A Really Awesome Mess – Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin

really awesomeEmmy and Justin don’t really belong at this place.  Heartland, a boarding-school/rehab/therapy establishment for troubled youth, is for people who are much worse off than them.  Emmy is admitted for anorexia and anger issues, but really she was just trying to make her ex feel bad for dumping her.  And Justin wasn’t really trying to kill himself with all that Tylenol.  He was just making a statement.  Resistant to treatment at first, Emmy and Justin find themselves in a group of four other troubled high-school kids, and have to figure out how to work together.  Despite a rough start and some erratic adventures, the kids make progress and start to realize that they really do have some issues to work out.

The back-and-forth narration style between the main characters keeps the reader engaged.  The characters are well-written, believable, and charming.  Despite the rehab/treatment setting, the tone is light hearted, humorous, and captivating.  Though there is some colorful language, this story will appeal to a variety of readers.

NetGalley review    Publication date 7.23.13

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