HAPPY MESSY SCARY LOVE by Leah Konen

HAPPY MESSY SCARY LOVE

Age Range: 14 - 17
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

When the rest of your friends have thrilling summer plans, it’s hard to get excited about spending your summer working at a zip-line company—especially when heights make you nervous.

To make things worse, when curly-haired Olivia, who struggles with the occasional pimple, shows up for her first day of work, she’s shocked to find that Jake, one of her co-workers, is the same person she knows as Elm, whom she’s been chatting with online for months under the name Carrie (from her favorite horror movie). To make it even more awkward, brown-eyed, glasses-wearing Jake doesn’t realize that Olivia is Carrie, because the picture she sent him was actually of her beautiful, blonde best friend, Katie. Instead of clearing up the confusion immediately, Olivia keeps lying even as she starts to fall for the guy, creating a modern-day Cyrano de Bergerac plot that relies heavily on coincidence and internal angst. Konen (Love and Other Train Wrecks, 2018, etc.) offers up friendly-but-steamy moments of romance that are shining points in an otherwise tired plot. Olivia’s passivity is exhausting, as she seems unable to move forward without continual emotional boosts from friends, love interest, and family, whether she’s going for a zip-line ride, writing her screenplay, or deciding to continue with the identity farce. Major characters are assumed white.

A story of the lies we tell ourselves and other people even when the truth would be easier and more rewarding. (Fiction. 14-17)

Pub Date: May 14th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-4197-3489-2
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Amulet/Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2019




SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHIS IS WHAT HAPPY LOOKS LIKE by Jennifer E.  Smith
by Jennifer E. Smith
ChildrenEVERYTHING, EVERYTHING by Nicola Yoon
by Nicola Yoon
ChildrenEVERY DAY by David Levithan
by David Levithan