Crush (Awkward, #3)
Following the overwhelming success of AWKWARD and BRAVE, Svetlana Chmakova's award winning Berrybrook Middle School series continues with its next installment - CRUSH!Jorge seems to have it all together. He's big enough that nobody really messes with him, but he's also a genuinely sweet guy with a solid, reliable group of friends. The only time he ever really feels off his game is when he crosses paths with a certain girl... But when the group dynamic among the boys starts to shift, will Jorge be able to balance what his friends expect of him versus what he actually wants?

Crush (Awkward, #3) Details

TitleCrush (Awkward, #3)
Author
ReleaseOct 30th, 2018
PublisherJY
ISBN-139780316363235
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Childrens, Middle Grade, Romance, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult, Comics

Crush (Awkward, #3) Review

  • PattyMacDotComma
    January 1, 1970
    3.5★“If you can’t use your sports skills to win and have to resort to verbal abuse and insults on my field, GET OFF MY FIELD!”Middle school is hard. Being a new teenager is hard. But this is easy. An easy-to-read, easy-to-understand graphic novel that covers a lot of issues. Boys, girls, non-binary (one mention); extroverts and shy kids; sports jocks and bookish nerds; big guys and little kids; popular kids and loners; pale, medium, dark kids; blondes, brunettes, redheads, headscarf. And names f 3.5★“If you can’t use your sports skills to win and have to resort to verbal abuse and insults on my field, GET OFF MY FIELD!”Middle school is hard. Being a new teenager is hard. But this is easy. An easy-to-read, easy-to-understand graphic novel that covers a lot of issues. Boys, girls, non-binary (one mention); extroverts and shy kids; sports jocks and bookish nerds; big guys and little kids; popular kids and loners; pale, medium, dark kids; blondes, brunettes, redheads, headscarf. And names from around the globe: Jorge Ruiz (our hero), Olivia (Liv – Jorge’s best friend), Jazmine Duong (shy, quiet, and Jorge’s first crush), Zeke, Garrett, James, and a host of others, including Mrs. Rashad. Mrs Rashad is also the sports coach and the one who made the earlier remark about GET OFF MY FIELD.Kids bounce around the hallways, open lockers, eat lunch together or alone, and most importantly, occasionally bully each other. Jorge is a big kid, and he doesn’t like bullying. When he calls it out, the kids call him the Sheriff. It’s a joke, but his interventions work.When he meets Jazmine, he is surprised to find himself tongue-tied and blushing. You can guess where the story goes. It’s a long book, so I’ll just copy a few excerpts here to give you an idea. I’m not spoiling anything by saying it has a happy ending, but you probably figured as much, eh? 😊Thanks to NetGalley and Yen Press for the preview copy from which I’ve pinched the pictures. Jorge, “the Sheriff”, breaks up boys ganging up on a smaller boy.Jorge shoots hoops and says that sports is simpler than middle school.Coach (Mrs) Rashad reads the kids the riot act about verbal abuse.Jorge realises he’s got a crush and gets so flustered he misses a passed ball.Garrett explains to Jorge he hangs out with another guy so he can be part of the in crowd.Mrs. Rashad makes sure the kids understand that they are in charge of their bodies.Jorge is upset because someone hacked his social media account and made nasty remarks about friends.
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  • Jacob Proffitt
    January 1, 1970
    This is third in a series that is only very lightly related. None of them rely on any of the others so they can easily be read in any order. I do highly recommend reading them all, in whatever order you choose.Chmakova knocked this one out of the park, too. Which is no surprise. Again, the characters fairly leap off the page and the story is so well-told that it takes you back to those middle school years and the rapid-fire changes and drama and pain and joy inherent in them. As with any great s This is third in a series that is only very lightly related. None of them rely on any of the others so they can easily be read in any order. I do highly recommend reading them all, in whatever order you choose.Chmakova knocked this one out of the park, too. Which is no surprise. Again, the characters fairly leap off the page and the story is so well-told that it takes you back to those middle school years and the rapid-fire changes and drama and pain and joy inherent in them. As with any great storyteller, she does so in a way that evokes that age with sympathy and honesty. I really enjoyed the layers to this story and seeing Jorge struggle with being a good person even in the face of bad events. I liked his quiet calm that masked his occasional panic and I liked his willingness to find the best in others when he could.And I think I'll leave it with that. As the title implies, the story is largely about Jorge's crush on a girl. And Chmakova does such a fine job with that as the lead while exploring other aspects of friendship as well. And again, her art just blows me away with its evocative fine detail adding that extra meaning to a story already well-told.
