Customer Reviews for

A Really Awesome Mess

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013



    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 17, 2013

    I have to admit. Before I even knew what this book was about, I

    I have to admit. Before I even knew what this book was about, I put it on my TBR list because of the interesting looking cover. Now, after reading it, I am so glad I gave it a chance. This book opened my eyes to so many things and I mean that in the most un-cliche' way possible.
         Before I read this, I looked down on anyone with an addiction. Well anything unhealthy. But after reading this, I realized two things. One, who am I to judge what's healthy and what's not? And two, most people with addictions don't even know they even have one. Take for example, the characters in this novel. All of them are addicted to something but yet none of them want to admit it. They all keep blaming the fact that they are there on everyone else. No one wants to be responsible for their actions. This is turn, puts them still in denial. My heart broke so many times as I read about them not understanding that they were hurting (themselves and everyone around them) and I wanted to squeeze them in hugs when they finally started making break throughs. This book is definitely an emotional roller-coaster. I found myself laughing, crying, and sometimes laughing so hard I cried.
    "One day at a time, you know. [...] tomorrow's gonna have to take care of itself."
    -pg. 197 (ARC)
         I also loved the writing style. For it to be about such important issues, it wasn't done in a heavily preachy way. As teens (and adults alike) read this, they will be fully rooted to the story and connect with the characters. And even more so because it is written in a dual POV and because of that you get to take an in depth look into the head of Justin and  Emmy. This gives you the chance to see how both of them viewed certain events. And trust me, looking through the eyes of someone anorexic and someone with a sex addiction, you will start to look at things differently.
    "Families are based on love, not looks."
    -pg. 243 (ARC)
         But the number one main thing I loved about this book was the way they treated the kids. They showed them that no one issue was bigger than the other and that they all needed to be helped in some kind of way. Everyone was treated equal. Unless they were up a level that is. It made them learn to be more comfortable and not to feel victimized. This is really what the teens wanted. Just to feel loved.
    "What kind of a mess thinks being in therapy school is better than living? "A really awesome mess," I tell him."
    -pg. 228 (ARC)
         And for this reason alone, I wasn't surprised to see romance blossom between more than one couple in this book. I was a little surprised at WHO it was though. If you read it, you will understand why too. Considering it wasn't super swoony and like "OMG I love him!", I was ok with that. It wasn't that type of story. There were obviously so many other things that the teens were thinking about and trying to overcome.
         This book will have you thinking of things you would usually not think twice about. It will leave you thankful for all the things you love and the fact that they haven't been taken away from you. If you don't leave this novel with a new found outlook on life, you did it wrong. I recommend everyone to read this book. I guarantee you, you will find something that you loved!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    As a avid reader I come across many wonderful books. Ones that m

    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 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!

    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 a easy one they both somehow found the strength to hold on in 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1