Well, That Was Awkward by Rachel VailWell, That Was Awkward by Rachel Vail

Well, That Was Awkward

byRachel Vail

Paperback | February 27, 2018

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Gracie has never felt like this before.  One day, she suddenly can’t breathe, can’t walk, can’t anything—and the reason is standing right there in front of her, all tall and weirdly good-looking: A.J.
But it turns out A.J. likes not Gracie but Gracie’s beautiful best friend, Sienna. Obviously Gracie is happy for Sienna. Super happy! She helps Sienna compose the best texts, responding to A.J.’s surprisingly funny and appealing texts, just as if she were Sienna. Because Gracie is fine. Always! She’s had lots of practice being the sidekick, second-best.

It’s all good. Well, almost all. She’s trying.

Funny and tender, Well, That Was Awkward goes deep into the heart of middle school, and  finds that even with all the heartbreak, there can be explosions of hope and moments of perfect happiness.

From the Hardcover edition.
Rachel Vail is the award-winning author of more than 30 books for young people. As a theater lover, Rachel sees and reads as many plays as she can. Well, That Was Awkward was in part inspired by her love of the play Cyrano – another tale of secrets, wit, self-confidence, self-loathing, friendship, identity-hiding, and romance that blos...
Title:Well, That Was AwkwardFormat:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 7.81 × 5.13 × 0.82 inPublished:February 27, 2018Publisher:Penguin Young Readers GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0147513987

ISBN - 13:9780147513984


Read from the Book

CHAPTER 1 THAT AWKWARD MOMENT WHEN   You can’t just drop a dead sister into the conversation.   If it accidentally comes up that my sister died, everybody freezes, their mouths hanging open and their eyes wide. Then they shift around awkwardly, muttering apologies, and I have to assure them it’s okay, it’s fine, don’t worry!   Well, that’s not at all what happened today. But usually that’s how it goes: silence, shuffling, sorry, okay.   It came up more when I was younger, before I learned to steer the conversation away at any hint we might be heading in that direction. Sisters, siblings, death? Find the nearest exit, please. In first grade when we were learning graphing, Ms. Murphy told us to stand up when she got to how many siblings we had. Zero? One? Two? Chairs scraped the floor as kids stood up and sat back down, with Ms. Murphy count­ing. I raised my hand to ask, “What if I have a sister, but she’s dead? Is that a zero or a one?” Poor Ms. Murphy wasn’t sure either. She said, Um, oh, it’s, oh, ah, your choice? Then she blinked very many times and erased that graph and switched to: How many teeth have you lost? That night, she called my par­ents in for a conference to discuss what had happened and to apologize to them. They explained why I had seemed so factual about the situation, so Ms. Murphy wouldn’t think I was a scary unfeeling loon, and comforted her. She retired the next year.   My mom says it definitely wasn’t because I had trauma­tized her.   But Mom is like that, very supportive. Always on my side. Never gets mad.   My dad doesn’t get mad either, actually. To be fair, he seems generally pretty unemotional about anything that’s not the outer planets.   Except when it comes to the subject of Bret. Just the men­tion of my sister’s name makes both Mom and Dad kind of jolty, though they attempt to hide it. Now that I’m almost fourteen, I try not to bring up Bret anymore. You know how if you drop something on the subway tracks, you have to just leave it? You can maybe still see it, your bead necklace or phone or whatever, but too bad; you can’t ever get it back. That’s kind of what the topic of Bret is like for us at this point.   But today it came up at Monday-out-day lunch, while AJ Rojanasopondist was insisting that his brother Neal must’ve stolen his permission slip. Which didn’t make any sense, ob­viously. Why would adorable little Neal want to steal AJ’s permission slip?   “It’s a conspiracy,” Emmett explained, in solidarity with his best friend.   “It’s true,” AJ insisted. “Neal is evil.”   Emmett smiled at that. He has the most genuinely happy smile. It takes over his whole face.   Before lunch, Mr. Phillips had snapped his fingers and told AJ, in front of the whole class, that if he didn’t get his parents to deliver a signed permission slip by the end of the day, he wouldn’t be allowed to go on the trip tomorrow to the concert at the cathedral. So AJ spent the whole lunch period pleading with his mom on Emmett’s phone (AJ’s phone was dead, as usual) while simultaneously shoving three slices of pizza into his mouth, practically whole.   AJ Eating should be its own channel on YouTube. Every­body would watch it. I’m not kidding; it’s seriously that good. The guy barely has to chew.   He and Emmett had taken the other two chairs at the table where Sienna and I were in Famiglia, so it’s not like we could politely not listen to AJ trying to convince his mom that little Neal must have stolen the permission slip out of his binder.   “He just wants to mess me up constantly,” AJ complained to us after he said good-bye, thanks, I love you to his mom, and handed Emmett’s phone back. We all threw out our used plates and napkins. Sienna and I walked out with them into the sunshine of Broadway and stopped in front of the big group of Loud Crowd kids who were stalled there. “Neal may look sweet,” AJ continued. “But he is actually a demon child.”   Emmett, whose older sister, Daphne, is quiet and studious, said, “Ugh, demon siblings are the worst.” Then he looked at me apologetically, realizing.   “Don’t you love permission slips?” I asked, to get off the sibling topic.   “I hate them,” AJ said. “Permission slips are my enemy.”   “Gracie loves permission slips?” Riley Valvert asked, rolling her pretty blue eyes toward her Loud Crowd friends about how lame I am. “That’s so sad.”   “Permission slips are amazing,” I said. “Are you kidding?”   Riley looked blankly back at me. She is basically never kid­ding, so, fair point. Riley is in the Loud Crowd, but despite how beautiful she is, they don’t seem to like her very much. If she weren’t so nasty, and so pretty, I’d feel sorry for her.   “I love that my parents have to sign a crumpled scrap of paper,” I explained. “And then just that little nothing, which I fully could have forged, gives teachers legal cover to ditch school with us to go do some random nonschool thing. How is that not amazing?”   “Good point,” Beth chirped.   “Absolutely,” Beth’s best friend, Michaela, agreed. She was holding hands with David. They’ve been going out since the end of seventh grade.   “Wait, Gracie—you can forge signatures?” AJ asked me.   “My own parents’, sure,” I said. “Yours, not so much.”   “But maybe you could try—”   “It is kind of random,” Emmett interrupted. “Permission slips, and off we go?”   “Right?” I seconded. “I want to marry permission slips.”   “Ew,” Riley said, rolling her eyes again, this time to Michaela, who shrugged.   “So do I,” Emmett said. I love Emmett. He is simply the best. He helps everybody out. “We could have a double wed­ding.”   “Perfect,” I agreed.

