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My Messed-Up Life

Written by Susin Nielsen

Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4 Family / Home Stories Funny

LoveReading View on My Messed-Up Life

Problem parents | Dealing with change | Loads of LOLs

June 2018 Book of the Month |

Hilarious and heartfelt Judy Blume-brilliant tale of a girl who’s struggling to come to terms with her parents’ divorce. Oh, and George Clooney makes a cameo appearance too. 

From the off, this novel fizzes with energy and funniness (the cat poo/stepsister incident is truly inspired), but beneath the laughs, the hilarious detective episodes and slapstick moments, Violet is struggling to come to terms with the fact that her director dad has moved to LA and has new twin daughters with a younger actress. To make matters worse, after serial-dating a succession of loser boyfriends, Mom has now hooked up with the dorkiest guy imaginable. Even worse still, he’s called Dudley Wiener. Something must be done! And so with typical verve, Violet writes to her mom’s celebrity love, George Clooney, in the hope that they’ll hook up. Then, a fortunate turn of events (plus some conniving) present Violet with an opportunity to actually meet him… What could possibly go wrong? 

Fast-paced and featuring a fabulous cast of side characters (especially best friend Phoebe and love interest Jean-Paul), this is a riotously funny read with an inspiring lightly-told message - “You have to be open to new experiences. You have to take the good with the bad.” 

Joanne Owen

My Messed-Up Life Synopsis

Violet is not impressed with her TV director dad: he's decided to abandon his family in Vancouver to start over with a new younger wife in LA. To Violet, it's like he's traded his old life for a better one - complete with new and improved children. To make matters worse, her mom has taken up with a dorky new man called Dudley Wiener. Violet decides to take control. She needs a new stepfather who is perfect, charming and will show Dad what he's missing: she needs George Clooney, Hollywood superstar.

My Messed-Up Life Reader Reviews

In addition to our LoveReading expert opinion some of our LoveReading4Kids Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Megan, age 17 - 'It took me a bit to get into this book, but when I did, I really enjoyed it. For me it was a light read, however that didn’t mean that the plot or the writing was anything less than superb.'
  • Linda Brown, adult - 'How have I not read anything else by this author? I Could not put it down, seriously I read it in one sitting.'
  • Ella O'Gorman, age 13 - 'A hilarious, side splittingly funny page turner, that's brilliantly mixed with insights into the effect of divorce on a family. It's sure to be a hit.'
  • Humaira Kauser, age 20 - 'It was laugh-out-loud funny with the touching moments throughout- A classic Nielsen book from what I have learnt.'
  • Jasmine, age 11 Thorp Academy - ' It made me want to cry out and laugh at the same time.'
  • Amelia, age 18 -'I really enjoyed this book, both the characters and storyline was brilliant. I would recommend this book to any young teens.'

My Messed-Up Life Press Reviews

Sassy and candid... Especially affecting are Violet's struggles to accept her father's new family and her devotion to both her mother and Rosie. A bonus: Clooney makes a cameo -- starred review  Publishers Weekly

Nielsen has created a story that is both funny and touching and well worth the read. Highly recommended  CM Magazine

Laugh-out-loud humor deftly mixes with insight into a troubled girl's pain over her parents
divorce, keeping readers involved on every page ... This comic novel scores   Kirkus

Violet is a complex, appealing character ... a very engaging read   Booklist

A lot of cleverness and fun ... Some delectable secondary characters (and) a couple of lovely plot twists ... Buy it    National Post

Book Information

ISBN: 9781783445523
Publication date: 7th June 2018
Author: Susin Nielsen
Publisher: Andersen Press Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 224 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4
Topics: Family / Home Stories, Funny

About Susin Nielsen

Susin Nielsen got her start feeding cast and crew on the popular television series, Degrassi Junior High. They hated her food, but they saw a spark in her writing. Nielsen went on to pen sixteen episodes of the hit TV show. Since then, Nielsen has written for many Canadian TV series. Nielsen's first two young adult novels, Word Nerd and Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mom, received critical acclaim and multiple Young Readers' Choice Awards. The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen won the prestigious Governor General's Literary Award, the Canadian Library Association's Children's Book of the Year and ...

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