Title: Hot Mess
Author: Madeline A. Rosenberg
Published: February 2016
The title of the book, Hot Mess, could not have been more spot on. I expected to read a book about a girl with tons of drama and whose life was all over the place. I got pretty much that, but also much more.
The main character, Anna, never had a dull moment. You get the feel that she is out of touch with real world issues and engrossed with her entitled, suburban lifestyle. I was a bit nauseated with her mindless behavior and interactions. Thankfully she is a fictional character. What made me sad was that there are countless, real Annas in the world. I found the secondary characters more stable and enjoyable. The major event that closed out the book was semi unexpected and put a very ‘real world’ spin on things. The book ends leaving you wondering, and hoping, if Anna has grown from her experiences. Maybe we will see in a sequel.
There were moments where I wasn’t sure of where I was with the chain of events because the story bounces from past to present often. I kept my bearings for the most part, but having to grasp where we were in the order of things became distracting while trying to enjoy the book. I also found myself wondering if the book had sponsors because every carrier was LeSportsac and the girls were always in Juicy. There was no variety. Perhaps the author was attempting to show small town, bandwagon fashion trends.
Madeline’s writing style was also interesting in that she tends to ask questions consistently throughout the piece. Are we? Do we? Is she? Or was it? It gave the feeling of an attempt to keep the reader in constant suspense. This style will work for some and not work for others; reader’s choice. This book will likely do well with the teenage/young adult audience.
Regarding the technical aspect of the writing, I didn’t notice many writing errors which was refreshing. The story moved along at a decent pace. Madeline A. Rosenberg definitely knows how to write a drama filled piece.