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Every month, TAB editor Kristin will be sharing her thoughts on five titles from our… Read More

June 1, 2016

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Crazy

I love my job. I basically get to read books for a living. I read a lot and I get to read a lot of great books. When I come across something that is so fantastic, so amazing, so great that it makes everything else I’ve read pale in comparison, it makes me giddy to talk about. Well, lucky for you, I’ve come across just such a book: Han Nolan’s Crazy (on January TAB and Teen Reader’s Club). I’ll do my best to not channel my inner English major by writing a 10,000-word blog post about what makes this book so great. I’ll just keep it to 9,999 words (ha-ha).

Crazy is about a 15-year-old kid named Jason. His mom has just died. His father is mentally ill, but he’s all Jason has left. Between going to school when he can and keeping the authorities from coming to take his father away, Jason has too much to deal with and something has to give. When he does get to school, the counselor suggests he join a school support group, where he meets kids whose families are going through their own troubles and may provide something Jason needs—help.

This book is, hands down, one of the best novels I’ve ever read (adult or young adult). Nolan navigates Jason’s problems and his loss of control exquisitely. Jason has imaginary friends that he talks to in his head throughout the novel. They are much like a chorus in a Greek play, and they give you the backstory of Jason and his father’s troubled past. The nod to Greek theater is also brilliant because this is a tragic story. Because of his dad’s mental issues (and the voices in his own head), Jason constantly fears that he is crazy as well, and that no matter what he does, he’ll end up like his dad.

Enter the school support group. The characters introduced in the support group are seamlessly weaved into the story. In addition to paralleling Jason’s own troubles, the issues that the characters in the group face may feel familiar to many readers: divorce, parents losing their jobs, etc. Each of the characters goes through troubles and Jason gets to see that he is not alone in having to face so much.

This novel deals with tough issues as well as family and friendship. Even though Jason is the main character, girls and boys will find many things to connect with in this amazing story. Before I go on and on about each of these aspects, I’ll bring this to a close and hope that I have convinced you to read the book!

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3 Responses

  1. Alyssa

    This sounds like a great book! I’m going to have to read it!! :)

  2. Madisyn

    im getting this book at a book fair just so i can read it. the name describes me so thats why im going to read it.

  3. Emily

    I have read this book already, and I loved it! I definitely want to read it again!

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