Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin

A Really Awesome MessTwo teenagers. Two very bumpy roads taken that lead to Heartland Academy.
Justin was just having fun, but when his dad walked in on him with a girl in a very compromising position, Justin's summer took a quick turn for the worse. His parents' divorce put Justin on rocky mental ground, and after a handful of Tylenol lands him in the hospital, he has really hit rock bottom.
Emmy never felt like part of her family. She was adopted from China. Her parents and sister tower over her and look like they came out of a Ralph Lauren catalog-- and Emmy definitely doesn't. After a scandalous photo of Emmy leads to vicious rumors around school, she threatens the boy who started it all on Facebook.
Justin and Emmy arrive at Heartland Academy, a reform school that will force them to deal with their issues, damaged souls with little patience for authority. But along the way they will find a ragtag group of teens who are just as broken, stubborn, and full of sarcasm as themselves. In the end, they might even call each other friends.

I was skeptic to start this book. I had heard good things about it, but I didn’t know how much I would like it. I ended up liking it a lot. I went in to A Really Awesome Mess thinking it would be a depressing book, with cynical kids that would get on my nerves. Though the characters were cynical, they didn’t annoy me at all. In fact, their humor lifted the story up to a whole other level. That was one of my favorite things about A Really Awesome Mess. Though the characters had mental illnesses and were cynical and didn’t want to be where they were- they all had a really great sense of humor. It was admirable and added a lot more depth to the story.

The main characters in particular, Emmy and Justin, were both extremely well written. The novel is told in alternating point of view, and though it’s very hard to pull of, Halpin and Cook did a perfect job of writing the two points of view. Emmy was at times annoying. I didn’t like how hung up she got on certain things, but I could also understand why she acted the way she did. Justin was great. I liked his sense of humor the best. He was a smart-ass and not afraid to admit it. The way the two characters acted around each other was perfect. I loved seeing their emotions towards each other change as the story progressed.

This book may be triggering to some people (the main character struggles with anorexia, and there are very other illnesses discussed). A Really Awesome Mess was one of the best books I’ve read recently. The writing is flawless, and the characters are unforgettable. I haven’t read Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin’s other books, but I want to go out and read them immediately. A Really Awesome Mess is an addicting and well written novel that you won’t be able to forget about.

FTC- Received from publisher.


We Heart YA said...

Glad to hear this worked for you! Brendan Halpin's twitter feed about his dad is really inappropriate (maturity-wise) but hilarious, so we're not surprised that the humor came through in this story. :)

DaydreamerN said...

I have heard some really great things about this. I really like the sounds of this book! I think I will have to go out and get it. sounds right up my alley and I love how the cover is not the same as all the other YA books out there that I am reading.

Great review!!

Krystianna said...

I've heard a lot about this book as well, so I'm glad to hear that you really liked it. I really like the cover of this one too. Great review!
New bloglovin follower. :b

Marlene Detierro said...

Great review, and I think this is one my daughter will love. I do like that the romance built slowly, and you had a good laugh. hmm maybe I will pick it up for her and than borrow it!

Marlene Detierro (Stevens Transport)

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