Don’t just read A Totally Awkward Love Story… Experience it!
I downloaded A Totally Awkward Love Story by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison because it had the word awkward in the title. One of my favorite things to do in my stories is put nice characters in supremely awkward situations and see all the ways they manage to really step in it. I have to say that Tom and Ellen must enjoy a similar feat. Fun fact, Tom wrote all of the chapters from Sam’s perspective and Ellen all of the ones from Hannah’s. It’s a nice way to get a unique character voice for each point of view.
Okay, let’s get this started. All Sam and Hannah want to do is lose their virginity before heading to university—no big deal. After all, all of their friends are doing it. But when they have the most awkward meet cute in a James Bond esque bathroom, it throws a wrench in both of their plans. So they part without exchanging numbers—or even names—and attempt to complete their mission. The only problem, no one else they consider seems to hold a candle to that stranger they talked to for ten awkward minutes by the toilet…
One of my favorite things about this book was the sheer amount of humor packed in. Sure, it had its serious moments, and I enjoyed those as well, especially its portrayal of a toxic female friendship. However, more often than not, I was laughing. The conversations in the two groups of friends were offbeat and realistic. When Sam’s friend Robin appears in the scene hilarity will almost assuredly ensue.
On the surface, Robin is the typical stereotypical, overconfident teenage boy. He wears shirts with sayings that he thinks are clever but are in actuality obnoxious, he only wants to have a conversation with a girl if she looks a certain way, and he likes to boast, most likely exaggeratedly, about what he does manage to do with girls when he somehow gets their attention. The thing about him that made him more layered was his closet Harry Potter obsession, causing me to forgive him for his many other shortcomings.
Robin pretends to be bummed about his family vacation to Florida, where he is “forced” to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park because his sister is a fan. When his sister overhears his bellyaching, she yells at him that Harry Potter is for babies. Robin responds with one of my favorite of his Harry Potter related quotes: “I’d like to see a baby grasp the complexity of Dumbledore’s relationship with Snape!” For me it was a bit that never got old.
It’s been awhile since I read through the Harry Potter books or watched through the movies, but hearing Robin’s ongoing commentary made me want to pick them up again. I thought about some of my favorite Harry Potter scenes. The funny: Ron eating the chocolates from Romilda Vane meant for Harry. The serious: Hermione yelling at Ron at the end of the Yule Ball. The creepy: Harry crossing over the water in the cave with Dumbledore where there are lost souls swarming the water. I could obviously go on, which is why Harry Potter books are so iconic, making them a perfect series to reference in a story since virtually everyone should understand the references.
There you have it. Do yourself a favor and read A Totally Awkward Love Story. Whether the house is empty or crowded, whether it’s morning or night, even if you’re eating or drinking (maybe keep a napkin nearby just in case this last one happens), give into the urge to belly laugh, and maybe crack open your favorite Harry Potter book after. Robin would appreciate it, and you will too!
If you haven’t already read A Totally Awkward Love Story, what are you waiting for? If you already have, why not pick it up again? Either way, take my advice when you do—don’t just read it, experience it!