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Review: The Story of Awkward by R.K. Ryals


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.


This is one of the books that I feel conflicted about. I really enjoyed the book but I do feel initially misguided. When I read the first portion of the summary, I was preparing myself for a different type of book than I read.  I was expecting a narrative that was much deeper, emotional and dark. Not to say that it wasn’t emotional in certain areas but certainly not the story that I was expecting. Despite that initial detour, overall the book I felt presented us with a more impactful beauty lending a better experience than what the summary sets you up for.

Before you read the book, ignore the summary. Well, use it as a guide of some aspect of what the story will lead from. Read what the author shares about the foundation of what this story evolved from. I promise if you have ever felt like Peregrine, than this will definitely move and embrace the part of you that longed for that moment to feel belonged and accepted. Whether you have been bullied, insecure or your life experiences have left you defeated, there is that longing that if you went somewhere or became someone else, life would be different. You know the sentiment if your circumstances changed, your life would be perfect but as Peregrine Storke learned, that doesn’t define you. 

Not the ideal home or school life, Peregrine found comfort in a fantasy world she created on paper through sketches called Awkward. Awkward was everything that she wished her life could be since she was younger, bringing to life a world that accepted everything that seemed less than perfect. This world reflected the inner beauty and love that her heart desired that brought her comfort and sense of belonging.

Upon leaving for college, she decides to leave home and “Awkward” behind her. Determined to start a new life, on her way to college, an accident transports her to her fantasy world to face a challenge that she never thought she would have to confront. What she learns and experiences will hopefully move and inspire the reader for the narrative buried beneath that deserves to be heard.

The Story of Awkward brings so much more to the table than fantasy uniquely blending with reality. I think for some many people who have had similar experiences, her journey will resonate and the message gained of acceptance and that perfection is flawed, brings an honest liberation for those who have been imprisoned by our unattainable vision of conforming to a status quo.  Light but insightful, I would recommend this more for teens because I think it would have a greater impact but adults can appreciate the beauty within the story as well.

Reviewed by Michelle Bowles


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