I actually can’t remember the last time a book brought me to tears…of laughter. It seems, to me, much easier or perhaps just more likely, for a book to bring you to any other kind of tears than those of laughter. I laughed pretty hard in Spoiled, the first book from Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan but in Messy the women behind the utterly hilarious gofugyourself.com have truly outdone themselves. Half the battle, or perhaps more than half, in young adult fiction is actually getting a kid to pick up a book. With the help of some genius cover art these books are the kind of books that kids will want to read because they’re fun and witty whilst still being meaningful and intelligent. Not every kid between 14 and 22 wants to read about children killing each other or magical lands of witchcraft and wizardry. When a phenomenon like The Hunger Games comes along its easy to just assume all children will love it, but lets not forget, science fiction isn’t for everyone. So for kids with less of an appetite for death and war, Spoiled and Messy provide a hugely entertaining and worthwhile alternative.
Brooke Berlin and Molly Dix were newly discovered half-sisters in Spoiled, a hilarious story of adolescent competitiveness, absentee parenting, friendship and looking beneath the surface. In Messy we’re still privileged to Brooke’s singular impression of life but this time the alternate view has swapped to Max McCormack. Max is the green-haired, snarky, sarcastic, fiercly intelligent principals daughter who also happens to be Molly’s best friend. Max is pretty much the anti-Brooke. She shops at H&M, if she has to, has an unemployed Dad who repurposes household appliances in an attempt to make new household appliances and she really, really, wants to go to a writing program at New York University over the summer. But she’s going to have to do it on her own dime and her current job has far too much toham* for her liking. So she ends up on Brooke’s payroll, ghost writing her blog OpenBrooke.
“See? I’m actually a scintillating and witty person,” Brook said. “I just don’t have time to write about it.”
The blog turns into an overnight success, exactly as Brooke planned of course, and things go great until…well maybe you should read it to find out. There’s boys and clothes, a movie set and a band named Mental Hygienist and it really needs to be read to be understood. But trust me, you will DIE of laughter. Repeatedly.
“…I got sucked into the vortex that is Brooke Berlin, basically. When we go anywhere together, I look like her Make-A-Wish kid. People seem disappointed when they find out I don’t have cancer.”
I mean really. These girls really know how to write a pop culture laden story about loyalty and growing up with their tongues firmly in their cheeks. Love it. Both books are in paperback for $17.
*Tofu + ham = toham. Seriously.