Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - , , No comments


Rating: 5 Stars
Author: Han Nolan
Version: eBook

Fifteen-year-old Jason has fallen upon bad times—his mother has died and his father has succumbed to mental illness. As he tries to hold his crazy father and their crumbling home together, Jason relies on a host of imaginary friends for guidance as he stumbles along trying not to draw attention to his father’s deteriorating condition.

Both heartbreaking and funny, Crazy lives up to the intense and compelling characters Han Nolan is praised for. As Jason himself teeters on the edge of insanity, Nolan uncovers the clever coping system he develops for himself and throws him a lifeline in the guise of friendship.

I read “It’s Kind of a Funny Story: by Ned Vizzini not to long ago and really enjoyed it. So, recently I’ve been trying to find something that was remotely similar, which is where Crazy by Han Nolan comes in. 

For starters, I loved how the author puts you into the story on the very first page. Here’s an excerpt: 
"Ever since the fifth grade, I’ve had this imaginary audience in my head who follow me around and watch me like I’m the star in a movie. I talk to them, and yeah, they talk to me…. So now you’re here.”

It doesn’t stop there. The author continues to include the reader by even allowing the separate personalities in Jason’s head to address the reader. Of these personalities there are: Crazy Glue, Laugh Track, Aunt Bee, Sexy Lady, and FBG (Fat bald guy) with a mustache. Each of these personalities serves there own separate purpose. For instance, Aunt Bee is kind and compassionate, Sexy Lady is a self esteem booster, FBG with a mustache seems the be the realist, Laugh Track is an attempt to make light of a touch situation, and Crazy Glue is the childish/negative part of his mind. Here’s an except from Sexy Lady:
"SEXY LADY: Come on over here, You, and sit next to me. Make yourself comfortable. Don’t worry if you’re a little confused. Jason will explain everything. He narrates his life as he goes along.”

This interaction between the story and the reader continues throughout the whole of the book. Sometimes the personalities explain Jason’s past and sometimes they have to convince Jason to tell the You in his mind about his past. It’s a highly unique and fun reading experience and it’s weird to say, but I actually missed the “cast” at the end of the book. 

Throughout the story, Jason has to confront the feelings of losing his mother, care for his insane father, and question his own sanity. I became super frustrated by how Jason took to caring for his father all by himself and I really just wanted to shake his father back into reality. The man is so far gone that at one point in Jason’s childhood he tried to literally bury him alive to protect him from the furries (a mythological Greek enemy). However, it was really touching to read the friendship and witness the support system Jason developed after being alone for so long. 

Maybe it’s just me, but I found this book to be extremely relatable. I feel like my mind is constantly crammed with thoughts, questions, concerns, etc…. I’ve been told numerous times that I overanalyze situations and read too far into other peoples comments, but maybe that’s just me? I mean honestly who doesn’t question their sanity at some point in time. Who doesn’t have that little negative voice in their head calling them crazy or affirming their worst fears, not unlike Crazy Glue? 
"FBG with a mustache: Jason likes to keep his mind busy because he’s afraid of mental silences. Disturbing thoughts lurk just beneath the surface and he knows it. Keep up the mental chatter, my boy.” 

All in all, I really loved this book. The reading experience was extremely unique, fun, and refreshing; and the story was insanely good (pun intended)! Seriously, go read this now. 


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