The Year of Living Awkwardly: Sophomore Year

  • Author Emma Chastain
  • Release Date July 10, 2018
  • Publisher Simon Pulse
  • ISBN/ASIN 978-1481488785
  • Our Rating
  • Reviewed by B. Nakia Garner

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Our Review

In Emma Chastain’s YA novel, THE YEAR OF LIVING AWKWARDLY: SOPHOMORE YEAR, we are introduced to rising high school sophomore Chloe Snow. This teenager is excited to try out for the lead in the school play and wait for her crush to visit home from college.

The year starts off awkwardly when her summer coworker, Grady, an incoming freshman, confesses his feelings for her. At the same time, Reese, the most popular girl in the school, bashes Chloe’s friend, Noelle, after the latter returns from a European summer vacation with a fresh makeover. Turning down Grady and sticking up for Noelle leads to a domino effect of weird and sometimes hurtful events that begins an interesting year of high school.

Reese starts dating Grady, and to further stick it to Chloe, she lures Chloe’s best friend, Hannah, away. At home, Chloe’s mother has moved to Mexico with a younger man while her father has started dating her English teacher. She is studying for the PSATs and has lost the lead in the school play.

The only way Chloe knows how to cope with all of the changes in her life is by keeping a daily diary of what she sees, what she feels, and how she plans to overcome what she’s gone through.

In THE YEAR OF LIVING AWKWARDLY: SOPHOMORE YEAR, there are no chapters. The story is told solely through the diary entries of a teenage girl and will make readers feel as if they are reliving all the dramas of high school life.

As a character, Chloe is reflective, confused, and at times selfish, as most teenagers tend to be. She will remind readers of what it’s like to feel like you’ll never fit in and how devastating it is when your best friend isn’t talking to you. 

The target audience is understandably teenagers, and the lack of curse words and sexual content makes this a safe and appropriate book for all ages.

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