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Beautiful Mess

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,129 ratings  ·  218 reviews
Since Ava lost Kelly, things haven’t been going so well. Even before she gets thrown out of school for shouting at the principal, there’s the simmering rage and all the weird destructive choices. The only thing going right for Ava is her job at Magic Kebab.

Which is where she meets Gideon. Skinny, shy, anxious Gideon. A mad poet and collector of vinyl records with an aversi
Paperback, 286 pages
Published August 28th 2017 by Text Publishing
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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,129 ratings  ·  218 reviews

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C.G. Drews
I am totally totally onboard with the title here. Because this book was thoroughly beautiful and I had FEELINGS. At least three of them. Maybe four. It was wild for a while. But yet it is also a bit of a mess, starring a really predictable and unsatisfying ending that kind of made me feel like a dead frog. HOWEVER!! I still highly loved this book! It's about depression and anxiety and it was super well written. I also just read Definitions of Indefinable Things...which is very very similar. But ...more
L A i N E Y ~back in a bit~
This is one of those utterly rare times when I both prefer them being friends and also prefer them as a couple. It’s glorious.

I am so proud of Ava. How she could make herself do the right and selfless thing (view spoiler) How she could do that I will never understand. If in the same position, I know in my heart I would never be able to do that. And at her age too, no less. No waaayyyy would I be able to do that. I was rather a flawed teenager, as you c
Sue Gerhardt Griffiths
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, giveaway
Wow. Just wow. So beautiful. So raw. So gripping.

I was spellbound by Ava and Gideons’ story. The author has created two authentic characters, one struggling with grief and the other with anxiety and self-esteem issues, their emotional journey’s are beautifully written with a touch of humour added to the mix. I laughed and cried in equal measure in some parts of this book.

This is so, so good, everyone should read this novel!

Love the cover, fitting to the story.

A huge thank you to Text Publishin
Farhina ↯↯ The Wanderer Of Inked Adventures
2020: Book #4 for the Reading Rush for the prompt: a book that takes place on a different continent than where you live.(reread)

"And I've got to keep sorting my shit out, because life is messy.
But fuck, it can be beautiful. "

This is my new favorite mental health book that deals with depression and anxiety. 💓

This was just so beautifully written, and flowed s
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Beautiful Mess is the first novel by prize-winning Australian novelist and playwright, Claire Christian. When she actually attends, Ava Spirini is in Year 11 at MacGreggor State College, but her regular outbursts in the months since the death of her best friend, Kelly Waititi, have her on shaky ground. Insulting the principal, Mrs Bryan, abusing the school assembly and punching a classmate? Only so much can be excused due to grief before there are consequences. But they just don’t get it: “
Trigger warnings: grief, death of a friend (in the past), suicide (in the past), mental health, self harm (in the past), violence.

3.5 stars.

I'm clearly going to be on Team Unpopular Opinion where this book is concerned, but I just.........didn't really get the type, to be honest. I really loved Gideon's story and his voice. But I had a hard time with Ava and I honestly can't pinpoint why.

That being said, I loved that therapy played such a significant role in the story and I loved the emphasis
Text Publishing
May 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, ya, australian
‘Tender and absorbing, this debut novel from Australia tackles challenging topics…with an open and loving hand. It deals with myriad emotions and allows the healing process to be organic. The sweetness of the characters rises above the darkness they carry, and their honest desire for acceptance…will resonate with a wide range of readers.’

‘A book full of heart and hope. Claire Christian’s voice leaps off the page, brimming with energy and verve.’
Judges' comments, Readings Young Adult Bo
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

I did not expect to love this book as much as I did. It was so, so good.

Full review to come on my blog: www.thechroniclesofdanielle.wordpress...
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loveozya, text, bookgasm
Ava is barely surviving in the depths of despair after her friend takes her own life. As the moments pass Ava is inconsolable, engaging in abusive and destructive behaviour, now expelled while involved in a non committal sexual relationship with Lincoln. Seeking solace in one another. Ava is an incredible character, her despair is palpable as she navigates life after Kelly, a vivacious young woman who was diagnosed with depression and committed suicide.

Gideon is a quiet, young poet with anxiety,
Samantha (WLABB)
The title did a good job setting me up for a story that was both beautiful and messy. This book was a total emotional rollercoaster, and I have to admit, I really loved the ride.

• Pro: My heart belongs to Gideon. I fell in love with this awkward, tenderhearted, skinny boy, who wrote amazing slam poetry, loved his family to pieces, and bravely fought his depression.

