Review Blog

Jun 06 2012

Messy by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

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Allen and Unwin, 2012. ISBN: 9781742379760.
(Age 13+) Recommended. This is a surprisingly funny and entertaining novel. The blurb might suggest that it is simply going to be Gossip Girls meets 90210 but in fact, it is far more engaging and insightful than this would imply. This is largely due to the cynical edge of the main character, Max. At the opening of the story she is a self-confessed misfit at her Mum's prestigious school: she is scornful of most of her wealthy classmates who she judges to be superficial and self-absorbed. None more so than pretty blonde Brooke Berlin, daughter of action hero (and diet obsessed) Brick Berlin.
So it is somewhat surprising that Max should lower her standards and agree to ghost-write Brooke's new blog, which is intended to raise Brooke's celebrity profile. However, Max loves to write and she has a dream of attending NYU over summer to participate in a writing course. Such a dream requires money and unfortunately for Max, Brooke is offering plenty.
The blog entries on Open Brooke are one of the highlights of the book, which is to be expected as the writers are famous for their own celebrity fashion blog. Max writes sharply and perceptively about the world of celebrities and show-business and the results are highly amusing and entertaining.
Although this is the second book featuring some of these characters, the reader does not need to have read Spoiledin order to enjoy Messy. As is to be expected in a teen novel about Hollywood there are plenty of pop references to TV shows, films, celebrities and modern music. Whilst this novel is firmly set in its LA environment, this is a scene that will be familiar to many Aussie teens. And, of course, there is just the right amount of romantic entanglement to keep teen readers satisfied.
All in all, Messy is an entertaining novel which is sure to appeal to teen girls.
Deborah Marshall

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