(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by Sourcebooks, Inc. on April 5th 2016
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary, Dating & Sex, Friendship, General, Humorous, Humorous Stories, Mental Illness, Romance, Social Issues, Social Themes, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction
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.
This book was a bit of surprise for me! I honestly thought it was going to be a whole lot more light-hearted than it actually was. I mean… when it starts out with a guy who decides to ask the girl he’s been crushing on to prom by lighting sparklers in her lawn… and it ends up setting the whole yard on fire, I was expecting a lot of fun.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of fun in this story, but there was also a lot of depth. Hank Kirby, while a bit of a screw-up (self admittedly) has his own family issues. After the death of his mom and brother, his father turns to alcohol to cope and so his home life has become contentious, but he has his comics and his drawing to escape. When he accidentally sets fire to the yard, he meets Peyton. Though Peyton herself is a loner, she takes an interest in Hank, and her home life is even worse than Hanks.
Though maybe things aren’t exactly as Hank is made to believe… Peyton is hiding things and as their friendship progresses to something more, her secrets come out and test just how much he is willing to put into a relationship.
Let me just say right away that I thought the end was maybe a bit … forced… I think that’s the word I’m trying to come up with. Here’s the thing. As these secrets of Payton’s were revealed, I think that there were things that she said and did that definitely toed the line of unforgivable.
Additionally, I don’t think that the story really delved into the mental illness that is portrayed here and the end just conveniently ignores it by pretending everything conveniently works itself out.
What I did like… I totally loved Hank. I am sucker for a good boy pov story and Reul delivers on that front. He was the perfect combination of awkward and weird and geeky and just plain sweet. I really enjoyed getting to know him and I thought his story was compelling and interesting and he felt real to me.
If you’re looking for a YA that’s at times is funny and light-hearted, yet deep and profound at others… something that explores characters finding themselves and fighting for the things they care about then you’re going to want to grab My Kind of Crazy.
Thank you to the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.
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