A Really Awesome Mess
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A Really Awesome Mess

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  955 ratings  ·  259 reviews
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 i...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published July 23rd 2013 by EgmontUSA (first published January 1st 2013)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Litchick (is stuck in the 19th century)
*I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review*

Hi everyone! My name is Emmy and I’m one of the main characters in this book. I’m intelligent, kind and an all-around good person.

Right now my life suuuuuucks. Everyone is out to get me, I swear. This kid at my school was picking on me so I decided to launch a counterstrike but I took it up a notch (or seven) via barrage hate posts on FB. I got over 250 likes on one of them. Popularity, here I come! Unfortunately, they also got me kicked out
A Really Awesome Mess is, in a lot of ways, the exact opposite of what usually tends to work for me. In retrospect, even the book description is nothing less than unappealing (with perhaps the exception of the laugh-out-loud statement), which raises the obvious question of why I even bothered. (It’s best not to ask, really; I’m still working that one out.) While the random effort on my part may not have fully paid off – unfortunately, the book as a whole is pretty unremarkable – there are enough...more
Disclaimer: I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way.

Disclaimer le deux: This review contains slight (untagged) spoilers, sarcasm, snark, swearing and so-not-amusedness. In addition to all that S-rated material, the length takes on ranty proportions and there are pictures.

Full disclosure: my main problem with this book is its insensitive and inaccurate portrayal of eating disorders. If you enjoyed the book and think I'm being too harsh on its conten...more
This is the kind of book that will stay with me for days. Is it mind blowing no, is it beyond exciting not even a little bit, but it is about real issues and shows the true side of teens. I appreciate what Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin have written and I really wish I would have had something like this to read when I was younger.

In this story we have Justin and Emmy, 2 teens who have been sent to Heartland Academy. Heartland Academy is a reform school and they have been sent there for very diffe...more
Sheri (Tangled Up In Books)
51% DNF

I made an honest attempt to make it through this book but I came to a point where I just can't take anymore.

First of all from the summary: "A hint of Recovery Road, a sample of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, and a cut of Juno. " Now I've not heard of Recovery Road but I am very familiar with and adore both Nick and Norah and Juno. There is nothing even remotely close to either of those in this book except maybe character age range.

Second it's supposed to be full of humor and heartbre...more
Here's the deal, this book is a real awesome mess.


The author seems to be aiming for a situation in which we find the characters implorable and we suddenly come to an understanding, and growth, with the characters as they develop themselves.

The problem is, that I do not believe, not for a second, that teens that are troubled - as the ones in this book - are so cruel and removed.

Not towards themselves, but towards others.

Are we really supposed to sympathize with a character who used in...more
Sofia Lazaridou
I loved the book. I honestly wasn't expecting to like it so much but I did. I remembered why I love YA books after reading this.

Justin and Emmy are two teenagers who suffer from something that could happen to you and me. Many girls want to have the perfect figure to get to that "chic double 0" as Emmy said. Emmy wants to look like a model and is happy when she sees her bones in the mirror. She is starving herself and leading her into an early grave.So her parents decide to send her to Assland/He...more
3.5 stars

On the surface, A Really Awesome Mess doesn't look like it has much to boast about. And despite my love of contemporaries, it's not necessarily something that I would usually go for. But there was a small part of me that was curious and, as often happens when it comes to me and books, that small spark of curiosity was enough to prompt me to read this. Now I can say that I have absolutely no regrets, because this proved to cover a multitude of issues, present interesting character relati...more
This book was kind of cute. First of all, let me just say that it gets MAJOR points for having a minority as one of the lead characters, and another minority as a supporting character. MAJOR. Honestly that's one of the reasons I liked it as much as I did, which isn't to trivialize the rest of the book, but to show how geeked I get when authors remember there are other races walking the streets!

