Tuesday, November 9, 2010

ARC Tour & Review: Crazy by Han Nolan


Fifteen-year-old Jason has fallen upon bad times—his mother has died and his father has succumbed to mental illness. As he tries to hold his crazy father and their crumbling home together, Jason relies on a host of imaginary friends for guidance as he stumbles along trying not to draw attention to his father’s deteriorating condition.

Both heartbreaking and funny, CRAZY lives up to the intense and compelling characters Han Nolan is praised for. As Jason himself teeters on the edge of insanity, Nolan uncovers the clever coping system he develops for himself and throws him a lifeline in the guise of friendship.


  • Pub. Date: September 13, 2010
  • Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books

The Elliott Review:

I was a little bit worried when I looked inside the book and saw what appeared to be script-like dialogue in places. I was scared to even begin reading because I do not love reading plays or scripts. However, on closer examination, I realized that each script-like reference was a character inside the main character's head adding its own version of events to the narrative. I decided to give this book a try anyway, and I'm very glad I did.

I love anything psychologically based, so I fell in love with this book almost instantly after giving it a chance. The main character, Jason, is locked inside his own world of grief and muted distress ever since the loss of his mother and his own attempts to deal with his father's mental illness. I loved his narration of events. Even though his story is heart-breaking, the book itself is not heavy - it's comical and profound at the same time.

Jason's character development is so powerful - it shows the reader a clear view of what his issues are, but Jason himself does not reach his epiphany until the end of the book. I also admire the fact that Jason is an apt survivor. He doesn't view himself as a victim even though he is, and his determination to be there for the father who is really the source of his problems just amazes me. The cast of characters both real and imagined is also believable and loveable. The support Jason's real-life friends give him through the whole ordeal is moving and, at the same time, hilarious in some of their responses. I loved the voices in Jason's head, and I easily got used to them and would at times try to predict what they would say. I wanted to just give Jason's father a little pat on the head and a hug.

Thanks to Holly at Good Golly Miss Holly for hosting this ARC tour.


  1. I tend to like books that are psychologically based too because they are so thought-provoking. I liked what you mentioned about Jason's determination to be there for his father even when undeserved. To me, this shows a strong sense of integrity within his character. I'll be adding this one to my TBR shelf on GoodReads!

  2. wow this sounds great even though Im not so much into YA! Awesome review =D

  3. That was interesting I never heard of a book using the script narration. I may rethink my position on YA books I will definitely recommend this book to my teenager!