Friday, September 27, 2013

Book Review: A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook

A Really Awesome Mess

NOTE: I received the eARC through Netgalley.

I don't remember another book like this one. I hated and loved it at the same time. For one, it was full of messed up kids. Or rather, kids with messed up lives. Some had been abused, others had been abusers. Regardless, lots of problems are addressed, relevant to adolescents and I'm pretty sure this story could be quite a guide on what NOT to do in life.

A little side note here: There is a whole lot of offensive language here (both cussing and sexually oriented). Most of the time that felt quite offensive to me as a reader, but I guess I get it. Most of those kids have been abandoned or abused by parents or relatives. They'd so much alienated themselves from the world that they had no idea how to communicate with it, the right way.

Neither one of those kids, when first accepted to Heartland (or Assland as they preferred to call it) was aware of their individual destructive behaviors. Emmy for example, was anorexic but no one could really convince her of it. Justin was on a destructive path to suicide. Diane was verbally and physically abusive. One of the guys was a liar of amazing proportions, and another one was a computer game addict (so much so that he actually bought himself diapers so he won't have to get up from the computer to use the bathroom!). And the last girl of the group chose not to talk to anyone at all because her pet pig was killed after a competition.

Each kid was completely miserable on their own, suffering internally and sick beyond repair. But once they were put together as a group, they made a team that could conquer any obstacle. I was impressed by their improvement, by the development of strong bonds that lasted way after the institution.

I'm glad that each one of those kids, because of their special group bonding, was able to grow, to see their own problems and limitations and to decide to not be an isolated individual anymore, but a part of a better, functional group.

My rating is 4/5.