ARC Review: My Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul

3.5/5 Stars
Published by Sourebooks Fire
Published April 5th, 2016

Synopsis: 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.

From just the description, I was already incredibly intrigued by the concept of this book. With prom season coming up, a whole boatload of promposal's have been surfacing up on the internet - it seems only fitting that I get to read this book now, when promposal's are at their peak. I'll be honest, this was not my favorite book in the whole wide world, and I wanna say it's because I read it right after Lady Midnight, which was freaking fantastic beyond words. However, I will say that it was entertaining and did kind of pull me out of my reading slump. The story was a whole lot of fun and a good representation of the high school experience - emotional breakdowns, public humiliation, fun late night adventures, and bonding with your friends. Plus, it put a great emphasis on the importance of friendship and how to overcome battles that come with the ride. 

I liked the overall execution of this book: it was well written, fast paced, and gave enough time for the development of the plot, which I thought was planned out nicely. My Kind of Crazy was relatable in the sense that every family is different, and each one goes through individual problems and falling outs. This book really gave a snapshot of those differentiating situations. There was an example for those who are better off than others and are able to care for each other effortlessly. Another for those who are just barely hanging in there, but yet still find themselves able to pull through. Then those families that have gone over the deep end and resort to abusive and demeaning actions. It's important to bring to light these types of situations, so that our youth isn't only exposed to the families that are loving and able to provide for each other. 

The characters were extremely relatable. It's common to feel humiliation, regret, and angst whilst growing up, but a lot of books don't portray those feelings in teenage characters. This book made it seem alright and normal to have those feelings and to care about someone/something so deeply that you go out of your way to make sure that they/it is ok at all times. The characters were witty and snazzy, and fit together so perfectly. Each one complimented each other's personality, creating a bond that was evident from the first scene they all come together. There were goofy one liners, a great comedic dialogue, and such a wonderfully written prose. 

My Kind of Crazy told the story of a pair of teens whose strong voices were dimmed by their family's reluctance to show any care for them, yet were able to show care for each other. It's the kind of book that will make you rethink your actions before you go through with them. This was a quick read for me and certainly served it's purpose entertainment wise. However, I just wanted more from the story. Sometimes I felt like it jumped around a bit too much, or that the thoughts and feelings didn't align correctly with the actions. I had fun reading this book and hope to see more from the author, Robin Reul.