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  • Francina Simone
    January 1, 1970
    Breaking my no star rule for this one:I absolutely loved this one just like I LOVED the other two (all following deprecate characters and this are standalone novels).I whizzed through it and I blushed and felt all the cute feels!!This really feels an awful lot like a middle grade Degrassi!!! The best parts of Degrassi, but for middle school kids so it not not reach the boiling point or go THERE....haha but it definitely hits the spot!
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Having a crush is so hard, and is is doubly hard for Jorge, especially since the girl he has the crush on has a boyfriend.We "met" Jorge in earlier books in this series, but it is not necessary to read the other books, as each of them are self contained. Awkward and Brave build on each other, but you can pick any of the three books up and have a wonderful time seeing the drama that is middle school.There are the mean boys, rather than mean girls, in this story, which is a refreshing change. But Having a crush is so hard, and is is doubly hard for Jorge, especially since the girl he has the crush on has a boyfriend.We "met" Jorge in earlier books in this series, but it is not necessary to read the other books, as each of them are self contained. Awkward and Brave build on each other, but you can pick any of the three books up and have a wonderful time seeing the drama that is middle school.There are the mean boys, rather than mean girls, in this story, which is a refreshing change. But the mean boys really are just as bad as any mean girls, and the things they do to Jorge as a revenge are very mean spirited.The dialogue is fun. The feelings are very raw and real, and the characters are typical middle grade kids, who like to play video games, instead of studying, and who forget their homework, and other charms of going to school.Below are some sample panels of Jorge not knowing what to do or say when he is by his crush.Love this series, and can hardly wait for me to get a physical copy of this book, and then, hopefully await the next book in the series.Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest reveiw.
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    I SO needed this as a palate cleanse after the last two horrific 1 star graphic novels I just read. This book is cute and sweet and everything I needed right now. I read the teaser handed out at ALA Annual 2018 and knew that I had to get my hands on the entire thing. I was right, it was so awesome! I didn't realize this was the third in a series, so now I have two other books to look forward to, yay!!This is a contemporary story from the POV of Jorge, a large middle schooler with two BFFs, Olivi I SO needed this as a palate cleanse after the last two horrific 1 star graphic novels I just read. This book is cute and sweet and everything I needed right now. I read the teaser handed out at ALA Annual 2018 and knew that I had to get my hands on the entire thing. I was right, it was so awesome! I didn't realize this was the third in a series, so now I have two other books to look forward to, yay!!This is a contemporary story from the POV of Jorge, a large middle schooler with two BFFs, Olivia and Russell. It is their story of how they dealt with middle school, classes, teachers, fellow students, gossip, crushes, etc. Jorge and Olivia were my favs, though the gym teacher was AWESOME. Russell was a bit of an idiot and I didn't like him, but he was true to a less self-assured pre-teen in middle school, so I can't hate on him. Just hate his initial behavior. He does grow and learn, so all is not lost. This book would be great for the middle school years and maybe a younger, precocious reader and upwards. Highly recommended. 5, shiny, love Jorge and Olivia, stars!My thanks to NetGalley and Yen Press/JY for an eARC copy of this book to read and review.
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  • Kelli
    January 1, 1970
    I just re-read my review of Awkward and many of the same sentiments abound with this, the third in the series. The artwork is outstanding, the charming story is relatable, and had my eleven-year-old not swiped this from me before I read it, I’d have known she would love it. This is middle school done well. Everything is accounted for: cliques, athletics, clubs, the obligatory school dance, bullies, shy kids, kids longing to be in the it crowd, loyal friends, bad decisions, gossip, drama, and of I just re-read my review of Awkward and many of the same sentiments abound with this, the third in the series. The artwork is outstanding, the charming story is relatable, and had my eleven-year-old not swiped this from me before I read it, I’d have known she would love it. This is middle school done well. Everything is accounted for: cliques, athletics, clubs, the obligatory school dance, bullies, shy kids, kids longing to be in the it crowd, loyal friends, bad decisions, gossip, drama, and of course, crushes. The addition of strong female characters who stand up for themselves and others, texting, intentional misrepresentation of others online, and body autonomy make current this timeless story. Add in a lovable main character with the gift of charity and forgiveness, and this is a winner amongst current middle schoolers.The last few pages give a peek inside the long process of creating a single panel for a graphic novel, a labor of love for which this talented author is quite suited. She offers kids a vision of how she does what she does in a way that is positive and exudes enthusiasm and respect for the craft. Congratulations to the author on the birth of her baby. 4.5 stars
