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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 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 Jess 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 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
🌸

<... ...more

***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...

By Samantha (WLABB) 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 diffi... ...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

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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 main character's voice to the way she deal...

By Theresa Alan 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 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 h... ...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 Greyson September 26, 2019

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 life.../>

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4.01 avg Goodreads.com rating
Sara Jade Alan

About the author

Sara Jade Alan

Sara Jade Alan is the author of the young adult novel A Messy, Beautiful Life, which is a finalist for the Colorado Book Award. She wrote her first comedy sketch during second-grade recess, then cast it, directed it, and made costumes out of garbage bags. Since then she has performed in more than a thousand improvised and scripted shows and was on the USA Network as a winner of their College Comedy Contest. Sara is a faculty member of Lighthouse Writers Workshop's Young Writers Program in Denver.

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