Skip to main content

Messy

Review

Messy

Poor Brooke Berlin. No one understands or appreciates her for anything more than her fantastic hair, perfect body, and killer fashion sense. But those things are a dime a dozen in Los Angeles. Sure, Brooke had her brief shining moment in the sun during her school's production of My Fair Lady. But with how fast things move in this town, that might as well have been six years ago! Brooke just wants to recapture that feeling of being in the spotlight. And if she's honest with herself, she just wants to recapture the feeling of being at the center of her dad's attention for longer than it takes the big-time action hero to sign the contract for his next blockbuster film.

"Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan have turned the Cyrano de Bergerac tale on its head and brought it into the 21st-century. Readers might miss Molly's character, but will be pleased to get to know Max and continue to understand Brooke's evolving and surprisingly complicated character."

So Brooke does the only sensible thing a wannabe celebrity can do --- she advertises for a "blogographer" who can create an online persona for her that's every bit as smart, funny and fascinating as she knows she can be. She just doesn't have time to do it herself. Much to her surprise and dismay, though, the most qualified applicant for the job is someone she already knows.

Max is even more dismayed to find out the identity of her "celebrity" client when she shows up for the interview. She’s best friends with Molly, Brooke's newly discovered half-sister who has come to L.A. to live with Brooke and Brick. She's also somewhat of an outsider at their private school, where Max's mother is the headmistress. Max loves her green hair, thrift store-chic clothes, and passions for pop culture and writing --- and thinks Brooke is little more than a shallow celebutante who's often made life difficult for Molly.

After the two decide they can work together (the fat paycheck Brooke is offering helps sweeten the deal for Max, who wants to attend a summer writing program at NYU), the blog "OpenBrooke.com" takes off far faster than either of them could have predicted. It even helps Brooke land the lead in the next big teen movie, a gritty adaptation of the Nancy Drew series. But that's where things start to fall apart, too, as Max and Brooke both develop an interest in Brady, an incredibly cute young actor who's certainly drawn to Brooke for her looks but also for the smart, sassy point of view she expresses in her blog.

In MESSY, Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan have turned the Cyrano de Bergerac tale on its head and brought it into the 21st-century. Readers might miss Molly's character, but will be pleased to get to know Max and continue to understand Brooke's evolving and surprisingly complicated character. In addition to being a thoroughly entertaining romantic comedy, set in the glamorous celebrity culture of Hollywood, it offers an interesting take on creating online personas, connecting (or not) via social media, and the tenuous nature of fame. It's also a fascinating (and, one would assume, fairly accurate) glimpse into the ups and downs of writing a fantastically popular blog. And who better to tackle that topic than the Fug Girls themselves?

Reviewed by Norah Piehl on September 21, 2012

Messy
by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

  • Publication Date: June 5, 2012
  • Genres: Fiction, Young Adult 15+
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Poppy
  • ISBN-10: 0316098299
  • ISBN-13: 9780316098298