Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Really Awesome Mess (review and giveaway)

3.5/5 stars 

A Really Awesome Mess (Goodreads | Amazon) is fun and cute, as fun and cute as you can possibly expect in a book about teenagers with mental illnesses at a boarding school for troubled teens.  For a topic that's decidedly unfunny, this book reads like a lighthearted romp where it could've just as easily been a dark book about modern teens.

The story follows two points of view, Emmy, a girl adopted from China who gets expelled from her old school after some particularly nasty facebook tactics, and Justin who struggles with depression.  Dual point of views always makes me think "oh no romance" and while there's some of crushes and kissing, the book isn't one of those typical stories of two broken people trying to fix each other.  It's about a group of broken people working together to fix themselves, even if that's not really what they're trying to do, and to me that's an important distinction.

Emmy and Justin's anger-management support group has to work together to earn privileges, and out of this unholy alliance friendships and misadventures emerge.  The huge big messy adventure/project they all undertake is a little ridiculous, but it's a whole lot of silliness and fun and you'll probably have to suspend your disbelief a little. But that's okay, because even if it's slightly unbelievable it's enjoyable and even hilarious at times.  I would say more but I'd rather let you be surprised.

For me one of the biggest flaws is that sometimes the characters seem to parrot what their therapists would say.  These moments feel forced, like someone else's words are put into the characters mouth so the reader can understand heathy coping mechanism.  But in the grand scheme of things that's not terribly important and only disrupts the story a little.

Overall this book is really enjoyable and worth the read.  It's nice that A Really Awesome Mess dealt with such serious topics without becoming too heavy or taking itself too seriously.

Because I have a lovely ARC of this book I've decided to do a giveaway!  US/Canada may enter.  Use the widget below to enter.  Giveaway goes until midnight Sunday, July 28 (or technically Midnight Monday morning if you find Midnight confusing like me so I put the day early so you'll know when you can enter). 

I received an advance reading copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

mayceegreene said...

I really want to read it because I think the characters are really interesting and I'm always looking forward to some good snark!

Maycee (Stevens Transport)