Title: The Opposite of Tidy
Author: Carrie Mac
Publisher: Razorbill Canada
Release Date: April 10, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
How do you come clean when your life is a mess?Fifteen-year-old Junie is barely coping. Her mother has started sleeping in the chair in front of the TV, and the house is so packed with junk, newspapers, cupboard organizers and other helpful items from the Shopping Channel that she can barely get in the front door. Her father is no help, since he's always with That Woman. To top it off, she's failing math.So when Wade Jaffre, the hot new guy at school, offers her a ride home from school, it seems too good to be true. But as they approach her house, Junie doesn't have to think twice about directing him on to her best friend Tabitha's house, nor about continuing the charade of pretending she lives there.Tabitha and her mother are understanding--and willing to go along, for the moment. But as the weeks go by, Junie's lies start piling up and the opportunity to tell the truth seems to slip away. Until the day Junie's world--and her mother's--is literally turned inside out for the world to see, and Junie and her mother must face the consequences of her mother's illness…and the lies they both told to hide it.
Before reading The Opposite of Tidy, I hadn't read anything by Carrie Mac and I'll admit that I hadn't even really heard of her. The premise of the book was enough to convince me to pick it up and I ended up really enjoying the book.
Junie's home life has always been a mess. Literally. Her mother is a compulsive hoarder, and since her father left a year ago, everything got worse. Despite this, Junie tries to keep order in her life. So when Wade Jaffre offers her a ride home, Junie can't help but lie and tell him that her house is actually her best friend Tabitha's house. Because Junie doesn't want anyone to ever find out how bad her house is. But then the lie becomes bigger and more complicated than Junie ever anticipated. Everything in Junie's life starts to spiral out of control and Junie becomes afraid she'll lose everything and everyone she loves. But since she's always lived in a mess, Junie doesn't know how to start putting order back into her life.
While I don't read them as often as I would like too, I love contemporary books. One of the things I love the most about them is how much there is to the story without there being any out of this world elements. That, and they also deal with touchy subjects that aren't always talked about a lot. In The Opposite of Tidy, Carrie Mac talks about compulsive hoarding and how it affects not jus the hoarder, but everyone them. Carrie Mac really did a great job presenting this and really made me more aware of everything surrounding hoarding. The Opposite of Tidy wasn't a fast-paced book, but it was still engrossing and kept me interested the whole way through.
The characters in this book all had so many layers, especially Junie and her mother. Junie lived her whole life with a compulsive hoarder and it couldn't have been easy, so I really understood her behavior when it came to her hom life. Despite that, I didn't necessarily like how much time she spent lying. But I could see why she did it and she didn't always like doing it. More than anything Junie wanted her mother to be happy, and her mother just wanted Junie to be happy. I was happy with how things turned out for both of them. The side characters were also all very interesting and ended up being a lot more than I originally thought they were going to be, and that turned out for the best.
I didn't know what to expect when I started reading Carrie Mac's The Opposite of Tidy, but it ended up being a great read that will stick with me for while. If you're looking for a contemporary book that's a little different, then I recommend you pick up The Opposite of Tidy.