Several years ago my girlfriend suggested that I read “Charlotte's Movie” by Ken Randall. I dutifully added it to my reading queue where it languished as an interesting, but unread, story. Fast forward to last week when I was struggling to overcome jet lag at 3am and decided to read the first chapter of every top rated, recently, finished story. Needless to say I didn’t make it past the first story: A Beautiful Mess.
A Beautiful Mess is a rather traditional love/romance story of the school slut who happens to be very popular and falls for the kind of geeky guy. The first 15 chapters were realistic with regards to how a high school relationship develops, yet seemed repetitive to the reader as the main characters spent several chapters detailing just how much they loved each other. What really sucked me in was when several friend characters became more prominent, especially as they started filming the movie. The social commentary about why people dress/act slutty and how people grieve flowed well and added more depth to the story. By chapter 20 I was hooked, and by chapter 35 I decided to forgo sleep to finish reading.
My only criticism is that the last couple of chapters have been significantly trimmed down from Charlotte's Movie in order to focus on the Charlotte/Antony love story, but now come across as slightly rushed. I wish the last chapter/epilogue in particular had been more detailed, but it provides a very satisfactory ending with just enough hints to leave me wondering what happened a few years down the road.
Overall, I would highly recommend A Beautiful Mess if you’re in the mood for a love story with plenty of spice/sex.