Tuesday, July 23, 2013

ARC Review: A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook & Brendan Halpin + Giveaway!

Title: A Really Awesome Mess
Authors: Trish Cook & Brendan Halpin
Expected publication: July 23rd 2013 by EgmontUSA
Hardcover, 288 pages
Genre: Contemporary > Coming of Age
Reading Level: Young Adult

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 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. 

Purchase Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | The Book Depository

This review contains Mild Spoilers.

As a avid reader I come across many wonderful books. Ones that make you think. Ones that break your heart. Ones that you will treasure forever and that you are proud to own. Only rarely you read a book that you know you will remember forever....that perfect book, a rare gem that shines among the rest. 

A Really Awesome Mess is exactly that. 5 Stars for me does not cover the sheer awesomeness within these pages. Here's why...

The story is being told from dual narrators, Emmy and Justin. Both are living troubled lives. 

Emmy got herself into trouble over an internet prank that some mean kids pulled on her. Of course she wanted payback but ended up getting into more trouble and evidently her family put Emmy into a mental health ward Reform School called Heartland Academy. Emmy is mad at her family at this obvious betrayal, and it doesn't help that she already feels like an outsider within her family. Why? She is adopted. Asian and looks nothing life her family, this causes her to feel out of place and sometimes unloved.

Justin, on the other hand has both parents but they are divorced and live apart. While staying at his fathers home "something" happens with a girl Justin brought back to the house. His father just so happened to walk in on Justin and this girl in the middle of a "compromising situation". Days later Justin decided to swallow a bunch of Tylenol...to kill himself...or a blatant cry for attention? Never the less he ends up in the same Reform School as Emmy

Both Justin and Emmy want nothing to do with Heartland Academy and feel they shouldn't be there. Only until they meet each other things start to change. But what happens to them both throughout the story is what makes A Really Awesome Mess....A Really Awesome Book!

Yep, this was me during and at the end of this book

There is no doubt about it, I LOVED THIS BOOK! Every. Single. Page. 

Now I have never read anything by Trish Cook or Brendan Halpin but after reading A Really Awesome Mess I definitely need to and soon. I totally love when two authors join together to write a book. There are very few that do this but let me tell you both Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin writing style has the perfect blend of humor, captivating characters, a heart-wrenching story that I will never forget. One of the favorite parts of the book was seeing both Emmy and Justin grow together and separately. Although their journey was not an easy one, they both somehow found the strength to hold on to each other. Another great aspect in the story was the secondary characters who also lived at Heartland Academy. They all really added so much to the book, helping the story come alive. 

Everyone NEEDS to read A Really Awesome Mess. I definitely recommend it to all readers young and old. There is no doubt in my mind that his book will move you beyond words. For me, it has already done just that and so much more. I want to thank Trish Cook Brendan Halpin for writing such a beautiful and inspiring novel that will stay with me forever.

Totally EPIC! One of the best books I have read. A MUST read!!

Did you guys like my review? Does this book sound like something you may like? If you answered yes then you're in luck. Egmont Publishing has given me a extra copy to give away on my blog. How cool is that?!  

The giveaway is one hardcover copy of A Really Awesome Mess.

Now time for some rules...

Giveaway Rules & Policy:
  • Use the rafflecopter form below to enter
  • Winner will have 48 hours to claim the prize.
  • No cheating. No using multiple names
a Rafflecopter giveaway

To find out more about Trish Cook & Brendan Halpin click the links below:

Brendan Halpin’s website: http://www.brendanhalpin.com/
Trish Cook’s website: http://trishcook.com/

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