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This Might Get Awkward: 07/04/22
This Might Get Awkward by Kara McDowell is a YA romance set in and around Wahweap at Lake Powell. Gemma who has lived her entire life on the water (and was even born in a houseboat) ends up saving the life of the popular boy at her high school. Before she can slide back into the background, she's been labeled as his secret girlfriend.
Gemma has undiagnosed social anxiety disorder. Her father would have to sell his tour boat business to afford the doctor needed to make a formal diagnosis. She reminds me a lot of Komi from Komi Can't Communicate by Tomohito Oda. Imagine Komi, though, living in Arizona and the boy she thinks will be her first friend ends up in a medically induced coma before they can even have the scene at the chalkboard.
At second glance it's clear that life with the Boomer family isn't as charmed as everyone believes it to be. When Beau's older brother returns Gemma finds an unexpected friend in the reputed black sheep of the family. The question reader has to ask is which brother's story is the right one?
While Gemma does benefit from her friendship with Griff, her relationship with him is almost as awkward as the one she's pretending to have with Beau. While she ends up with an HEA ending, I think she could do better.
What kept me reading, though, was the strong sense of place. It's been nearly forty years since I visited Lake Powell but I could still recognize the lake even before it was mentioned by name.