05 June 2014
Review: A Really Awesome Mess
A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Truly closer to a 3.5.
I like Brendan Halpin's collaborations, and I don't think I've read anything of Trish Cook up to this point. The competing male/female narrative structure for YA generally seems to work for me, and this is no different, being sort of a young adult It's Kind of a Funny Story meets Orange is the New Black-type story of kids who meet in a reform boarding school.
The story itself is compelling enough with the reasons the kids are in there, the interaction between each other and the staff and so forth. The problems, though, from the reliability of the kids as narrators as well as the questionable utility and worth of the center they're at hurts the story a bit. We're stuck solely from one point of view, and it's really difficult to figure out what's positive and negative. Accepting an unreliable narrator is one thing, but not knowing for sure whether that's the angle being pursued is another, and I can't say it with confidence. There's also a really, really bizarre sequence in the second half that just defies believability in many ways, but I won't give it away in case you disagree.
Overall, worth reading. It's not "sick lit" per se, and it doesn't glamorize bad behavior, but it does come with its share of problems overall.
View all my reviews