characters

Probably everybody had an imaginary “better” version of themselves at some point in their lives. Maybe it’s the version of you that knows exactly what to say in confrontations. Maybe it’s a you that’s just that bit more confident in who you are. The possibilities are endless. Either way, Peregrine took those possibilities for people all around here and created an entire world with them.
As one does.Of course, people do tend to change. Through time, events, or just perception. And when you end up surrounded by the people in your life? But they’re stuck in the version of them you put onto paper? Not necessarily a good thing. Especially when that world was meant to celebrate “awkwardness”, and now perfection is threatening its very existence. The way the author uses every character to make that point? That’s the fun bit. Especially the bullygog!

3. Narration

This is what made the story for me. If you want gems like this?

Love isn’t roses. It’s those little square caramels and a root beer from the gas station because he knows that’s your favorite snack. It’s watching a musical with you without groaning. It’s handing you your glasses at night because he knows you’re too blind to find your way to the bathroom without them. Love is awkward.

Or this?

Even when we grow up, the child remains. It’s the child that shapes the adult. What happens to you when you are young shapes what you become later. Whether you think you belong here or not is beside the point. The little girl that drew Awkward still lives inside of you.

Then you need to read this book. It’s just plain old pretty!

4. Overall: 5/5

I know I’ve said this before, but I keep my 5 stars for books that have changed me and/or the way I look at things. This book was not perfect in any sense. The writing was awkward at place, especially in the very beginning when the author adresses the reader directly. At the same time, though, it was perfect. It was perfect in that it made me think. It made me smile, realise things, and just plain old made me happy.
R.K. Ryals was not a name I’d ever encountered before, and in all honesty, I’m not entirely sure I’ll go back to read more of their work. This one, however? I already know I’ll go back to it.
If you want to give it a try as well, now, you can find The Story of Awkward for free both on Amazonand on Kobo!