A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin
Publisher: Egmont USA
Genre: Contemporary and young adult
Release Date: July 23, 2013
Pages: 288 (Ebook)
Two 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.
First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, Egmont USA for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.
As the title says, this is a mess. But not an awesome one, more of a sloppily done one. There is so much that’s just horribly wrong with this novel that I get mad just thinking about it. Very little in this novel actually makes sense. Very little. And that made me really sad because I actually had really high hopes for this one.
The book skips over really important stuff like Justin’s relationship with his mother and step dad and there’s more telling rather than showing in the story. It’s also obvious that every single one of these characters are underdeveloped especially, Emmy. That girl is just all over the place with her problems. She’s supposed to be angry (she’s in the anger management group for crying out loud!) yet, not once does she spaz out and yell and hit anyone when they don’t allow her to do what she wants. All of the characters have problems but they feel very half done, like the authors didn’t research these problems enough or very well. And even though I don’t mind romances in these kinds of stories, the romance in A Really Awesome Mess is very contrived. Everything about the relationship between Justin and Emmy feels very fake to me and it annoyed me to no end the way Emmy is around Justin, like he’s her world. *Rolls eyes*
But believe it or not, I did enjoy a few things about this book. I loved that Justin’s dad walked in on him doing the dirty. It’s funny and adds in the light mood the book was trying to mix in with the serious topics. Justin as a character starts off pretty strong and he’s the only reason I kept reading to the very end because his story is one that I can relate to. But other than Justin and his problems, I didn’t find anything else likeable about this novel.
I’m so disappointed with A Really Awesome Mess. Books about teenagers and depression and all that serious stuff speak to me! This book has put me in a bad mood and I don’t recommend this to anyone because it’s poorly executed and isn’t researched enough that also has a romance that could have gotten two stars out of me if it didn’t have.
For quotes from this book, click here.