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  • Melissa McShane
    January 1, 1970
    I ordered this months ago and then forgot about it until I got the notice that it had shipped. Though I love all of Svetlana Chmakova's work, my interest pales beside that of my daughter, whose mild reading disability translates to her being more comfortable with audiobooks and graphic novels. So I left it on her computer and texted her at work to say she had a surprise...and her reaction was gratifying.This series is brilliant in how it captures the middle school experience. When I read Awkward I ordered this months ago and then forgot about it until I got the notice that it had shipped. Though I love all of Svetlana Chmakova's work, my interest pales beside that of my daughter, whose mild reading disability translates to her being more comfortable with audiobooks and graphic novels. So I left it on her computer and texted her at work to say she had a surprise...and her reaction was gratifying.This series is brilliant in how it captures the middle school experience. When I read Awkward, I initially thought the attitudes and relationships were too mature for middle schoolers. And then I started remembering my own middle school experience. I'd blocked it out for being a traumatic period of confusion, growing awareness of boys, being bullied, and basically not knowing who I was or what I wanted to be. And Chmakova gets that.In Crush, the story is about Jorge's crush on Jazmine, but it goes so much further than that into issues of body autonomy and going along with the crowd and the horrors of gossip. And all of it is done in a way that avoids being a lecture--which would kill the story dead. It's also a story about friendship and forgiveness. Jorge is eminently lovable, not just for being big and conscious of using his size to protect others, but because he has a clear grasp of right and wrong and never fails to act accordingly. If this was a didactic story, I'd say he's the perfect role model, but it's not, and Jorge is simply the person he is...who happens to be someone any kid struggling to find his place in the world might look up to.I continue to look forward to more volumes in this delightful series.
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  • steph
    January 1, 1970
    I love this series and want to gift it to every kid I know starting/in middle school. /end reviewNo but seriously. I love the story lines, the artwork is SUPERB. I just really love Chmakova's illustrations and the way each panel just goes with each other. She says so much without saying a word (case in the point the cover in which everyone is faded out except Jorge staring at his crush. How true to life is that?!?!?!). I still think Brave is my favorite of this series so far (I just love Jensen I love this series and want to gift it to every kid I know starting/in middle school. /end reviewNo but seriously. I love the story lines, the artwork is SUPERB. I just really love Chmakova's illustrations and the way each panel just goes with each other. She says so much without saying a word (case in the point the cover in which everyone is faded out except Jorge staring at his crush. How true to life is that?!?!?!). I still think Brave is my favorite of this series so far (I just love Jensen and his storyline!) but I really liked this one as well. Jorge is a quiet guy, one who doesn't say much but he really has a strong sense of self and strong foundation for what is right and what isn't which is hard to have in middle school. His friendship with Olivia and Garret was probably my favorite part of this, it is done so well! This is a standalone novel, you see some of the characters from the previous books in the background of the panels but since Jorge and his friends hang out with a totally different group than the others this is a book that can be picked up and read without reading any of the previous books. They all simply go to the same (big) Middle School but they don't all know each other. And I liked that. Also it makes recommending this series to the kids that come to the library so much easier since they don't have to start at book 1.
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  • Heather Taake
    January 1, 1970
    My favorite in the series so far. I heart Jorge!
  • Morgan
    January 1, 1970
    This series is SO great. The books deal with so many issues that kids face without feeling forced or preachy. The characters model good responses even in the face of some bad people and situations. And so much normalized inclusivity! Crush also specifically tackles bodily autonomy and agency, online bullying, and even smacks down some "nice guy" nonsense. And the stories are always cohesive and keep your interest, which isn't too common with a lot of novels about middle school experiences. MORE This series is SO great. The books deal with so many issues that kids face without feeling forced or preachy. The characters model good responses even in the face of some bad people and situations. And so much normalized inclusivity! Crush also specifically tackles bodily autonomy and agency, online bullying, and even smacks down some "nice guy" nonsense. And the stories are always cohesive and keep your interest, which isn't too common with a lot of novels about middle school experiences. MORE OF THESE FOREVER FOR EVERYONE, PLEASE.
