Friday, July 12, 2013

Review and Giveaway: A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin

Publisher: EgmontUSA
Standalone
Available: July 23, 2013
288p.
Source: book from promoter for review
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.
My thoughts:
I'm not someone who loves issue books. I do like that they are out there and feel that their presence is important especially to teens. Although I knew this would have some issues I didn't think I would mind it as much. I was right.

I have to admit that at the beginning I did not like the book. Emmy starts off as mean and angry and used a lot of slang in front of adults. Most teens use one type of language to their peers and another to adults. Not only that, but the facility she was put in seemed a bit hokey and a little too good to be true. When I was introduced to Justin, it kept up that same image to me. I just thought I wouldn't like the book.

When we start to get to know more of the secondary characters the other two main characters, Emmy and Justin, started opening up to me and I really started to like them both. As time went on I still didn't love the facility but it didn't bother me. In the end, it was not the counselors who challenged the kids, but each other. Their small group challenged each other and called each other on their B.S.

In the end I give this book 4 stars. I didn't love the beginning, but I did enjoy the rest of the story. I liked how these kids came together and learned how to help themselves. I also liked the theme that it is brave to keep going in life rather than giving up no matter what is thrown at you.

Media Masters Publicity and EgmontUSA are sponsoring the giveaway the book! Just fill out the rafflecopter form below to enter. The giveaway is US only. I'm keeping this giveaway open until the release date on the 23rd.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

22 comments:

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    1. It makes sense for the book, but agree, it isn't too eyecatching...

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  2. well at least, you liked the story after a difficult start. I don't read a lot of books like that I confess.

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    1. I don't either, but I'm willing to try one once in a while. :) Lucked with this one.

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  3. I really don't think this would be a good book for me, even though it ended up surprising you in a good way. I tend to avoid issue books at all costs, and a rough start would probably be enough to turn me away.
    Great review, Mel!

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    1. It wasn't too bad and if you ever did try an issue book, you might try this one. :)

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  4. Sorry to hear the beginning is rough, I don't know if I would get past that, but good to hear you warmed up to Emmie and liked the rest

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    1. Well, I did like how it evolved so that is all good. :)

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  5. I am someone who does like issue books. I love being in their shoes and seeing them deal with stuff. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  6. The cover reminds me of an airline tray. From back in the day when they actually served you food on flights! Which then reminds me that I'm flying up to San Francisco in 2 weeks and I'll need something to read. I hope I win!

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    1. Oh have fun! It reminds me of school food. :P LOL

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  7. I was so tempted to get this, I know it isn't going to appeal to everyone, but I have a deviant sense of humor so I think I would like it, but alas I am so far behind these days.... have a great weekend.

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  8. I don't always like issue books but this sounds like one I would enjoy. A tad less dark then some others. I hadn't heard of this before so thanks for bringing it to my attention!

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  9. I'm glad to hear this turned around for you and that you ended up enjoying it for the most part. I wasn't planning on reading this, but your review and Sam's at Realm of Fiction make me think I might enjoy it after all. Great review!

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  10. I'm the exact same Melissa, I normally steer way clear of issue books though I think it's really important they're out there and available to readers. Glad to know that despite your hesitancy to try this one and the rocky start, you ended up enjoying it overall:)

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  11. this is the first I've come across this book. Thanks for the honest review! Hmmm... sounds heavy... but still willing to give it a try :)

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  12. I am loving this one. I have been laughing out loud in public reading it. Now I want to share it with other people, but my copy is on my Kindle which I can't lend out so I need a copy. Definitely these characters are pulling together to overcome their problems. I love the little group.

    Heather

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  13. Sounds good! I read Notes from a Blender by them a few years ago and enjoyed it.

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  14. Thanks so much for this awesome giveaway!!:D:D

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  15. It sounds like a good story with tough issues.

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  16. I actually do like this cover, and I love books that deal with real issues. I have been wanting to read this so thank you for the giveaway! :)

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Thanks for commenting! I ❤ comments!