Blog Tour: Well, That Was Awkward by Rachel Vail + Guest Post

Welcome to our stop on Well, That Was Awkward tour for Rachel Vail. This tour is hosted by PenguinTeen.

Well, That Was Awkward
Author: Rachel Vail
Reading Level: Middle Grade
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Released: February 28th 2017
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Gracie has never felt like this before. One day, she suddenly can't breathe, can't walk, can't anything and the reason is standing right there in front of her, all tall and weirdly good-looking: A.J.

It turns out A.J. likes not Gracie but Gracie's beautiful best friend, Sienna. Obviously Gracie is happy for Sienna. Super happy! She helps Sienna compose the best texts, responding to A.J. s surprisingly funny and appealing texts, just as if she were Sienna. Because Gracie is fine. Always! She's had lots of practice being the sidekick, second-best.

It’s all good. Well, almost all. She's trying.

1. Name it. WOW what just happened? Do you feel a tingly different way about somebody? Like you can’t stop noticing that person, thinking about him or her, trying to make eye contact, and feeling full-on wobbly if you do? Admit to yourself that YIKES you have a crush. Maybe the feeling welled up suddenly inside you, or maybe it’s been growing for a while. Either way: such fun! And a little scary. Also? Definitely weird. It doesn’t make YOU weird. But it does feel like a shift in who you are, and that’s exciting. Nothing has to happen with the crush for this to be a big deal – because something has happened within you.

2. To tell or not to tell? The first one you should tell about your crush is your journal! (It’s okay if you don’t have one yet. This is the perfect time to start one.) Writing down your feelings helps you sort through them. There are so many feelings all spinning around like socks in a dryer, it’s hard at first to catch hold of a single one and figure out even what it is, never mind what to do about it. But writing out your private notes (can even be at the back of a notebook, shhhh) about all your feelings, in your own messy handwriting and imperfect spelling/grammar/emotions, gives you a better feeling of control over them and understanding of your own thoughts. But how do you know when you’re ready to tell friends? Or THE CRUSH? Part of the fun of a crush is talking it out with people who care about you – which could mean family, friends, or even, eventually, the crushed one! Just remember: once anybody knows, there’s a chance everybody will know. Are you ready to deal with that? Be sure before you share your news! Then try telling one trusted person, who will help you enjoy it and think it through.

3. Enjoy it. Having a crush is a kind of bananas feeling. You might feel all filled with bubbles or buzz. It’s romantic and exciting and scary – what if your crush isn’t feeling the same way? What if your crush IS feeling the same way??? Here’s the thing: part of the excitement is the risk. Sometimes, going forward in life, your heart will get broken. That will stink, when it happens. But hearts are made to be vulnerable and strong all at once. It’s normal to have a crush, to fall in love – and also not to (NO RUSH!), normal to get your heart broken, normal to recover. It’s a breathtaking ride. Buckle up! 

4. Don’t be weird! Don’t make it into a bigger romance than it is, or obsess about it. Your friends will be bored out of their skulls if you do, and you need your pals! Don’t lose track of all the other great stuff in your life and only focus on your crush. And whatever happens, being both considerate and honest will allow you to remain true to your best self.

5. Be kind. Be kind to yourself – if your feelings aren’t reciprocated, it doesn’t mean you’re worthless. It just means this one isn’t for you. Be sad for a day and then tell yourself, their loss; on I go! Even if you don’t fully believe it yet. Remember that you’ve now had your first crush! That’s pretty cool, a big moment in your life, something to feel proud about having experienced. Also, be kind to your crush. If he or she doesn’t feel crushy toward you, doesn’t mean the person is awful. (Just missing out!) It is tough stuff to navigate. We all have to try to act a little kinder than we even feel, getting through this stuff. If your feelings are reciprocated, STILL: be kind to yourself, and to your crush. Take it slow, don’t rush things, don’t get ahead of yourself. Enjoy the moment. 


Bonus tip:
Read about first crushes! May as well benefit from the inside scoop of characters who are going through it! Some favorite suggestions:

Here’s to You, Rachel Robinson by Judy Blume
Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman
Eleanor and Park, by Rainbow Rowell
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 ¾ by Sue Townsend

Rachel Vail is the award-winning author of more than 30 books for young people. As a theater lover, Rachel sees and reads as many plays as she can. Well, That Was Awkward was in part inspired by her love of the play Cyrano – another tale of secrets, wit, self-confidence, self-loathing, friendship, identity-hiding, and romance that blossoms between all the wrong people. Or does it?

Rachel lives in New York City with her husband, their two sons, and (like Gracie) a tortoise named Lightning.

You can visit her online at or on Twitter: @rachelvailbooks

Follow the Tour
Week One
2/27 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Bookish Recipe
2/28 – YA Book Central – Excerpt
3/1 – Margie’s Must Reads – Author Guest Post
3/2 – Crafty Moms Share – Review
3/3 – Once Upon a Twilight – Guest Post

Week Two
3/6 – The Reading Nook Reviews – Author Guest Post
3/7 – ButterMyBooks – Quote Graphics
3/8 – Stories & Sweeties – Spotlight
3/9 – Brittany’s Book Rambles – Author Guest Post
3/10 – My Friends Are Fiction – Spotlight

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