Monday, October 14, 2013

A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook & Brendan Halpin

What does it take to be sent off to a secluded reform school called Heartland Academy? For Emmi, it is refusing to apologize for blitzing a guy's Facebook page with insults after he posted naked pictures of her on the internet. For Justin, it is taking a bunch of pills. At least those were the tipping points.

Really, they both have deeper issues. Emmi was adopted from China just before her new parents found they could have children and gave birth to Emmi's sister, a beautiful tall athletic girl who looks like her parents. Emmi has always felt like an outcast (physically, anyway). She's short, has dark hair, and is Asian.

Justin is caught by is father (who he rarely sees) in a compromising position with a girl he just met. He's never done anything like it before, but it in the wake of his parent's divorce it is seen as a big deal. He's pretty angry about all of it.

Both are in total denial as they arrive in their new 'home' (located in the middle of miles of farmland). They meet the members of their new therapy group and are expected to bond with them - even though some of them appear to be really messed up. It's all about perception.

Emmi and Justin alternate telling the story as the group breaks the rules to help each other get what they really want. The trick is to not get caught. All the while, the adults are doing what they can to help each group member work through their own issues. It is messy, but worth the journey.

For more info, check out the sites for Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin.

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