Thursday, June 14, 2012

Review: Crazy by Amy Reed

Amy Reed
Published by Simon Pulse
Publication Date: June 12, 2012
Pages: 384
Source: Simon and Schuster Galley Grab

Connor knows that Izzy will never fall in love with him the way he’s fallen for her. But somehow he’s been let into her crazy, exhilarating world and become her closest confidante. But the closer they get, the more Connor realizes that Izzy’s highs are too high and her lows are too low. And the frenetic energy that makes her shine is starting to push her into a much darker place. 

As Izzy’s behavior gets increasingly erratic and self-destructive, Connor gets increasingly desperate to stop her from plummeting. He knows he can’t save her from her pain… but what if no one else can? (from Goodreads)
My Thoughts:

Amy Reed's third novel Crazy is by far my favorite of her books. Connor and Izzy meet during the summer while working at a kid’s camp and when they return to their homes not far from each other, but separated from a body of water, they decide to keep in touch. Through a series of emails,  IM's and a few journal entries (because Izzy WILL NOT talk on the telephone), we  see how their friendship continues to grow. It is clear from almost the very beginning that Connor loves Izzy even when he asks her about how to handle his current hook-ups/non-relationships.

Their email exchanges are often self-absorbed and they don’t always pay attention to what the other is trying to tell them. Intentions are misinterpreted. And yet there is a level of honesty in these exchanges. Connor and Izzy share some real insight into who they are. Izzy’s manic moments took me to a place where everything made sense and nothing at all made sense, but it allowed me to understand who she was and her struggles. Connor couldn’t always see it. He was blinded by his adoration of her and thought it was part of her charm, her eccentricness. He soon began to realize that there could me more in what she telling him in her emails and knew that it was more than he could handle.

It was very easy for me to like Connor’s character, but what I think solidified it for me was his relationship with his mother. Even though we only get to see her through his eyes, we get to know a lot about them. He is raised by his single mother and when his father left them, Connor assumed the role of care-giver to his mom. While they can have an open dialogue, Connor definitely is not a mama's boy. But the openness that they have allows Connor to realize that some problems are too big for him, or any teenager, to handle on their own.

Reading Crazy was an emotional experience for me. Very quickly, I cared about Connor and Izzy. I wondered if their friendship could survive beyond summer camp or would Izzy become so destructive that it would end their friendship beyond repair. I know that I’ve focused so much on their relationship here, but I want to say that this book is so much more than that. It is a deeper look into the life of a girl with an undiagnosed mental illness and her struggles with her family, her boyfriend, and her personal thoughts when something means everything and nothing all at the same time. I was brought to tears many times and at one point had to put to the book down to get it together and quit crying. It hit me on a personal level too opening my eyes to the mania someone experiences with bipolar disorder and how it affects the lives of those who love them.

This is a book that I will share with my friends and I’ve already bought a copy for my personal library to read again and again.

I would recommend to anyone who likes this book, or wants to read more stories involving mental illness, to read Life is But a Dream by Brian James.

Disclaimer: I requested and received the book for review from Simon and Schuster Galley Grab and I was not compensated in any way for providing a review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

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