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  • Skirmish
    January 1, 1970
    Book Reaction: https://nildivision.blogspot.com/2018...Rating: 5 Stars - absolutely perfect
  • Yasmeena
    January 1, 1970
    damn that was so cuteeeee 😍🥰🥵i guess jorge has a more successful love life than i do tho 😂FULL RTC~~~~~~~~~~Whenever I go to some store where there’s books, mostly Target, I pick this up. I’m currently at page 186 and it’s SO CUTE~~~~~~~~~~ GUYS I WISHED IN Brave TO SEE JORGE MORENOW LOOK AT THIS ART
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  • Chi
    January 1, 1970
    Now, this; THIS was what I came here for! (Or read it for? Anyways...)This was amazing! Jorge has always been a stalwart force. He knows he's taller than most of the other kids his age, so rather than using it to intimidate others to do things for him, he'd rather intimidate bullies, and stop them in their tracks. He finds himself drawn to a girl in the drama club, who he's never had the chance to speak to before, but luckily happened to be friends with Liv, one of three friends in his group of Now, this; THIS was what I came here for! (Or read it for? Anyways...)This was amazing! Jorge has always been a stalwart force. He knows he's taller than most of the other kids his age, so rather than using it to intimidate others to do things for him, he'd rather intimidate bullies, and stop them in their tracks. He finds himself drawn to a girl in the drama club, who he's never had the chance to speak to before, but luckily happened to be friends with Liv, one of three friends in his group of friends (along with Garrett).Trying to sort his feelings out, navigating a minefield of schoolwork and politics, and still trying to maintain his sensibilities in the face of opposing forces... things get tough on Jorge - but of course, he overcomes. :)What is fabulous with this book is its theme about body autonomy; respecting someone else's private spaces, and their right to do things or otherwise. It's an idea that permeates through the entire book, and a lot of the issues (and consequences) that arise are incredibly believable.Further, as was the case with the last three books, is that there is a lovely sense of multiculturalism - all the teachers and students aren't just cookie-cutter white folk. There are women wearing hijabs, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese names (and faces!) - and that made me so incredibly happy to see it being presented as a norm rather than the exception.It is definitely a fantastic series of books that I will be recommending to lovers of graphic novels, and students - definitely !
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  • Bethany Pratt
    January 1, 1970
    I thought this was a very cute and good book, seeing the main character, a tough-looking guy, actually be very soft and has major feelings for a certain girl in his school. No matter how hard he tries, he can never quite form words around this girl. This book definitely captures what it is like to be in a young teenager in middle school and this book always kept me wanting to read more, making me not want to put it down. I would definitely recommend this if you like love stories and graphic nove I thought this was a very cute and good book, seeing the main character, a tough-looking guy, actually be very soft and has major feelings for a certain girl in his school. No matter how hard he tries, he can never quite form words around this girl. This book definitely captures what it is like to be in a young teenager in middle school and this book always kept me wanting to read more, making me not want to put it down. I would definitely recommend this if you like love stories and graphic novels.
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars This story involves more than just a "crush", but is about friendships in general while in middle school.
  • Karly
    January 1, 1970
    I seriously love this series! Awkward, Brave and now Crush are great graphic novels about kids in middle school and their real life struggles.
  • Andréa
    January 1, 1970
    Jorge is such a good male role model. Both masculine and a feminist, strong and respectful... Props to Svetlana Chmakova.
  • Josephine
    January 1, 1970
    I love this series so much :o if there is a fourth book i can't wait :D
  • Taylor Ramirez
    January 1, 1970
    Crush is a cute book. I think this series is still a little too agenda driven and preachy but that’s to be expected. I enjoyed this a lot more than Brave. I liked Jorge though Liv and Garrette were both a little annoying. Jaz was cute and I liked the romance between Jorge and Jaz. James was super villain-y and wasn’t that interesting of a character. Overall, I had a fun time.
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  • Amy-GallivantingPages
    January 1, 1970
    4 Stars ****I don't feel that I could ever give a negative rating to a graphic novel because I always think of how much work they must be to create. I also enjoy reading them so much because they're fast and easy reads. This graphic novel "Crush" is about middle school children so I do feel like I'm too old for it but I still related in a reminiscent way. Jorge is the main character and obviously has a crush on a girl. The story is about him dealing with his fear of talking to girls and also dea 4 Stars ****I don't feel that I could ever give a negative rating to a graphic novel because I always think of how much work they must be to create. I also enjoy reading them so much because they're fast and easy reads. This graphic novel "Crush" is about middle school children so I do feel like I'm too old for it but I still related in a reminiscent way. Jorge is the main character and obviously has a crush on a girl. The story is about him dealing with his fear of talking to girls and also dealing with middle school gossip and drama. Overall the characters were great and the story was cute and enjoyable. Special thanks to Netgalley and JY for allowing me an advance read copy in exchange for a honest review.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    My favorite quote was the 4th panel on page 86:"I mean, loyalty! Look it up! And GET you some!":DThis is out of context, but just read the book and see for yourself!Don't forget to look for Mr. Raccoon! :D
  • laurel [suspected bibliophile]
    January 1, 1970
