[Review] A Really Awesome Mess - Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin

Title of Book : A Really Awesome Mess
Author : Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin
Author website :
Trish Cook
Brendan Halpin |  Facebook | Twitter
Publisher : Egmont USA
Published date : 23rd July 2013

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.
A funny, sad, and remarkable story, A Really Awesome Mess is a journey of friendship and self-discovery that teen readers will surely sign up for.

I got a free copy of A Really Awesome Mess from Netgalley.com.
I’ve heard good things about this book so I was excited when I got the access to this book for free. A Really Awesome Mess is narrated by Emmy and Justin. I’d say that these two are people who teenagers could relate to, but I’m afraid that would sound bad since they have problems. But the problems they had could happen to anyone. Emmy’s obsession over her body, the fact that she’s adopted which makes her feeling misfit, and Justin’s numb feeling which led to depression are common issues that teenagers have but sadly, often ignored (extreme cases are exceptional).
It takes time for them to grow. It’s good to know how Emmy, Justin, and their entourage finding the core of their problems, trying to accept it, and deal with it. The development of Emmy-Justin relationship from friendship into something romantic is refreshing. It doesn't happen instantly which makes it more real.
I like the author’s writing too. I've never read Trish Cook’s or Brendan Halpin’s work but I enjoy reading A Really Awesome Mess. Especially when I got to the part where Emmy and Justin’s adventure begins. It’s fun and filled with teen’s cynicism and sarcasm which I found funny sometimes. Reading this book, I felt like I was a part of their unique group. I’m grown to like them. 
The ending is somehow satisfying. The authors didn't give the book a cheesy happy ending but a good enough ending to close the tale.  However, there are some parts that we would find odd or illogical like their pig smuggling act. To fully enjoy this book, I’d recommend not over thinking some storyline but giving some thoughts on the serious part. In my opinion, this fun but serious thing is a good balance in this book.
A Really Awesome Mess is an awesome book. It’s a light and fun reading but also discusses serious issues. It’s a good read for people who love contemporary young adult books.


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