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Happy Messy Scary Love

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  401 ratings  ·  114 reviews
As everyone at her Brooklyn high school announces their summer adventures, Olivia harbors a dirty secret: Her plan is to binge-watch horror movies and chat with her online friend, Elm. Olivia and Elm have never shared personal details, apart from their ages and the fact that Elm’s aunt is a low-budget horror filmmaker. Then Elm pushes Olivia to share her identity and sends ...more
Hardcover, 267 pages
Published May 14th 2019 by Harry N. Abrams
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Average rating 3.54  · 
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Fafa's Book Corner
Mini review:

Trigger warning: None till the point I read.


I received this E-ARC via Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I have read the authors previous book and was excited to dive into this! Unfortunately I didn’t like it.

I liked the writing but soon found out that’s all I liked. I didn’t care for the main character or her friends. As I read on I lost interest.

Still recommend.
Samantha (WLABB)
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, arcs, romance
After self-sabotaging her application for a student film writing program at NYU, Olivia accepted that her summer would be spent in her family's mountain abode watching Netflix. But, in an effort to push her out of her comfort zone, her mother secured Olivia a position at a zip-line park, and who to her wondrous eyes should appear? Elm, her online crush, who she never expected to meet in a million years. From there, things got really complicated.

I am not going to pretend that the plot was origina
julianna ➹
this was so cute and also, addicting. review to come <3 I've said this before and I'll say it again: making separate reviews for goodreads and the blog? how about no. therefore here is my blog review ...more
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
May 20, 2019 rated it it was ok

My Rating: 2/5

I received a copy from Raincoast Books in exchange for a honest review.

To be honest, I'm quite over 'catfishing' plot line because it's morally wrong and I can't get over that. I just think characters are too despicable once they commit that wrong of lying to people about their appearances and their identities.

The only reason why this book wasn't an one-star read is because I found myself connecting with Olivia a lot of the times. Not the catfishing bit because that's not cute an
Lisa Mandina
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So this is the first book by this author that I've read. I know now that I'll have to keep trying more of her books in the future, and maybe go back and try some of her past stories. First off I totally connected with this main characters awkwardness. I get it so much! There was a lot that happened in this, and so much to keep me turning the pages quickly. I also totally clicked with her obsession with horror movies, and I really want to know if the one that Elm-Jake recommended, The Haunting of ...more
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you Netgalley for providing me a free review copy in exchange for an honest review

This is a book I was really excited for for exactly one reason. It's a romantic comedy about horror movies. I love horror movies, love everything about them, and when I found out this was about two horror fans falling for each other I was sold. And, even though I had problems with this book overall, I'm glad I read it and I'm glad it's getting published because it shows just how fun horror can be. I'm so happ
Actual rating: 3.5/5

A cheesy romantic comedy that can be slow paced but too short for its own good. Happy Messy Scary Love has all the elements any teen would want in a young adult novel with the added romance, passion for horror films, and overcoming one's fears.

The themes in the novel were relatable, which is essential for every coming of age novel: insecurities, a fear for failure, fear of rejection, and procrastination (just to name a few). In find myself relating to the main character (exce
Nay Denise
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
Received a copy from the publisher for review.

This was such a fun YA contemporary romance. Great 1 hour summer read. It's sweet, comical and summer-filled. The writing was easy to fall in to. I loved the conversations on horror movies. I loved the location and setting of the novel. The characters were all awesome.

Olivia is a horror-nerd and aspiring screenwriter. She has a huge passion for it, but she allows fear to grip her. Instead of spending her summer in NY, she's spending it in the mountai
Lenni Jones
Aug 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Actual Rating: 2.5

Although this book isn’t actually horror, I think I would’ve had more fun reading it if I was a horror fan. There were so many references that I didn’t get. Because of that, this book bored me, and I was excited to finally finish it.

The thing that bothered me most was how the main character just wants overcome horror cliches with her screenplay, yet she succumbed to them in her own life. It was a pretty boring book and not much went on.

