Saturday, November 20, 2010

Crazy by Han Nolan YP FIC CRAZY

Life is crazy sometimes, but for fifteen-year-old Jason life is crazy all the time. After the sudden death of his mother Jason is the only one left to care for his father who is slipping quickly into mental illness. Fortunatley, Jason has several friends to help him through. Unfortunately, they are all in his head.. The newest voice in his head, you the reader, are told all about his best friends: FBG (Fat Bald Guy) with a Mustache, Aunt Bee (yes from Mayberry), Sexy Lady, and Crazy Glue. They all help him feel better about his life and get through the day, but as his entire life falls apart he finds he’s going to need help from friends that exist outside his brain to make it through.

This is a really great look at living with mental illness. Jason uses his wit and humor to make the fear and loneliness bearable, which keeps the book from becoming bleak and hopeless. It is only as the novel progresses that the reader sees how tragic Jason’s humor is, because he is using it to deny reality just as his father is. The author has Jason’s ‘voices’ talk like characters in a play with a script layout. This was a great idea and really makes the book feel unique. Even when the book is through I can’t say for sure if Jason is ‘crazy’ or not. What is and isn’t ‘healthy’ or ‘normal’ is questioned in the book but the author allows you to come up with your own answers. I was really impressed with the respect he shows the reader in crafting some complex characters and serious situations, but not being afraid to let the reader draw their own conclusions. If you like authors that look at troubled teens with a humorous eye, then you would be insane not to read Crazy.

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