''This is a strong, character-driven story from a talented playwright and novelist, which tackles some hefty issues with lightness and humour. It is an impressive debut.'' Books+Publishing
Since Ava lost Kelly, things haven''t been going so well. Even before she gets thrown out of school for shouting at the principal, there''s the simmering rage and all the weird destructive choices. The only thing going right for Ava is her job at Magic Kebab.
Which is where she meets Gideon. Skinny, shy, anxious Gideon. A mad poet and collector of vinyl records with an aversion to social media. He lives in his head. She lives in her grief. The only people who can help them move on with their lives are each other.
The winner of the 2016 Text Prize, Beautiful Messis funny and sad and a bit screwed up and romantic and absolutely real. In other words, a lot like life.
Claire Christianis a novelist and playwright who lives in Brisbane. She has had three plays published by Playlab, and her play Bloomwas shortlisted for the Griffin Award in 2009. She was one of YWCA Queensland''s 125 leading women of 2013.
''A book full of heart and hope. Claire Christian''s voice leaps off the page, brimming with energy and verve.'' Judges'' comments, Readings Young Adult Book Prize
''A raw, affecting coming-of-age story that starts a conversation about mental health.'' Readings
''Beautiful Messis a powerful, poignant novel about love, loss, and learning that even though we might feel cracked or broke at times, we are still beautiful...Claire Christian must be commended for tackling some of the most confronting themes in YA with sincerity and heart.'' Written Word Worlds
''An engrossing read that brings together Ava and Gideon, two emotionally flawed and troubled characters not unlike Libby and Jack in Jennifer Niven''s Holding Up the Universeor Eleanor and Park of Rainbow Rowell''s book of the same title.'' Readings
''Beautiful Messtackles young adult issues head on, but with a lightness of touch that lifts it from the dark topics it explores. A debut novel with memorable, authentic characters that touch your heart, float into your life and leave you wanting more.'' Magpies
''A truly touching story of young people trying to navigate their way through real problems. I highly recommend this novel and congratulate Claire on a great debut.'' Lamont Books
''Claire is such a lovely bubble of positivity. I''m excited to see what she brings to Aussie YA.'' Danielle Binks,Alpha Reader
Beautiful Messis a stunning read. Claire Christian has delivered a raw and moving debut with beautifully flawed, well-drawn characters who you can''t help but fall in love with.'' Gabrielle Tozer
''Claire Christian delivers an honest and searing depiction of the flow-on effects of grief...A book with a lot of heart and hope and a useful compass for teens facing similar issues.'' Kids'' Book Review
''Bittersweet and funny...A beautiful book with important words to say about mental health, love and brokenness.'' Paper Fury
''Beautiful Messis a wonderful reflection of complexities of adolescence. Palpable, poignant and captivating, the narration of two adolescents finding moments of solace in one another. Claire Christian is a captivating, compassionate and remarkable debut author composing a narrative that will linger long after the final page.'' Diva Booknerd
''Beautiful Messis the most sensitive explanation of depression and how it affects lives that I have ever read. If you read any other book and felt a bit uncomfortable about the depiction of depression, read this one and understand more. Recommend it to your teenagers, your students, your friends with teen kids. It might help them understand and recognise themselves in some of the pages.'' The Sapling
''Tender and insightful...An enlightened look at youth suicide and mental health.'' New Zealand Herald
''Claire has created an authentic and informative book for young adults, while also an enjoyable read.'' Tea in the Treetops
''The characterisation is strong and works wonderfully with the sinuous dialogue. In these darkened lives there are some light and funny moments, cleverly crafted by Claire Christian...All libraries for young adults should stock at least one copy of this book.'' Reading Time
''A raw, beautifully written story that sensitively tackles grief, suicide, self-harm and first sexual experience.'' NZ Women''s Weekly
''A funny and sad rom-com that doesn''t sugar-coat the grittier parts of teenage angst.'' Readings Best Young Adult Books 2017
''The issues that are tackled in this book are important...Anxiety and depression, self-harm, suicide and grief are covered without making it feel like that''s all the book was written to do.'' Boffins Books
''Beautiful Messdoesn''t shy away from how rough the teen years can be, but also demonstrates the possibilities of healing and provides quite a few laughs to boot.'' Readings
''The characters are engaging, and their emotional struggles are palpable...While the majority of the plot is dark and grim, support from caring adults and siblings brings about an ending that is realistic and hopeful. VERDICT Recommended for most public library young adult collections.'' School Library Journal
''Tender and absorbing, this debut novel from Australia tackles challenging topics...with an open and loving hand. It deals with myriad emotions and allows the healing process to be organic. The sweetness of the characters rises above the darkness they carry, and their honest desire for acceptance...will resonate with a wide range of readers.'' Booklist
* Reviews in newspapers such as the Age, Herald Sun, Adelaide Advertiser and New Zealand Herald * Author interviews in newspapers such as Courier Mail * Reviews in magazines such as Frankie and Coup de Main * Reviews in teacher librarian sources such as Reading Time, Australian Book Review, Bookseller & Publisher and Magpies * Online review coverage on education targeted websites such as Kids Book Review * Widespread online coverage via YA bloggers, Bookstagramers and Booktubers * Interviews on local and national radio and podcasts such as Sisteria * Author will be a guest at the Melbourne Writers Festival * Author events and writing workshops at schools and literary organisations such as WestWords * Big Brisbane launch with real-life performance and slam poetry piece based on the book
Winner of Text Prize for Young Adult & Children's Writing 2016 (Australia).
'A raw, affecting coming-of-age story that starts a conversation about mental health.' Readings 'Claire is such a lovely bubble of positivity. I'm excited to see what she brings to Aussie YA.' Danielle Binks, Alpha Reader 'Beautiful Mess is a stunning read. Claire Christian has delivered a raw and moving debut with beautifully flawed, well-drawn characters who you can't help but fall in love with.' -- Gabrielle Tozer
Claire Christian is a novelist and playwright who lives in Brisbane. She has had three plays published by Playlab, and her play Bloom was shortlisted for the Griffin Award in 2009. She was one of the YWCA Queensland 100 leading women in 2013.