Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
author’s website: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
release date: September 7, 2009
appeals to: Young Adult
length: 208 pages
overall rating: 3 stars
*the inside flap*
In an explosion of his own making, Lucius blew his arms off. Now he has hooks. He chose hooks because they were cheaper. He chose hooks because he wouldn’t outgrow them so quickly. He chose hooks so that everyone would know he was different, so he would scare even himself.
Then he meets Aurora. The hooks don’t scare her. They don’t keep her away;. In fact, they don’t make a difference at all to her.
But to Lucius, they mean everything. They remind him of the beast he is inside. Perhaps Aurora is his Beauty, destined to set his soul free from its suffering.
Or maybe she’s just a girl who needs love just like he does.
This contemporary version of Beauty and the Beast is the least paralleled fairy tale retelling I’ve read. There are definitely parallels in the story, but you don’t feel like you are reading a fairy tale. Instead, you experience a very interesting story about a boy’s conflicting feelings of guilt, anger, and intrigue and a girl’s feelings of loss, newness, and interest/curiosity in a boy. The perspective alternates between Aurora and Lucius by chapter, which only adds to the telling of the story.
Crazy Beautiful is the story of two very normal teenagers with very realistic issues, problems, and feelings. They are “real” enough to relate to. However, I felt like I needed to know more about Lucius’s accident. It is touched on and implied, but never really explained. I would have liked a better look into the event that changed him so completely.
*short and snappy*
writing: captivating – the writing style in this novel is very engaging and pulls the reader into the story
plot: steady, but with a very sudden ending
characters: deeply developed (but again, I’d have liked a little more back story on Lucius’s accident)
judging by the cover: I loved the cover!