Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Teen Tuesday: A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin

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"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."  Goodreads.com

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.

Parts of this book were well done, but I felt the whole thing dissolved into an unbelievably ending, and a ridiculous scenario about a pig.  I felt it unusual that there no kids with drug addictions at Heartland Academy, and that the staff would be so easily fooled by some of the hijinx that occur with the teens in the anger management group.  Since this book contains language, discusses sexual situations, and the some of the teens have attempted suicide, it is recommended for older and mature teens.


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