    Why EVERYONE needs to read this series:1. It's non-sequential, with each book following a different character. There's no need to read them in order—pick up any book and start there!2. Each main character is super relatable as they battle the hell hole that is middle school. Each of the three deal with something completely different, but the stories are all tangentially tied together with the idea of finding your people and doing what is right—not necessarily what the popular kids are doing.3. T Why EVERYONE needs to read this series:1. It's non-sequential, with each book following a different character. There's no need to read them in order—pick up any book and start there!2. Each main character is super relatable as they battle the hell hole that is middle school. Each of the three deal with something completely different, but the stories are all tangentially tied together with the idea of finding your people and doing what is right—not necessarily what the popular kids are doing.3. The illustrations are manga-like. Each panel is impactful, and Chmakova captures emotions so well.4. The representation is off the charts! Coach Rashad remains one of my most favorite middle grade book adults of all time because (a) she's amazing and can probably bench press a bus (b) she's inclusive AF and (c) she takes NO GRIEF FROM ANYONE.Speaking of the representation—we've got Latinx rep, Muslim rep, Vietnamese and Asian rep, the mention of nonbinary characters, and LGBTQ+ characters (and in the staff too!!). And best of all is that none of it is ever remarked upon—the characters just exist. Just like in real life. And that is so fucking important.So, for this particular installation, we follow my absolute favorite little cinnamon ball of a giant, Jorge as he navigates his first crush (terrifying), his reputation as sheriff of the school, and his friendships with Liv and Garrett, the latter of whom is obsessed with being in the "in" crowd with the football team.Bullying comes up pretty frequently in this one, along with the concept of body autonomy and women's rights, particularly the idea that women and girls get to decide what to do with their bodies, and that if they want to change something about themselves, they don't need approval from a man (unless it's a parent and they are a child, obviously) to do so. Also talked about is what consent means—and how to appropriately help someone if their consent is being violated. And, since this is middle school, the backlash of gossiping and derogatory speech is also a theme. In a way, privilege also comes up—Jorge recognizes that his larger size puts him at a physical advantage with the other boys. Instead of using his advantage to cow people into submission, he treats his size as a personal mission to make school not suck for everyone else. And of course, his ninja best friend Liv also helps—and she packs a nasty wrist lock.So, to recap: -Parental units: get your children copies of this series. Library, ebook, physical copy, don't care.-Younger folks: read this stuff! Get your friends to read it too!
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  • Surina
    January 1, 1970
    *in nasally little kid voice* Ooohh, someone's got a crush.Let's just add immature to my list of amazing qualities, shall we?
  • Debbie Barr
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoy this graphic novel series, and I think this one is my favorite! It brought back sooooo many memories from middle school--I felt my crushes with all my heart and soul! And Jorge is such a sweetheart, I loved seeing things from his point of view.
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  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    I loved Jorge in Brave and so glad he got his own book. I smiled so much while reading this one. I love this series :)
  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    We need more Jorges in the world!
  • Samriddhi
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book on how it relates to kids my age. It also shows how caught up we are in today's world, like all the drama and nonsense that we forget what the purpose of life is. This didn't take me that long to finish. I finished it like in 2 hours and it was very fun to see the main character to evolve during the story. I think this is a really great book for kids in middle school to relate to and I really recommend it.
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  • Irene
    January 1, 1970
    Even though I haven’t read the author before, I liked it her style. It's a light reading, the illustrations are so cute and I loved Jorge.The characters are diverse, and THE FEMALE CHARACTERS!!!, all the girls are strong and independent. I liked the messages that are given in the story. It’s a graphic novel that I would recommend to teenagers.The only thing that I didn’t like was the issue with James at the end, that took away points from the story. Overall, an entertaining and recommended story Even though I haven’t read the author before, I liked it her style. It's a light reading, the illustrations are so cute and I loved Jorge.The characters are diverse, and THE FEMALE CHARACTERS!!!, all the girls are strong and independent. I liked the messages that are given in the story. It’s a graphic novel that I would recommend to teenagers.The only thing that I didn’t like was the issue with James at the end, that took away points from the story. Overall, an entertaining and recommended story.*Note: I received a copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Emilie Emzbooksandco
    January 1, 1970
    This comic was so cute and perfect! The drawings were beautiful, the story way too cute, and I smiled way too much while reading it. Loved it and definitely going to read the previous ones!
  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    I really adored this. Jorge is a great character, one I think a lot of kids will identify with. Once again Chmakova makes all the tumult and chaos of middle school into a narrative that is real, funny and super emotional. The parts about consent and body autonomy are A+ and exactly how we should be talking to kids about these issues in middle school.But the parts of Jorge being an awkward and confused middle schooler while staying true to himself are A+++++++Highly, highly recommend.
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