Friday, February 26, 2016

This is Awkward by Sammy Rhodes

In his new book, This is Awkward, Sammy Rhodes takes readers on a journey using his own past, heavy use of pop culture references, and surprisingly simple wisdom (that leads to deeper insight) to explore issues that have traditionally made the church uncomfortable. 

Things I loved:

I loved Rhodes honesty and I'll be honest at times it made his writing feel a bit awkward. However, the message came through and, in its own way, the awkward parts somehow made the little bits of wisdom scattered through the free writing and memoirs even more poignant. Rhodes open up topics that are often awkward and need to be discussed. Conversation regarding sex, addiction, friendship, marriage, singleness are so large are far reaching it's hard to boil them down into their essence for a nice clean conversation. We need options like This is Awkward to shine light on these areas and begin conversations even if they're uncomfortable.

I also loved Rhodes reference points. The pop culture points were wonderful for their humour and ability to make topics more relatable and, as a result, make the topics more relatable. The comparisons between Hufflepuffs and singleness in the church made me giggle off and on all night (in between wincing at how accurate the analogy was).

Things I would have loved to see

At times I wished that some of the topics had a little more structure within the chapters. Some of the material referenced are books that I studied in college and yet there were times that their impact seemed dwarfed under the randomness or self-depreciation. 
Adding to that the variety of topics touched upon within the book made some of the chapter transitions feel jarring, like you were in a different book if not for the little blurbs of free writing featured throughout the chapters,

Overall, Rhodes is opening discussion and presenting a compelling offer towards awkwardness, vulnerability, growth, and intimacy. His style was occasionally jarring but not enough to detract from the value of the message.

4 out 5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”