Title: A Really Awesome Mess
Author: Trish Cook
Source: Borrowed from the library
A hint of Recovery Road, a sample of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, and a cut of Juno. A Really Awesome Mess is a laugh-out-loud, gut-wrenching/heart-warming story of two teenagers struggling to find love and themselves.
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.
The story follows the lives of two teenagers, Justin and Emmy. When Justin's dad walks in on him with a girl in a compromising position he sends him off to Heartland Academy. Emmy has never felt like she belongs with her family. She was adopted and feels like an outsider. When a picture of Emmy circulates the around school she threatens the boy who started it and winds up at Heartland Academy.
This book had a lot of potential but I felt like it fell a little flat. The idea and the characters had the beginnings of something good but parts of the story felt incomplete. I enjoyed seeing the different points of view and the flashbacks but I felt like the two main characters did not have a lot of depth.
Emmy felt very stereotypical. She is adopted from another country and blames her adopted parents for feeling incomplete. She was very selfish and she really frustrated me. She grows a lot as a character and we start seeing this new side of her. Emmy's recovery was slow then it sped up and soon she was recovering and accepting everything even thought all her life she felt incomplete. Her character felt rushed, and a little jumbled. Justin's progress to recovery was more realistic. He would make progress but he did on occasion have a relapse. His character was left a little incomplete at the end which I enjoyed. This novel has a lot of great side characters who really added to the story.
The story has some pretty interesting twist and turns that really added to the story. Overall I enjoyed the concept of this story even thought some of the character did lack for me personally. I gave it a 3/5.