BLOG TOUR - THE YEAR OF LIVING AWKWARDLY by Emma Chastain

Hi Everyone, I'm so excited to be part of this blog tour. Last year I discovered Chloe Snow's Diary Confessions of a High School Disaster courtesy of the lovely people at Simon and Schuster and it was the funniest book I read in a long time, it's one you can't stop smiling and laughing throughout. These are the books that will get you out of reading slump, easy to read, relaxing and completely contagious of laughter. Read my review here.

Sadly due to work, I couldn't read this book in time but it's on the Summer Holiday to be read pile. So today, I have a Chapter 1 of The Year of Living Awkwardly. So enjoy it and definitely buy it, it is out now! 

But as an intro here is a little bit more about the book.

Image result for the year of living awkwardly
It's Chloe Snow's sophomore year of high school, and life has only grown more complicated.

Last year, Chloe was the star of the musical. This year, she's just a lowly member of the ensemble. Chloe’s best friend, Hannah, is no help: she’s been sucked into the orbit of Lex, evil Queen Bee of the class. Meanwhile, Chloe’s dad is busy falling in love with Miss Murphy, and her mother is MIA in Mexico with her much younger bullfighting boyfriend, Javi...

If only Chloe could talk to Grady about it - he's easy to talk to. Or he was, until he declared his love for Chloe, she turned him down because despite all her rational brain cells she can't seem to get over Mac, and then Grady promptly started going out with Lex. GAH!

As the performance of the show approaches, Chloe must find a way to navigate all the messy elements of her life and make it through the end of the year.

Read Chapter 1 of this cracker of a book... and don't forget to follow the rest of the tour. 



***

Wednesday, August 10
OMG. I think Grady likes me.

Maybe! I mean, I’m not positive. But work today was weird.

It was hot, but there were big rain clouds overhead, so no one came to the pool. Grady and I sat on our stools in the concession stand, eating Twizzlers and talking about where we’d most like to live when we finally escape our hellishly pleasant New England suburb.
Grady said, “Probably Berlin, or Istanbul.”

I said, “New York, definitely. Or maybe Bermuda, so I can ride around on a scooter.”

He shook his head. “No way. It’d be too boring, living there forever. We could go there on our honey-moon, though.”

I whipped my head to the left to look at his face. My mouth was hanging open from the shock. He’s never said anything like that to me before! He’s a year younger than me! He knows I just got dumped by Mac, my pre-tend boyfriend who had a girlfriend but made out with me constantly anyway!

He looked a little nervous, but also pleased with himself.
“Sure,” I said finally. “I hear they have pink sand.” The thing about Grady is, he’s basically my height, so it’s easy to stare into his eyes, which are deep-set, and to notice his eyelashes, which are so long they get tangled sometimes.

I see that he’s handsome, but I don’t feel it in my bones. Could I ever like Grady? Good old Grady, my co-worker, the guy who burps the alphabet for my enter-tainment when we get bored?

Thursday, August 11


OK, I think yesterday was all in my head. It was about a thousand degrees in the concession stand today, and I was dying.
“I’m sweating like a pig,” I told Grady. “I think I for-got to put on deodorant.”
He tried to smell my armpit and I pushed his head away.
“You definitely forgot,” he said, fanning his hand in front of his face.

This is how we normally treat each other: like sib-lings. Disgusting siblings.

Then we talked about (a) whether or not dogs have a sense of the future, (b) gross smells we secretly like (gasoline, skunks), and (c) earbuds versus over-ear headphones. Hardly a sexy, tension-filled conversation, thank God.



Friday, August 12

Barf. Email from Mom.


Dearest Chloe,

I know you’re angry with me, and I respect that. Don’t feel you need to respond to this missive—but know I would adore a response, should you be able to muster one.


Javi and I have settled into our new place in San Miguel. We’ve set aside a bedroom for you. In the evenings, we sit on the balcony and sip tequila while the lights come on, twinkling across the mountain below us as if mirroring the stars in the sky.


I’ve finished the first draft of my novel and have put it in a drawer, where I intend to leave it for a while before revisiting it with fresh eyes. While I wait, I’ll deepen my yoga practice. I’ve found a charming little studio mere blocks away.


Well, darling, I think of you every minute, and am sending you so much love.


Yours,

Ever,

Mommy


I started a draft.

