Friday, December 31, 2010

Crazy For You by Jennifer Crusie ***

Crazy For YouCrazy For You by Jennifer Crusie

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had read this book a few years back, and found it to be a mediocre/ok read. The heroine decides she is in a dead-end relationship that she had no control over, so she leaves; the hero is Nick, her former brother-in-law who is also her best friend AND he's carried a torch for her for years and years. The Dead End Relationship fellow is the crazy one - he becomes a stalker of sorts, acting out all kinds of weird behaviors that show he is losing touch with reality.

It's typical Crusie - a weird/ugly dog, a cast of odd characters that actually enhance the story, and some scorching hot scenes. Since it came out as audio, I figured it would pass the time well for me. Unfortunately, I listened to it while on vacation and didn't take time to make any notes, therefore I cannot recall even if I liked the narrator! Dayum. But I have to make a little review for myself as proof I read it, since if I don't, I'll mess up and re-listen and wonder why it seems familiar.

Here's my original review from November 2008.

Damn. I really wanted to like this book. I was so in the mood for a light, funny, hot, quick read, and after reading the various reviews on AAR (4 reviewers, 2 posted - 1 DIK and 1 C) I was sure I would really enjoy this.

But it wasn't as good as I wanted.

The story revolves around Quinn, a 35-year-old single woman teacher needing a change in her life. I guess before the book starts, she already has a reputation for rescuing stray dogs. However, she has always found homes for them, until the one that pops up in the beginning.

See, she's been living with Bill - ok minor rant, to have both the boyfriends' names so similar (Nick and Bill) confused me for a a few dozen pages - anyway, she's been living with Bill for 2 years. He's referred to as a Viking, 6'5" tall, the beloved high school coach. He just won't stand for a dog - not to mention their apartment lease doesn't allow dogs. But she's decided she's keeping the dog no matter what...

Nick is actually the hero here - Nick is Quinn's former brother-in-law, married briefly to Quinn's sister Zoe, but divorced about 20 or so years ago. There's a number of related characters in this small town: Nick's brother Max who is married to Quinn's best friend Darla, Quinn's parents, Quinn's sister Zoe, various teachers, students and other folks. Nick has apparently been Quinn's best friend all this time - I gathered they saw each other every day somehow (which, well, seemed a little odd to me, but there you are).

Bill starts a downward spiral when Quinn makes it clear she's keeping the dog - he slips the first few inches when he takes the dog to the pound. That event is the first domino to fall - Quinn moves out, and her example starts a number of other events. Her parents make some changes; Darla and Max make some changes; Nick starts thinking about her as more than a friend.

OK - so what's not to like? Well, let's see: Bill was creepy. Way creepy. Quinn was often an idiot, and even more often a hypocrite. When she thinks "yes" and then says "No" and then follows with how what she wants is honesty, I just cringed. Hello?? How honest was it to think yes and say no?? And after being assaulted by Bill on several occasions, she couldn't be talked into calling the police? HELLOOO?

And what did Darla and Quinn want from Max and Nick? They sure had me wondering. Those guys bent over backwards from what I could see, and that wasn't enough. If Darla couldn't be clear about what she wanted, how could she expect Max to do what she wanted? That kept driving me crazy too.

One AAR reviewer pretty much panned the book - and I have often disagreed with this reviewer. The DIK reviewer actually had me going when she referred to "the feeling the book leaves me with when I've finished reading it." I thought, YESSS that's how I rate books too. But this book left me flat. I was so disturbed by Bill's actions and Quinn's inability to call the dang police that I had a hard time enjoying the story.

That's about it. I so enjoyed the first 3 Crusie's I read (Welcome To Temptation, Bet Me and Anyone But You) that I just felt puzzled the whole time, wondering when I was going to start laughing and getting into the story. Wondered it all the way to the end. Damn.

3 stars/mediocre.

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