Editorial Reviews

★ "Through her protagonist’s rollicking commentary, Vail captures the anguish and hilarity at the heart of middle school." —The Horn Book, starred review★ "Vail may be disguised as an adult, but somewhere inside she is hiding a sensitive, confused, hormonal, loving, and intelligent adolescent. Using Cyrano de Bergerac as a model, Vail has created a fast-paced comedy characterizing a teen girl’s growing pains on the journey toward womanhood. Bring a tissue (or a pack), and enjoy." —VOYA, starred review★ "As per her usual blend of energy, wit, and genuine emotion, Vail has created a story that is at once delightfully gossipy, playfully ironic, and deeply moving." —BCCB, starred review"Heartwarming, funny, and tender . . . Call it cute, call it clever—Vail fluently captures the spirit of today’s American middle-schoolers." —Booklist"Hilarious and heartfelt." —Kirkus Reviews"This tween romance proves that some stories stand the test of time." —School Library Journal"Vail skillfully details the politics of middle school, mean girls, first dates, and best friends in this sensitive and funny coming-of-age story." —Publishers WeeklyPraise for Rachel Vail's Unfriended:"Another winner by Rachel Vail. At times laugh-out-loud funny, and other times heartbreaking., Unfriended is the kind of book I wish there were more of: emotionally complex, beautifully written, and impossble to put down. I never wanted it to end." —Meg Cabot"Rachel Vail should be required reading for all middle-schoolers. Deft and funny, this tale of the doom and drama of friendships played out in a digital universe is pitch-perfect and sheer fun." —Judy Blundell, author of What I Saw and How I Lied"Rachel Vail's ingenious, humorous, and compassionate storytelling brings her six narrators so fully alive that by the end of her book you cannot imagine ever 'unfriending' any of them." —Mary Pope Osborne, author of the Magic Treehouse books"With keen insight, Vail reveals the internal struggles with uncertainty and self-doubt that can plague young teens regardless of popularity status. . . With a resolution that is both realistic and hopeful, Vail captures the complexity of middle school social challenges, insightfully addressing the issues of friendships and integrity." —Publishers Weekly"Vail has a great ear for dialogue, and her characters. . . are well differentiated and realistic." —VOYA"Vail has always had her finger solidly on the pulse of middle-school social dynamics, with an uncanny ear for young teen dialogue and a real empathy for the wide and awkward range of social and physical development that characterize this age . . . Vail’s considerable fan base alone would justify multiple-copy purchase plans, but the hot-button topic of cyberbullying will further increase requests." —Booklist"A realistic portrayal of middle school life . . . A solid choice that will ignite meaningful discussion." —School Library Journal"Vail captures the complexity of middle school social challenges, insightfully addressing the issues of friendships and integrity." —Kirkus Reviews