A Messy, Beautiful Life by Sara Jade Alan
Publication Date: October 2, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Arc provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Life is funny sometimes.
And not always the ha, ha kind. Like that one time where a hot guy tried to kiss me and I fell. Down. Hard. And then found out I had cancer.
I’m trying to be strong for my friends and my mom.
And I’m trying so hard to be “just friends” with that hot guy, even though he seems to want so much more. But I won’t do that to him. He’s been through this before with his family, and I’m not going to let him watch me die.
So, I tell myself: Smile Ellie. Be funny Ellie. Don’t cry Ellie, because once I start, I might not stop.
Who would have thought that a book about a girl with Cancer would be funny? Not me. When I read the description of the book I was intrigued and new I wanted to read this. I needed to know what happened to Ellie and the guy that she wants to be “just friends” with.
Ellie is a part of her improv group at school, and on a night they are invited to participate in a show at another school where she meets Jason, a member of the other school’s improv team. After the show Ellie and her friends are invited to a party at Jason’s house and the invite is reiterated when Ellie runs into Jason at the beach. It’s during this party that Ellie has an accident that lands her in the hospital where she finds out she has a rare form of cancer in her leg. The events that follow her diagnosis lead us through a great story of love, family and friendship and how people are drawn together in a crisis.
One of the things I liked most about this story was the relationships that Ellie had, with not only Jason, but with her friends and her step-brother. Even when Ellie tried to push them away they stayed and fought right beside her. They refused to let her go through any of it on her own, especially Jason.
All in all this was a great read, funny when it needed to be, and serious when it was supposed to be.
Sara Jade Alan wrote her first comedy sketch during second grade recess, then cast it, directed it, and made costumes out of garbage bags. Since then, she has performed in over a thousand improvised and scripted shows all over the country. When she lived in New York City with her college improv group, she worked as an assistant to a best-selling author of young adult novels featuring strong female heroes and was completely inspired by her books and the awesomeness of her teen fans. Spending a year on crutches, Sara turned to writing her own young adult stories and was hooked. Currently, she is one-half of the comedy duo, The Novelistas, who perform about writing and teach performance to writers. Hailing from a suburb of Chicago, Sara now lives in Colorado with her husband—who she met in that college improv group—and daughter, who they waited a bunch of years to make. She is a member of and guest instructor at Lighthouse Writers Workshop.
- A Messy, Beautiful Life Prize Pack, which includes A Messy, Beautiful Life tote bag, DVD of the anime rom-com Ranma 1/2, Disco ball keychain, Bag of Marshmallow Mateys cereal