A spotlight on Beautiful Mess by Claire Christian

Beautiful Mess is one of the six books shortlisted for this year’s Readings Young Adult Book Prize.


I write poems. But there’s no way to say that without sounding like a dickhead. I’ve tried. I spend a considerable amount of time trying not to sound like a dickhead. That’s what my life is – trying to not sound like a dickhead and overcompensating for moments when I’m positive I do sound like a dickhead, like right now. I’m pretty sure I sound like a dickhead right now.

– Claire Christian, Beautiful Mess

Here’s what the judges said…

‘Gideon is socially anxious, shy, and recovering from a bad period in his life. Ava is deep in grief after the suicide of her best friend, and feeling out of control. Both Ava and Gideon are a little bit lost, a little bit empty and a little bit scared, but when they find each other, they start to heal.

Beautiful Mess is a book full of heart and hope. Claire Christian’s voice leaps off the page, brimming with energy and verve. She writes about complex topics with empathy and authenticity, tackling issues of love, sex, identity, romance, grief, mental illness, and intimacy.’

Nina Kenwood, Chair of the judging panel

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Meet the author…

Claire Christian is a writer, blogger, podcaster, theatre maker and youth arts facilitator from Queensland. Her debut young adult novel, Beautiful Mess, won the 2016 Text Publishing Text Prize. Claire recently made her professional stage directing debut Michelle Law’s Single Asian Female at La Boite, and she is currently working on her second novel, Bloom.


Read more about the Readings Young Adult Book Prize 2018 shortlist here.

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Beautiful Mess

Beautiful Mess

Claire Christian

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