Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted (September 7th 2009—Houghton)
Grade: 3 stars out of 5
Summary: “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 any 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.”
Review: In the back of the book the description compares this book to that of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. In some ways I see no resemblance. Yes the girl is beautiful in the sense that she’s fashionable, that she brushes her hair a hundred strokes (I’m actually quoting from the book), and that everyone seems to enjoy her company. And yes the boy is different from the norm. But it stops there. So if you expect this whole ordeal where the two love birds fall head over heels, you’ll get it, just not the whole ordeal part.
Told in alternating point of views, Lucius’s and Aurora’s tales behave more like talking rather than actual storytelling. At one point of the book, Aurora actually answers the readers’ question and responds back to Lucius’s concern. Slightly awkward as it disrupted the flow of the writing style.
There were also a lot of plot holes in the book. For instance, how did Lucius manage to ruin Jessup’s (standard evil male teen in high school) diabolical plan? In the nick of less than a day, I’m guessing a few hours or less, he somehow convinced that Mr. Belle is innocent thus making him able to see Aurora before in the play and convinced the vice-principal that Ceclia lied (that was a mouthful). Or wait. Did any of that really happen? Because no where in the book does it explain how the entire thing got resolved. We went from Lucius threatening someone to happily ever after. I’m screaming to the book “Why are you so damn short!? Explain to me what the heck just happened!” Really this book was too short. