This is a review of This Is Awkward by Sammy Rhodes. Also, in an attempt to not sucker people in to read my blog posts that aren’t reviews, I am going to start titling review posts with the word “review” in the title. Clever, right?
I appreciate an author who is willing to be honest. Honest with him or herself, as well as honest with readers. This Is Awkward: How Life’s Uncomfortable Moments Open the Door to Intimacy and Connection by Sammy Rhodes is a good example that meets both of those honesty criteria. The project of the text is remarkably simple, and if one removes the word “how” from the subtitle, the main idea of the book is summed up in those ten words.
Addressing a myriad of life situations, from missing parents to divorce, sexual addiction to obesity, and from depression to introvertedness, Rhodes picks apart a large number of life’s awkward moments to explain how from a human-to-human perspective, we should embrace these moments as a chance to grow both internally and in the ways we connect with others. Mixing personal stories along with stories from his job in ministering to young adults, as well as tangential excerpts which allow for him to break the fourth wall, Rhodes keeps an established pattern for the text accomplishes what he states in his introduction he will set out to do.
For the promise this book has -and the respectable endorsements on the back cover- This Is Awkward is just okay. There were a couple points in the text where it seemed like Rhodes was being not necessarily over-transparent, but transparent to the point of trying to make himself seem overly qualified to talk about a specific aspect of life’s awkwardness. Or they make Rhodes come across as feigning the humble slacker with problems, instead of actually being a humble slacker with problems, which may or may not be the case. This notion is furthered in most of the times when the font changes and what we get are what seem like blog entries where the usual theme is, “Yeah, I need to write, but I don’t want to.” By the middle of the book, when another one of those moments showed up, I wanted to yell at the pages, “Then don’t write! Wait until you are.”
In the end, This Is Awkward is just okay. I am not going to recommend it, but I am not not going to recommend it. If nothing else, the end notes are useful for finding additional reading material.
I received my copy of this book for free through the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for reviewing it. I was not obligated to publish a positive review (obviuosly); the opinions expressed are mine.