The book centers on two teens' struggles to adapt when they are both sent to a sort of psychiatric scho...more
Jul 09, 2013 Fari rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Fari by: It was "Read Now" on Netgalley
Shelves: favorites, i-own-this, iot, hit
This book makes me really, really happy. I can't put into words how happy this book makes me. I just love it so much. (view spoiler) Thi...more
Warning: If you have or have ever had an eating disorder, this book will likely be VERY triggering for you.
At first, I found myself really intrigued by this novel. Ever since I was a teen, I have adored novels that are set in psychiatric facilities and deal with mental illness. Unfortunately, after reading about 100 pages, this interest quickly turned to anger. One of the novel's main characters, Emmy suffers from an eating disorder. In the novel, not eating is shown as being Emmy's decision, n...more
This book is a total fucking mess. So completely wrong about how people in treatment behave. Completely insensitive/not accurate eating disorder portrayals. It appears to have been written by people who have never talked to real live human teenagers before.
Frk. Hyms
It had it's moments, but overall I really didn't like it. Unrealistic and filled with flaws.

Let me start by saying that focus on mental illness and problems among young people are very important and I support it highly. But it has to be done rightfully. It has to be serious without being boring and it must be realistic. A Really Awesome Mess is neither.

Both Justin and Emmy are horrible main characters. They’re selfish, naïve and obnoxious. The story changes between the two of them, but their nar...more
Received this book in exchanged for an honest review.

Normally I don't write or rate books that I haven't finished. But sorry, this book is an exception.

I did not finish this book. I dropped the book about halfway.


Emmy + Justin. 2 totally annoying, whiny and bleh characters.

Emmy is all boohoo the world left her and oh boohoo I am fat and I totally don't need anger management (this said while screaming it out loud). In the beginning I was like: Aww, that sucks for you, sorry to hear about the...more
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
Review is below the PSA. Review is 100% about the book

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3.5/5 stars

A Really Awesome Mess 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 afte...more
ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review. Find more reviews at The Reflections of a Bookworm

What worked: When I saw the blurb, i thought to myself, "How can a reform school for damaged souls be funny?". Cook and Halpin answered that question for me. Although A Really Awesome Mess deals with some genuinely difficult issues such as anorexia, selective mutism and depression, it also provides a story that has you in kinks. We have characters that reel you in to their group and s...more

"Yeah, that's totally badass. Not killing yourself even when you think you want to. Takes a lot more balls to stay alive, don't you think?"
We all smiled because it was the truth: Living did take a lot more guts than giving up.

In this book we follow the story of two troubled teenagers, Justin and Emily and their journey tin Heartland Academy.
Being Heartland Academy a reform school, our first thought it's what brought them there.

Justin took a handful of Tylenol, while Emily is accused of cyber...more
This is about 3 1/2 stars for me. (I would like Goodreads to give us options of 1/2 stars - so often I am in between ratings on books.)

A Really Awesome Mess is told from the alternating perspectives of Justin and Emmy, two teenagers who are unwilling students at Heartland Academy, a school whose purpose is to fix them (hence the unwilling part). During their time at Heartland (which is quickly given a nickname), Justin and Emmy form relationships not only with each other, but also with other stu...more

Arc provided by netgalley

DNF at 60 %

I really try not to leave books unfinished, but any more of this, and I would be the one needing psychiatric help!

To say that this didn't correspond to my expectations would be putting it mildly.

This was just unbelievable bad... in a sort of reality kids' show bad!!

I read the synopsis and it sounded like this could be something interesting: kids with very different problems coming together and helping one another.

What I got: spoiled brats who care only about...more
Abbe "The Awesome Senior" Hinder

1.5 Stars

As the title says, this is a mess. But not an awesome one, more of a sloppily done one. There is so much that's just horribly wrong with this novel that I get mad just thinking about it. Very little in this novel actually makes sense. Very little. And that made me really sad because I actually had really high hopes for this one.

The book skips over really important stuff like Justin's relationship with his mother and step dad and there's more telling rather than showing in the story. I...more
Michelle Arrow
*3.5 star rating*

"I could swear I heard Mohammed say, "Hey baby," as he closed the door. Who the hell called their mom "baby"? Well, I guess if he didn't have issues, he wouldn't be here."

If you're looking for a knockoff of It's Just A Funny Story, then pick up this book. But keep in mind that this is not even close to being classified as a "favourite" for me. It was good, but really nothing special. It's just a plain, predictable contemporary read.

