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Peek Inside A Messy, Beautiful Life

Life is funny sometimes. And not always the ha, ha kind. Like that one time where a hot guy tried to kiss me and I fell. Down. Hard. And then found out I had cancer. So, I tell myself: Smile Ellie. Be funny Ellie. Don’t cry Ellie, because once I start, I might not stop.

A Messy, Beautiful Life

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Life is funny sometimes.

And not always the ha, ha kind. Like that one time where a hot guy tried to kiss me and I fell. Down. Hard. And then found out I had cancer.
I’m trying to be strong for my friends and my mom.

And I’m trying so hard to be “just friends” with that hot guy, even though he seems to want so much more. But I won’t do that to him. He’s been through this before with his family, and I’m not going to let him watch me die.

So, I tell myself: Smile Ellie. Be funny Ellie. Don’t cry Ellie, because once I start, I might not stop.

Praise

5 stars: "A Messy, Beautiful Life appealed to every side of me: the theater geek, the romantic, the comedy lover, and the sister/best-friend who knows that family is only partly about DNA. I loved Ellie's journey...and it's not every book that can make you ugly-cry and snort-laugh within a few chapters." –Rosemary Clement-Moore, author of Texas Gothic

5 stars: "Ellie’s story flew off the page and took over my heart while tickling my funny bone and messing with my tear ducts." –Victoria Hanley, bestselling author of Seize the Story: A Handbook for Teens Who Like to Write

5 stars: "This book has the perfect mixture of lighthearted, fun moments and moments that will shatter your heart. But it's beautiful and gives you all the feels. [...] Read this book!!!" –Nicole, Buchwolke Tumblr

5 stars: "One instant I was laughing and the next I had tears in my eyes when Ellie discovers that her world seems to be falling apart." –Sascha, Sascha Darlington's Microcosm Explored

5 stars: "The cover is beautiful. The story was beautiful, even if it was sad. The friendships will make you jealous and make you want your own pack. There was even diversity and LGBT representation in here that wasn't forced. This is a good example of how YA books should be done. I highly recommend this book!" –Lacy, A Ravenclaw Library

5 stars: "I absolutely loved the story to this. It shows that bad things can happen but that there's always some ounce of good happening at that same moment." –Jackie, Dauntless Books and Penguins

5 stars: "I found this book saddening at the same time it was an empowering story as young teen Ellie shoulders her diagnosis and faces it all head on. [...]  Jason was a great boyfriend to her and doesn't back away because of the cancer, but if anything, shows he's there for her even more. A beautiful duo to read about." –Eve, Being Unique Being a Reader

5 stars: "A Messy, Beautiful Life, a perfect name for a perfect book. Sara Jade Alan gives you feels you’ve never imagined while reading a book. I cried, laughed, swooned, got angry, cried some more, and was left with such heartwarming sentiment and a bit of sadness when it was over." –Wit and Wonder Books

5 stars: "Sara Jade Alan rocked this story. There were just the right amount of swooning moments to keep me turning the pages. If you love phenomenal writing, a story that will blow you mind and warm your heart, this book is for you." –Victoria Bunce, Educator

5 stars: "A Messy, Beautiful Life made me cry so many times as it made me laugh. I read it all at one go because I couldn't let go." –Sabina, I Speak Bookish

Additional Details

ISBN: 9781640633544
Release Date: Oct 2, 2017
Page Count: 239
Imprint: teen
Genre: contemporary, young adult
Tropes: friends to lovers, overcoming odds

Select Featured Reviews

See All Reviews on Goodreads.com
By Theresa September 15, 2017

I love books that make me laugh out loud AND cry. There is a saying that about the connection between humor and pain, and that’s what this book proves: How to find humor from difficult situations.

This is an original novel with a great cast of characters. Ellie is a senior in high school who does... ...more

By Carlene(Inspired) October 16, 2017

Life is funny sometimes.

And not always the ha, ha kind. Like that one time where a hot guy tried to kiss me and I fell. Down. Hard. And then found out I had cancer.

I’m trying to be strong for my friends and my mom.

And I’m trying so hard to be “just friends” with that hot guy, even though he se...
...more

By Nicole September 20, 2017

A Messy, Beautiful Life!!! First things first: I received this book through NetGalley.
The book comes out october 2nd!!!
 
Look at me, reviewing an ARC before it's getting published. I think I'm starting to get my crap together. WHOOT!!! I wanna say right at the beginning, that I highly recommend th... ...more

By Sascha September 21, 2017

You don’t expect to find yourself smiling or even laughing when reading a novel about a teen who discovers she has cancer and yet I did both as I read Sara Jade Alan’s A Messy, Beautiful Life. Perhaps the reason why the author so ably writes about the topic is because A Messy, Beautiful Life is b... ...more

By lacy September 15, 2017

A special thank you goes out to Entangled Teen for allowing me to read this book early. Thank you so much! All thoughts and opinions are my own.

My emotions are such a jumbled mess right now. This is one of the reasons that stand alones bother me. It's because I want MORE of the characters! This... ...more

By September 28, 2017

description

3.5 “Fighting with Humor” Stars

ARC via NetGalley.

Thank you, Entangled Teen!

Even though I should've expected it, this book still took me by surprise by its funny approach on such a serious topic--and I say surprise and funny in a good way.

Comedy was the theme for A Messy, Beautiful Life. From the... ...more

By Lynda September 30, 2017

Ellie is a member of an improv theater group and, when she meets Jason, a member of a rival improv group, they form an immediate connection. With some new friends and a huge comedy competition coming up, things are looking good, but a freak accident brings Ellie crashing down - quite literally. W... ...more

By Greyson (Grey) October 27, 2017

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review.

