Monday, August 5, 2013

A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Haplin

Dear readers, 

I apologize for my week absence, whenever I attempted to post something on Blogger lately I was receiving an awkward error message with some sort of 'bt364gy' code error (not the exact code). It sense seems to be resolved. 

Due to my absence some promos/reviews were not properly posted. This may complicate matters for Tour Hosts whose schedules I interfered with and for that I am also sorry. 

Although some of these author's tours are over, I will be posting all the promos anyway because the authors deserve their time in the spotlight. Please bare with me during the confusion. 

A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook Goodreads Synopsis: 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.
A funny, sad, and remarkable story, A Really Awesome Mess is a journey of friendship and self-discovery that teen readers will surely sign up for.

ebook, 288 pages
Published July 23rd 2013 by EgmontUSA 
Get Your Copy:

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 internet bullying as a defense against a bully? Where she decides to openly mock him, disgrace him, and create viral content with irremovable damage from cyber space, whilst she grows up and realizes (in about three years), that, really, he's just an asshole.

Are we supposed to ever learn to respect a group of troubled teenagers that, during their own personal struggles, aid in helping a severely anorexic female not eat?

Are we supposed to side with the therapists that eat sugar crackers in front of a female that is starving herself to death?

Are we supposed to find it believable that the main reason for that female lead character to starve herself is to look thing? And that, moreover, she still has the confidence to think she can pick a guy up some time before they, "force her to get fat again?"

Are we also supposed to believe that a Level 5 student - that is someone that is near release or made massive results in recovery - would be snide, sarcastic, and rather cruel to a Level 1 female with the exact same eating disorder! Is this because Trish Cook believes that anorexia is only a problem for shallow girls? Or, was she totally misinformed about the myths of eating disorders before writing this?

Also, are supposed to understand or side with the parents that allow an academy that limits the amount of time, and scripts the conversation, between child and parent?

Are we even supposed to believe that in an academy of violent, troubled teens, an all out brawl, complete with vomit, blood, and name-calling, does not come with any sort of security team or extra measures besides yelling really loudly to stop it?

More so, are we supposed to be convinced that this highly costly facility has therapists that encourage troubled teens by telling them that they need to spend time in their own heads to figure out their problems? With no psychology experience at all I can tell you that depression feeds on our minds. Someone that deep inside themselves has a distorted view of reality and is past the point of being able to self reflect or self help without guidance without otherwise causing worse destruction to their confidence, psych, and well-being.

It is not that I dislike the way this author writes. It is that I find this book such a snarky, sarcastic, misguided view on troubled teens that I wonder what made the author ever decide to publish it. I cannot, in good conscious, recommend any teen reads this book due to the insensitive nature of this novel.


Dear Authors,

If you are writing a book about troubled teens, keep in mind who your audience is going to be.

I am sure with some reflection you can discover that it will be troubled teens, with some other odds and ends thrown in.

In which case, at what point in your mind did you decide that rape and racist jokes were okay?

When did you decide they would add to the story?

Did you really think that what teens of today were missing was more jokes that downplayed the seriousness of sexual abuse and segregation by race and or profiling?

Or, did you just think this would help your readers relate? In which case, I'm insulted for them.

Or, did you just think it would add to Justin's troubled outlook and his further development? In which case, why are all your troubled teenagers unlikeable? Is this how you see troubled teens?

Please research further into depression, eating disorders, aggression, etc. before your next reform school attempt. 

When it comes to A Really Awesome Mess?

Burn It | Toss It | Borrow It | Read It | Buy It

Note: I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, words and opinions are my own.

Although it should be obvious, I want to state that in no way is this a personal issue with the author(s). I make no judgements on what sort of people they are. I just think this novel is poorly written and was not properly researched for content.  

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