It DID make me wish I could go zip lining,
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
After an intense rising action, the climax and resolution was just meh.
Lexi // libraryoflexi
3.5 super cute stars!
Ethan Evans
May 17, 2020 rated it liked it
One of those books where you know what’s going to happen but the writing is engaging enough to keep you in it until the end. I especially appreciated all of the film and writing references.
Angel (huge fan of all things Totoro)
HMSL is one hellava cute book. The fact that Olivia finds herself sending a photo of her best friend t the cute guy she's been talking to online instead of her own, made my heart bleed. Because, I, too, have done something similar. Except my situation was more extreme and lasted for about 4 years.


The comedy and quirkiness of the two main characters made me laugh and smile. This book, or ebook, came across my phone randomly and I decided to give it a try. Anything with "catfishing" always
May 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of Happy Messy Scary Love by Leah Konen in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes used in this review are from the ARC & may not match up with the final copy.

Starting over is only for movies, after all.

Happy Messy Scary Love had me feelin' some type of way. Olivia reminds me so much of well.. me. Minus the lies, the scandal & all that jazz. Our main character wants to be a horror screenwriter -- she has the chance to do a screenwriting prog
Sofie |
Apr 17, 2021 rated it liked it
There's something about secret one-pals who meet in real life. Truly. It's probably the hopeless romantic in me.

When Olivia's reddit friend and fellow horror-movie connoisseur sends her a selfie and asks for one in return, has two thoughts: oh no, he's cute and I have a giant pimple on my chin. So instead of sending him a photo of herself, she decides to send him one of her best friend, Katie. There's no harm! Until she shows up at her summer job and meets the other new employee, Jake - who just
Vanessa ♛Queen Alchemy ϟ Novel Nerd Faction♛
3.5/5 Stars

Disclaimer: This review MAY contain spoilers. I received an Advance Reader Copy at no cost from the publisher/author. The opinions in my review are my own.

What an adorable book this was. When I read the synopsis and found out that the main character and her love interest are horror movie aficionados, I knew I had to read this! I mean, how cool is that? Definitely up my alley to say the least.

I liked Olivia and her character growth. She went from being a procrastinating, self-conscious
Sarah {The Clever Reader}
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am so excited I get to post my review on this YA Contemporary’s Book Birthday!!

This book was so much fun! It gave me Scream All Night vibes with all the horror film references! Olivia’s dream is to become a screenwriter for horror films and getting to talk to her friend Elm online about all things horror makes her excited for each new day.

Olivia starts a new job at a zip-lining company her mom’s friend owns after she bombs the biggest writing project opportunity she’s ever had. Now she’s stuck
Gayatri Saikia   | per_fictionist
Serendipity. Check.

Relatable protagonists. Check.

Catfishing. Check.

Nerd love. Check.

Slowburn Romance. Check.

Happy Messy Scary Love is everything you can ask for in a perfect summer fluufy read and more. And some more.

Olivia, is a crazy horror fan and an aspiring screenplay writer of the same genre screws up her opportunity to join a playwriting programme on her summer vaccations and is forced to join her parents on their retreat to their farm house. While her friends enjoy their vaccations in Pa
Candyce Kirk
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Happy Messy Scary Love is a contemporary for many readers. Not only does is give us the normal contemporary feels, fandoms, romance and the part I loved the most: overcoming fears! Add some horror movies and that just about describes this book.

Even though I'm not much of a horror fan, I knew most of the movies that were mentioned in the story (the bigger ones anyways). I could still relate to loving something as much as Jake and Olivia do. It's great to have someone share your love of something
May 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley2019
A very fun YA romance, this is perfect for fans of the genre. It's more like a 3+.

After not writing a movie script for an application and spending her whole time talking with her internet friend Elm, Olivia's plans for summer are gone now she's sabotaged herself out of the filmmaker course in NYU. Her mother then sends her to work at the small town they're staying, where she meets Jake. Who happens to be Elm. Who happens to think the photo of Olivia's best friend is Olivia and has no idea he's r
Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books)
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tbr-2019
More like 3.5. It was cute— adorably cute, but completely unbelievable and about 50 pages too long. Also, ughhh Katie, the BFF,... I didn’t like her at all, at all.