• Pro: The poetry featured in this book was incredible. I don't think any of the poems failed to bring tears to my eyes, but I also
Sprinkled Pages
Aug 09, 2017 rated it liked it
debating between 3.5 stars and 4 stars

i liked how well written this was and the exploration of grief as well as the fantastic characters! at times, it wasn't as relatable but still a solid and addictive read.

for more, read my no spoiler book review:
rachel ☾
i hate that those last fifty pages made me go from 'this is the most represented i've ever felt' to 'what the hell did i just read make it stop' ...more
Apr 08, 2018 rated it liked it
- The Anxiety Representation
- The Poetry aspects

I didn't find interest in the characters and everything else besides the things above.
Jocelyn (foxonbooks)
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I raced through this 'issue-heavy' Aussie YA this week. Raw, honest and really engaging, I related so well to the protagonists even though I've not been in a similar situation. A great read. ...more
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lit, young-adult
Exactly what I needed. A joyous novel that gave me all of the feelings and reminded of so many moments in my own life. With two protagonists who are damaged little fuckers in their own ways you may not be sure who you love the most or want to hug and help with the pain but the time you spend with them will make you smile and laugh and feel warm from head to toe and gasp at their errors and groan at their stupidity and grow alongside them. It’s a YA. I am not its target audience. I would never ha ...more
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faves, ya, aussie
An absolutely stunning exploration of grief, mental illness, love and friendship. My heart is very full.
Intense, inclusive, insightful.
Tamsien West (Babbling Books)
The rage and sadness of teenage girls is so rarely given space and time in any kind of media to be explored with the nuance it deserves. Which is why I loved Beautiful Mess so much. It is about that rage, about grief and the complex ways it manifests.

And I loved that even though many of the people around the protagonist didn't understand her pain, or the ways she expressed it, as a reader you were never prompted to feel either pity of frustration with her. Her actions made sense with you could
This beautiful mess got me deep inside in all the right places. I connected heavily with the characters, their experiences and their feelings. It is one of those books that I want to go back and start again straight away so I can get back in the story and help figure stuff out.
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars.
This was such a beautiful and heartbreaking story about grief and pain and love. I loved it so so much - a new favourite!
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gideon forever has my heart and that is all I will say about this book without crying.
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I so did not expect that to be so good.
Book content warnings: suicide, self-harm mentions, depression, mental health issues, non-graphic violence.

(view spoiler)
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
there were a lot of things I love about this, aside from the gorgeous cover.
I felt it attempted to show the effects of mental illness, not just have them talk about how sad they are. it actually impacts Gideon and Ava's lives in the opening scenes of the novel.
I also love the depiction of seeing a psychologist (you can tell I'm a psych student). It's presented really positively. They liked their psyc, they didn't see them because they were "mad", and it's was helpful
both teens liked their par
Rob De
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Having had the pleasure of meeting Claire at this years Text award night I was very keen to read her book. It was the winner of the Text award last year, which automatically guarantees it will be published, emphasising why it is such a great award for up and coming authors.
It is a truly touching story of broken and damaged young people trying to navigate their way through real problems. The two main characters are the essence of the story- Ava, whose best friend has committed suicide, and Gideon
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Maybe being bored is a good thing. Because what that actually means is that things aren't like they were. And that's all I ever really want, for things to never be like they were."

"I tend to not really make choices that are based on my own happiness and so I figured I'd start trying to do that a bit more."

"It doesn't feel exciting. It just feels...nothing. which completely freaks me out because what if it's not what I want? What if there is nothing to be excited about or look forward to anymore
Clare Snow
TW: Suicide, Self harm

I have things to say, including: I finished 3 days before book group! WTF I'm sure book groupers have things to say too. I might write things after.

And reading this finished my two February Book Challenges. Didn't think that was gonna happen.

I love this cover. It has shiny.
Amra Pajalic
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loveozya
A beautiful novel about Ava and Gideon, two young people who are both dealing with their own grief and sadness. Together they find a way of healing each other. An authentic novel that captures true emotion and made me cry at certain points because of its poignancy and realism. Love this book and Claire Christian is a debut writer who is going to be on my must read list for now on.
Beautiful mess will leave you in just that ... a beautiful mess.
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Claire Christian is a novelist and playwright who lives in Brisbane.

Claire’s debut young adult novel BEAUTIFUL MESS won the 2016 Text Publishing Text Prize. It has been translated into four languages across five different countries – and counting. She is currently working on adapting it to film. In 2019 she secured a three-book deal with Text Publishing, the first of which will be released in Oct

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