Crazy by Amy Reed

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 becomes 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 behaviour gets increasingly erratic and self-destructive, Connor gets increasing 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). 

Rating: Unrated

This is one of the book reviews I promised for February, and it's finally being published. All because I've given up trying to finish it. I'm disappointed to say this is the first book since I've started this blog that I have been unable to finish, but I'm done trying to force myself to read this. So this book is unrated, and will remain so indefinitely.

Crazy by Amy Reed promises an insight into manic depression from the point of view of a teenage boy in love with a girl who exhibits the symptoms. It could have been a very engaging book, highlighting the stress and strain such a diagnosis can put on a friendship, a budding relationship, on two young people still trying to figure out who they are. It could have been so much more than it was, is what I'm trying to convey. Because this book was actually a massive let-down. 

Connor and Izzy were actually incredibly dull characters, both as whiny and self-involved as each other. I get that with Izzy her inability to empathise with anyone else's problems is linked to manic depression, but Connor has no excuse. He's just a dick, who just wants to sleep with someone. I really didn't like him at all, and even though I understood Izzy I just couldn't bring myself to care about her either. It felt like Reed didn't remember what it was like to be a teenager, so instead wrote her characters the way out-of-touch adults think teenagers act. It kind of really pissed me off. I can't even tell you the names of any other characters in the book. 

The style of the book was also such a mistake. I had no idea this book was going to be told purely through emails, but it was something I quickly discovered and was immediately annoyed about. The subject of the story is such an intense, emotional thing, and balancing those issues with such an impersonal narration was a very risky move. It could have paid off, but it was a disaster for this book. The issues I wanted to see get dealt with, get brought up, were just lost in teenage melodrama instead. I kept trying to finish, just to say I'd finished it, but I couldn't keep going. Nothing gripped me about this story by the time I gave up, which must have been halfway through. 

If this book got more interesting after that point, I am sorry but that's just a bit too late for me. I wanted a truly engaging and insightful book into manic depression, and that's not this book. Perhaps I shouldn't have been expecting something good, but I do like to think YA fiction does actually matter and so it does disappoint me when this is the sort of stuff that gets published in the genre. It also puts me off reading any more of Reed's books, cause I know there was at least one other I planned to read. So maybe not anymore.

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