I want to start by saying Happy Messy Scary Love was an adorable book and I really enjoyed reading it. It was written in a way that brought me in and got me invested in the story, however unbelievable that story was...

If I didn't stop and actively think about it, it was easy to just fall in with the characters and the inevitable downf
Farhina ↯↯ The Wanderer Of Inked Adventures
I have some very hot and cold feelings about this book.
At one end is that i did indeed have to force myself to finish it. But the other end, i did relate to a few things.

The whole plot is based upon, a lie, that just turn bigger by each page and its just so ridiculous that i wanna beat the mc and ask what do you see it going on to, other than being a big fat disaster?

I kinda did relate to her not being able to believe in herself, but than she constantly let her self be bullied by people around
Lauren the Book Slayer
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Happy Messy Scary Love is one of those cute rom-coms that you pack for a day at the beach. It’s got a lot of humor (mainly the adorkable dialogue between Olivia and Jake) and heart.

When I picked up this book I was quickly immersed in the story. I’m not a fan of horror movies, but I loved that Olivia was, because that made her unique and interesting. She often made movie reference jokes and was all around quirky and fun, and I could totally see myself being friends with someone like her.

Jake was
Eve beinguniquebooks
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Olivia fancies Elm a budget horror movie creator but sends him a picture of her friend Katie thinking they'll never meet...

However as her plans to go to NYU over summer fail after she doesn't submit her screenplay on time, her mum forces her to work at a zip line adventure course where she meets Jake and a whole twist of a tale starts...

With awkward dinners, parties, learning new skills, making new friends and memories, to almost losing your friends this book is a rollercoaster of events as the
Ashley Urquhart
May 31, 2019 rated it liked it
For other reviews and more, please visit my blog: What's She Reading?

TL;DR – So many lies that were easily avoidable and are just not going to end well for anyone involved.

I’m just going to start by saying that I felt like I was too old for this book. There were so many times when I was face palming at Olivia’s poor choices. Now, part of the problem is that this is a book so you KNOW certain things are going to happen. Ordinarily, I might not have had much of a problem with Olivia sending a pict
Xan West
May 26, 2019 marked it as dnf
Content Warnings up til 16% (view spoiler)

DNF at 16% I am not up for reading about a parent forcing a kid to do something that means confronting her phobia for an entire summer. It's engaging and well written otherwise, but I cannot w
Apr 22, 2019 rated it liked it
From the title and synopsis, you can already deduce that this is not going to be an original tale. Olivia, a closeted horror lover and coming out screenwriter is stuck in a circle of self-sabotage until she becomes close to a boy who she may or not have lied to about what she looked like.

The themes of insecurities, failure, and procrastination are something that has varied methods of being dealt with as according to everyone, and the way each of these themes was depicted in the story is somethin
Mari Johnston
May 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review and many others can also be found at Musings of a (Book) Girl.

Happy Messy Scary Love had so much potential, but it didn’t live up to any of it for me. For the most part, the plot was great and I enjoyed the story that was taking place. I just wish the execution had been better. Leah Konen’s dialogue was incredibly repetitive. It felt like the characters were having the same conversations over and over again which left them often not saying much to propel the story forward.

Olivia and
Oct 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Apparently this was the third book by this author that I've read. For some reason I thought it was two. That being said this was a lot better than The Romantics. In this book Olivia lies about her identity to Jake. This of course causes a lot of problems since they work together. This book is a good example of how badly this can go. Normally the behavior of Olivia would piss me off but she did learn an important lesson. ...more
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: yacontemporary
This book was ok. Started off real strong but as the book progressed I found myself extremely bored. Ehh wasn’t really a fan. Basically the plot of this book was the same as the movie Sierra Burgess is a loser. Although if you’re a horror film fan you would probably enjoy all the horror references.

*2.5 ⭐️ *
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Leah Konen is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied journalism and English literature. She is the author of the forthcoming thriller, "The Perfect Escape." Her debut thriller, "All the Broken People" was a Rolling Stone, Marie Claire, She Reads and Charlotte Observer best summer book pick. She's also the author of several young adult novels, including "Lo ...more

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