Crazy Messy Beautiful
Author: Carrie Arcos
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Philomel Books
From National Book Award finalist Carrie Arcos–a fresh take on happily ever after, and friendship, that is anything but a love story.
When your namesake is Pablo Neruda—the greatest love poet of all time—finding “the one” should be easy. After all, sixteen-year-old aspiring artist Neruda Diaz has been in love many times before. So it’s only a matter of time before someone loves him back.
Callie could be that someone. She’s creative and edgy, and nothing like the girls Neruda typically falls for, so when a school assignment brings them together, he is pleasantly surprised to learn they have a lot in common. With his true love in reach and his artistic ambitions on track, everything is finally coming together.
But as Neruda begins to fall faster and harder than ever before, he is blindsided by the complicated nature of love—and art—in more ways than one. And when the relationships he’s looked to for guidance threaten to implode, Neruda must confront the reality that love is crazier, messier, and more beautiful than he ever realized—and riskier, too, than simply saying the words.
Praise for Crazy Messy Beautiful:
"This satisfying and unconventional love story explores the various meanings of the word." --Kirkus Reviews
"Arcos has written a classic story of a budding artist finding out the reality behind the artifice, and does sowhile keeping a wonderful sense of humor." --Booklist
"Arcos capably probes the mysterious without attempting to solve it as Neruda discovers the difference between crushing on someone he doesn’t know and loving someone he does, learning that friendship, too, is a kind of love." --Publishers Weekly
10 Characteristics of a Great Friend
A great listener
Someone who will tell you the truth out of love
Someone you can be yourself with
Good sense of humor
Willing to try new things
A person with empathy
Looks for the good in others
Crazy Messy Beautiful is a new young adult contemporary novel that fans of the genre are sure to enjoy. I personally don't read much contemporary fiction, but I thought the description sounded interesting and decided to give it a try. It was a good story with diverse characters and lots of relevant topics for today's society. There's been a huge movement to read more diverse books, and this fits the bill perfectly. The main character is a half-Chilean teenage guy who's having problems in the romance department. The story touches on the history behind his name (Neruda) and how important it is for his family. Other subjects the story talks about are friendship, love, family, and being true to yourself. Neruda's character was complex with unique traits and flaws to make him seem very realistic right from the start. The other characters in the book were well rounded and fit into the plot perfectly. I enjoyed reading about Neruda's family and their history, along with the fascinating background behind his name, and his evolving relationship with Callie.
There were a couple of things that effected my reading in a not-so-positive way. These are solely my own personal opinion and I know that other readers will not have the same experiences. The first was the writing style - and it was also the biggest issue I had. The author wrote the story in the third person point of view. If you've read any of my other reviews, you'll know that I almost always prefer the first person POV - and this was no exception. I couldn't seem to really identify with any of the characters, mostly due to the lack of personal connection through the story. The third person always seems to fall short of allowing me to truly empathize with a character. The other issue is directly connected to this as well - I couldn't identify with Neruda. He's a great main character - down to earth, artistic, passionate, a great friend and son - but he's also a sixteen year old guy with Chilean roots. I'm none of these things, and considering the lack of personal investment due to the writing style - I just couldn't connect with him properly. If the story had been done in the first person, I know my experience would have been completely different. Again - these are solely my personal feelings and opinions, and have absolutely nothing to do with the author's talent or the book itself. I do recommend this novel to fans of YA contemporary fiction, romance, and readers looking for more diverse characters.
Carrie Arcos is a National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature for OUT OF REACH; her second novel is THERE WILL COME A TIME. CRAZY MESSY BEAUTIFUL will be available soon. She lives in Los Angeles with her family. For more information, check out her website: carriearcos.com
(3) Winners will receive a Signed Copy of Crazy Messy Beautiful and There Will Come a Time by Carrie Arcos
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter