“Maybe Peyton’s dangerous, maybe she’s crazy, but whatever she is, I want to follow her and find out.- Hank, My Kind of Crazy
Title: My Kind of Crazy
Author: Robin Reul
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
*I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *
Synopsis via Goodreads: 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.
For the past two weeks I’ve been in a YA slump. I COULD NOT find anything that could hold my attention, which led to bad bookworm behavior (aka: me reading smut!). I needed to find a YA book that would hook me fast and thankfully My Kind of Crazy did just that. Let’s get this FANGIRL review started!
Hank Kirby only has one goal in mind when he sneaks out in the middle of the night armed with a boxful of sparklers to Amanda Carlisle’s house: to get her to go to prom with him. But his big, romantic gesture backfires and his plans go up in flames, literally. To add fuel to the already raging fire, Peyton Breedlove witnesses the whole thing. Peyton becomes quite taken Hank and oddly enough, Hank finds himself enjoying Peyton’s company, despite her strange pyromaniac tendencies. While their friendship starts to grow, Hank realizes that Peyton is hiding something, a secret, one secret that could change their whole relationship.
This little debut was PRETTY DAMN GOOD! Right from the first page, I was instantly hooked and I could not stop cackling. This book is like a combination Eleanor & Park x Flipped x Diary of a Wimpy, which are all books that I completely ADORE! The writing was what initially drew me in, with its perfect balance of both humor and seriousness. This is the kind writing style I LOVED to read when I was a teenager reading YA. Unlike many YA contemporaries today, the plot for this book is not romance driven. Family, school, and life as a teenager are all issues tackled in this book and it was a bit refreshing to not read a story about a boy and a girl falling in love. Hank and Peyton are two individuals who are just trying to find where they belong and they manage to do that together.
Family is a major theme throughout this novel as both Hank and Peyton both know what it’s like to come from broken homes. After losing both his mom and brother, Hank’s life changed for the worse as his dad became depressed and spent most of his days drinking the grief away. What I liked most about Hank’s relationship with his father is that even though he hated the way his father treated him, he still loved him deep down. He worked extra shifts to help his father with keeping a roof over their heads and was even willing to put off college just to keep working to take care of his father. I don’t think that Hank’s father is a bad guy, just a man still grieving and seeing how their relationship changed in the end was great because if his father didn’t step up, I would’ve been EXTREMELY UPSET!
Reul also tackles issues like growing up and figuring out one’s future. Hank has a passion for drawing and writing comics and Peyton encourages him to follow his dreams even though he doesn’t believe that they are attainable. Peyton too doesn’t look forward to much, other than turning 18 so she can finally be on her own, and by the end of the book, she has a some sense of direction where she wants to go and what she wants to do. It’s not perfect, but the fact that these two are even able to see themselves having more than what they originally bargained for is what matters the most.
Like I stated before, there is a bit of a romance throughout this book and these two together were a riot. The situations they found themselves in, the shenanigans they pulled, pure entertainment. These two worked well together because they were total opposites: Hank is kind of laid back and keeps his head down, while Peyton is loud and does whatever she sets her mind to. These two face a number of obstacles throughout this book, some that could make or break any relationship, and with each obstacle they overcame, they grew closer together and they also grew as individuals. Hank gains self-confidence and sees that he is worth something and Peyton learns what true, unconditional love feels like.
There is a bit of a plot twist thrown in when Peyton’s secret is revealed. I didn’t even see that coming and I have to admit it was GOOD, that’s all I’m going to say about that!
Overall, this was a fun and hilarious debut that I could not put down. I enjoyed every minute of it and I didn’t want it to end! I HIGHLY recommend checking out this book if you are looking for a quick and entertaining read. I laughed, I cried, I had a smile plastered on my face the whole time and I simply could not get enough!