How original was this. *unpleased poker f...more
In which I was promised a "A Really Awesome Mess" and istead got two privilged, middle class bitches who cry about their perfect lives for an entire book and then make out near the end. I AM DISPLEASED I WAS EXPECTED SO MUCH MORE. As in, sympathitic/fun characters I could get behind. (Not Mr. Asswipe and his random depression which only appears in the middle of the book in order to remind the audience that he has /reasons/ to be in a place for kids with actual issues. As well as to tell us that...more
Hazel (Stay Bookish)
Actual rating: 3.5

A Really Awesome Mess is a story of two troubled kids: There's Emmy- sixteen year old Chinese girl adopted by a too normal white family. Emmy struggles not only with her family situation but also because of a certain mishap at school that has led her to a broken heart and purging tendencies. Next, there's Justin- sixteen year old hormonal boy who was caught by his father in a very unappealing situation with a girl. Justin is hostile towards everybody but only because he is cons...more
"We all smiled because it's the truth: Living did take a lot more guts than giving up."

After I got through the first chapters of both Justin's POV and Emmy's, I couldn't help but take a deep breath and wonder what I'd gotten myself in to. They were just so angry and so resistent.

But, quickly, I got into the routine of Heartland, the system of classes and kids and how each of them worked together. I got to know the support group and some of their quirks. And before I knew it, I was more than half...more
Nikki H
More of my reviews can be found here at my blog: http://takemeaway02.blogspot.com/

I have to admit. Before I even knew what this book was about, I put it on my TBR list because of the interesting looking cover. Now, after reading it, I am so glad I gave it a chance. This book opened my eyes to so many things and I mean that in the most un-cliche' way possible.
Before I read this, I looked down on anyone with an addiction. Well anything unhealthy. But after reading this, I realized two things. On...more
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Egmont USA and Netgalley.)
16-year-old Emmy is Chinese, but her parents aren’t, and it’s causing her all sorts of problems. Emmy was adopted from an orphanage in China as a baby, and her adoptive parents then got pregnant naturally. Now she’s ¼ of a perfect blond family, who look absolutely nothing like her.
This wouldn’t be such a problem if the people at school didn’t make it a problem. But they bullie...more
Olivia (Bookcomet)
This was such a nice, fun read. That was something that stood out to me a lot when reading this.

I loved the quirky moments, they just gave a realistic feel to the story. The characters were great - but not your typical characters. The alternating points of view offered points of views from two characters, who were in the school for different reasons.

In fact it was great that everyone in Justin and Emmy's group had different issues. Each character was so different and their personalities were re...more
Laura P
A Really Awesome Mess is like The Breakfast Club for a new generation. It really shows how you never really know what other people are dealing with, or maybe even the extent of what you yourself are dealing with, until you take the time to ask the questions. Like the characters in The Breakfast Club, the A Really Awesome Mess characters have to work on breaking down their own prejudices, in order to find out how amazing their relationships with people they thought they had nothing in common with...more
Once again authors Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin have come together to create a book I absolutely adore. Like their collaboration on "Notes from the Blender", the duo managed to create fun, refreshing, and unique characters that are attractive to even the readers who feel like they have read it all.

I believe that the main reason the rising powerhouse duo have such likability is the "real factor" in their novels. The characters are real and believable, and overwhelming relatable.

Much like Decla...more
A Really Awesome Mess Review As soon as I saw this on NetGalley, I knew I needed to read this book. Although it's from the perspective of two people going into a school for teenagers with depression and whatnot, there are many laugh-out-loud moments throughout the novel along the moments that were straight-to-the-matter. These two authors did not hold back. These kids get angry, they get frustrated, they start a fight on their first day in Anger Management. They also devise some pretty awesome s...more
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“When we don’t directly ask for clarification, we tend to fill in the gaps with negative thoughts. These eventually become rooted in our minds as truths, and then everyone gets stuck in a cycle of misunderstanding and miscommunication.” 1 likes
“We all smiled because it was the truth: Living did take a lot more guts than giving up.” 0 likes
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