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Crazy Hardcover – June 12, 2012
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
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“Real and very relatable….There is great pleasure here in not looking away from the train wreck situations that Isabel creates.”--VOYA
“Vibrant….Convincing writing….Teens will undoubtedly race through this compelling and moving novel.” --SLJ
About the Author
Amy Reed is the author of the contemporary young adult novels Beautiful, Clean, Crazy, Over You, Damaged, Invincible, Unforgivable, and The Nowhere Girls. She is also the editor of Our Stories, Our Voices. She is a feminist, mother, and quadruple Virgo who enjoys running, making lists, and wandering around the mountains of western North Carolina where she lives. You can find her online at AmyReedFiction.com.
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One Word: Uneven
CRAZY can best be described as a tale of two halves. The first, a dreary one-star setup for a a story of a teen's crush on a camp friend as she descends into bipolar hell. Told primarily in email between Connor, the nerdy, outcast and Izzy, the over-the-top angsty artist. He's needy and super-supportive , she's slowly slipping into deep depression before exploding into often unkind, self-destructive mania. He pushes, she pulls away.
The first 51%, before Izzy's initial manic episode had me wondering about all the hype and rave reviews of realistic depiction of mental illness. I felt bad for Connor, wishing he demanded better treatment from Iz. The son of a psychologist, he knew she was deteriorating sooner than most teens would. I wished he would have spoken to his mom sooner, but understood his reluctance. He was often a better friend than she deserved, but luckily for her, he was the friend she needed. I'm not sure how much he grew throughout CRAZY.
Isabel did learn and grow by the end of the novel. She took some time for me to embrace, mostly because she was often unkind to Connor, who wore his heart on his sleeves. She should have been hospitalized after her first manic episode, but her parents and sister didn't realize the severity of her condition. She was out of control. Only in the last 10% of the story did I begin to find her redeemable.
CRAZY realistically shows the affects of bipolar disorder nor just on the sufferer, but on her loved ones. I wish the wonderful Amy Reed hadn't spent so much time setting up Izzy's first apparent signs, but she paralleled how mental illness can creep up on a family. Initial symptoms can be attributed to teen angst, personality or acting out and only when behavior strays do far from the norm or previous persons does the sufferer or her parents realize something is seriously wrong. Reed does a great job attributing mental illness to brain chemistry in a subtle way that doesn't feel preachy or instructive.
THEMES: mental illness, bipolar disorder, mania, depression, friendship, family, siblings, parents
CRAZY starts slowly, but the realistic second half make this a worthwhile read in the understanding of bipolar disorder and teen mental health.
The format of this book -- email correspondence -- likely posed a big challenge to the author in telling the story properly, but she mastered it.