Veronica,

Remember that time you ran away to Mexico to work on your (probably terrible) novel, abandoning me and Dad? Remember how you pretended you were only going to be away for a few months, when you knew you were never coming back? Remember how you showed up

“You’re going out? I didn’t know that. I would have invited Tris over if—”
“Hang on, Chloe.” He turned off the water and looked at me. “I’m meeting Miss Murphy for a drink.”
“Oh. OK.”
My voice must have sounded funny, because he said, “You did say I should ask her out again, so I thought . . .”
“It’s fine. I don’t care.”
I dried a pan off furiously and then clanged it into a cabinet.
“Chloe. Come on.”
“Just . . . Please don’t go out around here. I don’t want people seeing you and teasing me at school.”
“Do you think they would?”
I picked up the colander and examined it. “There’s still a bunch of pasta on this thing.”
“Oh yeah. Give me a do-over.”
I handed it to him.
“They would definitely tease me,” I said. “Definitely.” “OK.” He was bent over, working with the sponge.
“We can drive a few towns over.”

I folded the dish towel in half, then in half again. “You know she’s my English teacher again this year, right?” I thought for sure she’d keep teaching freshman English, but no, appar-ently she’s going to follow me through high school like a curse.


at our July 4th BBQ with your MUCH-YOUNGER boyfriend, Javi, and humiliated me in front of my friends and then told me you and Dad are getting a divorce? Oh, wait, that all happened in the past year, so you definitely remember it. I do too. Don’t email me anymore,

—Chloe


But then I deleted it. I don’t want to give her the attention. She doesn’t deserve it.

Saturday, August 13


Dad was washing the dishes and singing “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top.” You wouldn’t think it to look at him, since he’s a middle-aged lawyer dad who wears collared shirts even on the weekend, but he’s really into musicals. It must be hereditary, because I’ve always loved them too.

He felt me staring at him and stopped.

“Too loud?” he said.
“No, it’s nice.” I didn’t tell him the truth, which is that I’d been standing there worrying about him. I worry about him all the time now. Mostly I picture him dying in a car accident. That’s what scares me the most, maybe because it seems like it could actually happen.
Dad said, “I have to head out in a few minutes.”
He nodded without looking at me. “I did see that on your schedule.”

I waited, but he didn’t say anything else. I don’t know what I was expecting. Maybe something like, I can see how awkward it would be for you to know that the person teaching your favorite subject is also boning your dad.

After we finished the dishes, I walked upstairs slowly so it wouldn’t seem like I was storming off. Why did I even feel like storming off?

I love Miss Murphy. She was mine before she was Dad’s. She was my English teacher, and she thought I said smart things about Ethan Frome. And she cast me, a mere freshman, as the star of The Sound of Music! She’s in her thirties, I think, but she still remembers what it was like to be a kid. She’s funny and interesting and she used to be a Broadway director before she moved back here to take care of her mom. I admire her.

And I know my mother abandoned my father and started an affair, and what was Dad supposed to do, sit at home crying while she drank beer on the beach with a guy young enough to be her son?

But it still makes me slightly sick to think about them dating people who are not each other.

Sunday, August 14
I think some major sophomore class drama kicked off at the pool today. Reese was the lifeguard on duty. She’s the queen of our grade, the kind of girl grown-ups refuse to believe is horrible because she fools them with her performance of bubbly sweetness and they can’t perceive the darkness in her soul. She has two dimples she’s constantly twinkling at everyone. She wears a lot of purple. Instead of saying some-thing openly cruel, like, “Good gravy, Madeline got huge over the summer,” she says something ostensibly kind, like, “I’m so worried about Madeline.” She rules with an iron fist, but she wants everyone to think she’s So Nice.

I’m terrified of Reese. I also desperately want her to like me. I am a disgusting person.

Anyway, a girl showed up at work today first thing in the morning, before it was busy, and immediately ran over to Reese. They both squealed and threw their arms around each other.

Grady elbowed me and tried to show me a sketch he was working on. “It’s a giant octopus eating the conces-sion stand,” he said. “Look, I put you—”
“SHHHHH,” I hissed. I didn’t want to miss anything.
“Who is that?” Grady asked, looking where I was looking.
“I don’t know yet,” I said.
Then Reese shrieked, “How was Paris? Tell me every-thing!” and I realized.
“Wait,” I said. “That’s Noelle Phelps!”