"Most people are so scared of the pain in their life, they do anything they can to avoid it, to not feel what is really there. Ignoring it merely causes a different kind of hurt."


A Messy, Beautiful li... ...more

By Jessica September 30, 2017

This book gave me all the feels. I couldn't put it down, it was beautifully written. I read it in 2 days and I adored everything about it! Recommended!!! ...more

By Wit & Wonder Books September 21, 2017

***ARC received in exchange for an honest review***
 
A Messy, Beautiful Life, a perfect name for a perfect book. Sara Jade Alan gives you feels you’ve never imagined while reading a book. I cried, laughed, swooned, got angry, cried some more, and was left with such heartwarming sentiment and a bit... ...more

By Issah Camille September 27, 2017

"His words filled my bones. He was my lucky star in this maelstrom of misfortune. I wondered how it was possible that my life was at its very best and its very worst simultaneously. Messy and beautiful. Heartbreaking and inspiring."
~A Messy Beautiful Life, Sara Jade Alan
🌸



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RATING: 5 ⭐
GENRE: Young... ...more

By Tanya (Girl Plus Books) September 30, 2017


I wondered how it was possible that my life was at its very best
and its very worst simultaneously. Messy and beautiful.

I admit I was a bit wary of this one. Novels that tackle serious illness can easily fall into mawkishness. I’m happy to report A Messy, Beautiful Life is not one of them. Yes... ...more

By Kristi Housman September 18, 2017

This book was surprisingly funny. I know it's a book where the main character has cancer, but it wasn't the whole focus of the book which I loved.

Early on, cancer isn't mentioned. The first part of the book allows the readers to really get to know the amazing people in this book. Ellie is hilari... ...more

By Victoria September 21, 2017

Please note: I received a copy of A MESSY, BEAUTIFUL LIFE from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the publisher and author.

Five stars and here’s why:

Is it possible to cry and laugh so many times with one book? Because I read it all at once and ended up doing both. I couldn’t... ...more

By Megan September 28, 2017

A Messy Beautiful Life is one of those reads that has you excited for bedtime, just so you can tuck back into the next chapter. Kind, sharp and quirkily-funny Ellie is the kind of heroine I love—with a gang of friends whose whipsmart back-and-forth and clear affection for one another makes you re... ...more

By Jackie September 16, 2017

I finished this e-arc that Netgalley and Entangled Teen a few days ago but I've fallen ill and with that comes writer's block. I apologize in advance for anything in this review that may not make complete sense.

First off, I absolutely loved the story to this. It shows that bad things can happen b... ...more

By Sam October 12, 2017

Rating: 4.5 stars

I always have good luck with Entangled books. They are usually sweet and heartwarming, but often deal with much lighter topics. I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, as cancer is a pretty weighty thing and to have to read about someone so young dealing with it, can be very... ...more

By Travis September 26, 2017

In a YA novel about high school, one expects to read about the everyday struggles of teens - the teasing, the insecurity, the isolation. We also expect a happy ending in which the one awkward kid finds a way to survive and thrive. But what happens when those struggles are a matter of life and dea... ...more

By Eve September 02, 2017

Ellie, Quinn and Hana are best friends who form an improve group, at a comedy club where at one of their events they meet Jason who Ellie in particular notices only what should be a great night at a party soon after they meet becomes a nightmare when she collapses in agony as her leg gives way.

Ho... ...more

By Rhonda October 02, 2017

5 A MESSY, BEAUTIFUL LIFE STARS!! This book was fantastic it had all the feels from laughing out loud to crying. The story is so beautifully written, Sara Jade Alan did a fabulous job. I loved Ellie, she was the perfect character. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book. ...more

By Tiana September 26, 2017

THIS BOOK IS SO INCREDIBLE! I immediately fell in love with its quick-witted dialogue, hilarity, and emotional moments. This book about love, life, and everything in between made me laugh out loud and then cry just as loudly.


Ellie’s story is heartbreaking and yet all at once courageously funny. T... ...more

By Sabina September 08, 2017

'A Messy, Beautiful Life' made me cry so many times as it made me laugh. I read it all at one go because I couldn't let go. It's a book mostly about first love and cancer, but you will find also a lot about relations among people and about a loss of your beloved one. Ellie is the main character h... ...more

By books are love October 03, 2017

Received in exchange for a honest review.

this book is absolutely wonderful. You have such a sad topic but the humour has you laughing so hard your side hurts and you cry.

This is the story of the journey of Ellie. How she deals with a time in her life where she is challenged. Challenged by someth... ...more

By Lynndell October 02, 2017

Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review A Messy Beautiful Life by Sara Jade Alan. The story begins with theater students putting on a show with another school and describing how much fun the improv acts turned out. I kind of wish I could have been in th... ...more

By Perry October 06, 2017

I simply couldn't put this book down. The pace is great and Alan unfolds the story with such authentic detail that you are immediately drawn into Ellie's world. I felt like I was a part of her improv family. Also, as someone who has watched loved ones struggle with the heart wrenching stages of c... ...more

Showing 1 to 25 of 25
4.34 avg Goodreads.com rating
Sara Jade Alan

About the author

Sara Jade Alan

Sara Jade Alan wrote her first comedy sketch during second-grade recess, then cast it, directed it, and made costumes out of garbage bags. Since then she's performed in more than a thousand improvised and scripted shows. Currently she's one half the comedy duo The Novelistas, who perform about the highs and lows of writing and publishing. Raised in a suburb of Chicago, Sara now lives in Colorado with her husband and daughter. www.sarajadealan.com

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