Schrag, Ariel – Awkward
A little bit of research can go a long way. I wasn’t sure exactly what this was all about, whether or not it was autobiographical, how old the author was when she did this, anything really important. Turns out that this is the first of four volumes about her high school experiences, with everything laid out in pretty graphic detail. This is her ninth grade year, dealing mostly with going to concerts and boys. Which might sound kind of cheesy or something that not everybody could relate to, but she just tells everything with such a vibrancy and intimacy that it’s hard not to like it. I couldn’t care less about Juliette Lewis (Ariel’s hero in ninth grade), but I wondered if maybe I hadn’t given her enough credit after reading about how great she was for so many pages. It’s obvious that this was written by someone in high school, and that’s its charm. It’s innocent, even with things going on that might not seem that innocent to jaded, adult eyes. Looks like it’s currently out of print, but keep checking the Slave Labor link up there and I’m sure they’ll fix that sooner of later. Until then, I’m thrilled to know that she went ahead and did all four years, even if the fourth isn’t done yet. If they’re all as good as this one (or better, considering that she did this when she was 15), this should be a hell of a story.