by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: January, 2011
List Price: $7.99
Review: Centuries ago, Gallowglass were elite foreign military soldiers. Really, a person couldn't do better than to have a Gallowglass for a bodyguard, because they would suffer greatly themselves to protect those they served, they would die if need be while upholding honor. Aurora's Gallowglass comes in an unsuspecting boy with hooks for hands in Lauren Baratz-Logsted's book Crazy Beautiful. Her Gallowglass is Lucius, she just doesn't know it yet. Lucius is starting his sophomore year as a new student, not because his parents got new jobs, or because they wanted to move. No, he's starting at a new school because he blew up his old house and lost his hands in the process. Lucius is brilliant, but he's a nobody, and now everybody thinks he's crazy. Aurora is also starting at a new school this year. But she's there to get away from memories that haunt her, memories from when her mother died. She and her dad are starting their new lives together at the high school. Aurora is a ray of sunshine - always looking for the best in people and being the kind of girl her mother taught her to be. She is beautiful inside and out. Crazy Beautiful is the tale of these two unlikely people who find their way through high school drama, and through their own personal pain to a sense of hope.
Crazy Beautiful is a captivating book. It is written in parallel stories through Aurora and Lucius' eyes. Lucius is the kind of kid people hate to read about in newspapers. He's intelligent, but he's an outcast, and he's tired of being that person. So out of desperation, he turns to explosives to make himself feel better. It's a timely story in that regard. Aurora, on the other hand is the kind of girl everyone wishes they could be. She's beautiful, smart, talented, but most importantly she is beautiful on the inside. She's a model for teenage girls everywhere. As the story develops and Aurora and Lucius find their way through a new school, Lucius starts to change and develop into a person who is possibly less disliked by others, but more importantly, he develops into a person who he might just be able like as well. The author has not created a novel where readers will brush it off as fantasy, but instead she wrote a book that could really happen in every high school across America, and it's the kind of book that will bring a sense of hope to every teenager who has ever felt that life is more like a crisis than a picnic. Crazy Beautiful will have readers feeling pain, searching for hope, and overcome with emotion. It's the kind of book readers will read over and over again.
Review written by Margo Nauert (6th grade teacher).
We would like to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing a copy of Crazy Beautiful for this review.
Have you read Crazy Beautiful? How would you rate it?