Noelle had left for Paris about 90 pounds dripping wet. It was obvious why she was Reese’s number two: she worshipped Reese, and she was pretty enough, but not Reese-pretty. She was scrawny and watchful and unsmil-ing, with mousy brown hair. The person now grinning at Reese was platinum blond and wearing huge glam-orous sunglasses. Then Noelle said, “It’s so hot I can’t stand it!” and whipped off her cover-up.

“Oh my God,” I said. “Noelle’s boobs came in.” Grady nodded. “I’ve never seen her before, but she
definitely has boobs now.”

I covered his eyes with my hand. “Don’t be a perv.” “You started it!” he said, and pulled my hand off his face. Reese ran her eyes over Noelle. “You look amazing,” she said thoughtfully, and I thought, Noelle is screwed. Noelle sat next to Reese on the lifeguard chair for hours, which is definitely against the rules, and they talked and laughed the entire time, but I’m not fooled. Noelle is a dead man walking.

Monday, August 15

Grady’s three-year-old brother, Bear, showed up at the pool with his babysitter in the afternoon and came tear-ing over to jump into Grady’s arms. Then he looked at me and said, “I like your underwear.”

“It’s a bikini, buddy,” said Grady.
Suddenly bathing suits seemed bizarre. We would never hang around in our undies, so why were we stand-ing a foot away from each other, basically naked, just because we were at the pool?
“He’s so cute,” I said, watching Bear race over to the kiddie pool. “It’s weird—you guys look nothing alike.”
“Thanks a lot!”
“No, I meant—I didn’t mean you’re not cute.” “REALLY!” He made a Sexy Expression at me. “Get your face out of my face,” I said, and pushed him away.
“Bear and I have different dads,” he said. “Thanks for making me feel awkward about it.”
I gasped. “Oh my God. I’m sorry.”
“I’m just messing with you, dork,” he said, laughing. “I mean, he is my mom’s kid with my stepfather, but it’s fine. I’ve had three years to get used to it.”
“You are incredibly annoying,” I said.
“You love me,” he said.
“I really don’t.”
“You love me so much you want to marry me.” “Stop trying to hug me! You’re all sweaty and cov-ered in sunscreen!”
God! He’s so immature!

Tuesday, August 16

Dad had to work late, so I invited Tristan over. We ate crackers and cheese for dinner, sitting on a towel in the backyard, coated in bug spray.

“Would it be weird if I went out with a freshman?” I said.
“Who?” Tris said.
“No one in particular.”
“Yeah, right.”
“Imagine a normal, shortish guy. Would everyone make fun of me?”

Luckily, Grady has happened to be off work the few times Tris has visited me at the pool, or he would have instantly known who I was talking about.
Tris shrugged. “Probably. You know how people are. They’d say you were robbing the cradle.”
“It’s so ridiculous. No one cares when senior guys go out with freshman girls.” I collapsed backward onto the towel. “I hate high school.”
Tris collapsed next to me. “I hate it more.” We looked up at the sky, which was still pink. “Roy’s going to a club tonight,” Tris said. “With all his new college friends.”

I turned my face to look at him, and he turned his to look at me. We were two centimeters apart. I could smell his Tropical Twist Trident. “You’re not worried, are you?” I said.
“No. A little bit. I don’t know. We FaceTimed twice today. I think he misses me.”
“I’m sure he does.”
Tris sighed.
I asked, “Do you think your mom told your dad about you and Roy?”
“Probably.”
“But you don’t know for sure? If she’d told him, wouldn’t he talk to you about it?”
Tris laughed. “Are you serious? That’s the last thing he’d do. I bet I’ll be coming home with my husband and kid in 20 years and he’ll still pretend to have no idea what’s going on.”
“Does it make you sad?” I said.
He shook his head impatiently. “It’s fine. Don’t worry about it. Tell me what’s going on with your dad.”
“He’s dating Miss Murphy again,” I said. I wanted to keep asking Tris about his parents, but I didn’t want to be annoying or nosy.
“No way. Are you upset?”
“Yeah, but I know I shouldn’t be. She’s great, or whatever.”
“She’s great as our director. Not as your stepmother!” Stepmother!?! Perish the thought.

1 comment

  1. This sounds like such a fun book :)
    I really enjoyed that chapter.
    Cora | http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/

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