Title: My Kind of Crazy
Author: Robin Reul
Expected Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pre-order: Amazon | Indigo | Barnes & Noble | iBooks
Summary: Despite the best of intentions, seventeen-year old, wisecracking Hank Kirby can’t quite seem to catch a break. It’s not that he means to screw things up all the time, it just happens. A lot. Case in point: his attempt to ask out the girl he likes literally goes up in flames when he spells “Prom” in sparklers on her lawn…and nearly burns down her house.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Peyton Breedlove, a brooding loner and budding pyromaniac, witnesses the whole thing. Much to Hank’s dismay, Peyton takes an interest in him—and his “work.” The two are thrust into an unusual friendship, but their boundaries are tested when Hank learns that Peyton is hiding some dark secrets, secrets that may change everything he thought he knew about Peyton.
A huge thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with an advanced copy for reviewing.
The story starts off with a failed promposal; Hank Kirby intended to ask out one of the most popular girls in school but instead ended up almost burning her house down. He flees from the scene and thinks there’s nothing to trace him back there, but to his dread, there’s a witness.
As I was reading this book, I kept picturing it like a movie in my head; something akin to the awesome adaptation of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. The characters just come right off the page. Each of them have their own quirks, like the fact that Peyton is a complete pyromaniac and that Nick’s dad may or may not be involved with the mob. But when you look at the big picture, they’re so utterly… normal. And it made the story work. These are kids who go through what normal kids do: high school crushes, obsessing over dances, worrying about what’s going to happen after graduation, getting into college; the list goes on.
Reul also touches on a couple of serious issues in this book, but instead of weighing down the story, she kept it light and spares the readers from feeling down. And though it deals with themes we’ve seen in YA contemporaries time and time again, it somehow manages to stray from being stereotypical.
My Kind of Crazy is unconventional, funny (so, so funny), and witty. At the same time it’s emotional and real. I’m trying really hard to not talk too much about the story without going into too much detail because this is something everyone should experience for themselves. All I can say is that there’s this incredible original quality to the book that definitely makes it one YA contemporary to watch out for this year.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robin Reul has been writing since she was in early elementary school, when she used to make her own book club flyers for her classmates and then pen them original stories. Though she grew up on movie sets and worked for many years in the film and television industry both as an actress and in motion picture development, she ultimately decided to focus her attention on writing young adult novels. She likes to write the same kinds of stories she loved as a teen: the ones that give her with butterflies in her stomach and are filled with quirky, memorable characters who stay with the reader long after the story ends. When she’s not writing, Robin can be found singlehandedly driving up the profit margin of her local Starbucks and indulging her love of baked goods, particularly those in the key of pumpkin. She lives in Los Angeles suburbia with her husband, son and daughter. (via Goodreads)