I went into this book after reading two adult novels back to back (one of which—The Pasta Wars by Elisa Lorello— is an ARC, so that review will be out when the book is released in January), so I felt like I was in a sort of slump and that I wouldn’t be able to get into a teen novel again. Basically I was having a reading identity crisis where I worried for a brief moment that I had moved onto adult fiction and would never be interested in stories aimed at teen audiences ever again. But fear not! I was proved very wrong as I read My Kind of Crazy. This is a teen contemporary novel, so it’s set in the present day and it’s actually set in Massachusetts, which is a state I’ve been becoming more familiar with since starting college in Boston last January. This is a story about a kid with an unfortunately messed up family situation and how finding someone he can relate to and who accepts him helps him to finally believe in himself. I thought the character development in this novel was well done, even though it was very fast paced due to the nature of a novel being limited to a couple hundred pages. I really enjoyed this story, and I thought it was touching and relatable even though I have not experienced the trauma the characters go through personally. I could really empathize with Hank and Peyton and I enjoyed all the little details Robin Reul included in this story.
**There are minor spoilers below so you should probably stay away from this next part if you are planning to read the book in the future!**
My Rating: 3 Stars
I really got into this story about two teenagers in incredibly dysfunctional families while trying to get through high school. Hank’s story is that when he was 12, his mother got into a car accident with him and his brother, Mickey, in the car. Hank was the only one who survived the crash and now he has to live with his drunk father, but at least he has a kindhearted Monica (dad’s stripper girlfriend) who is always willing to help Hank out.Hank was just trying to ask his crush, Amanda, out to prom when he accidentally set her front yard on fire with sparklers. After that mishap, Hank ran away from the scene of the events, but not before Amanda’s neighbor saw him. Peyton is new in town and she’s a pyromaniac a dark emotional past that she attempt to hide from Hank because she wants him to like her. I liked the contrast in lifestyles that was shown between how Hank and Peyton lived and how Hank’s friend Nick lived. Nick has this lavish home and a big loving Italian family that welcomes Hank into their home.
I also thought Monica was an interesting character to include because she was a really nice woman who was just in a bad place for the moment. She was working as a stripper while going through beauty school, but I think she was supposed to be an example of someone who could get out of the life she has been stuck in. She has a really big heart too and is there for Hank and Peyton in some pretty interesting moments.
That’s all I can think of to write about, but I enjoyed this book 🙂 it was a really sweet novel. I do feel like I have read plenty of teen novels about teens in hard situations before, but it was nice nonetheless. Let me know what you thought of My Kind Of Crazy in the comments below!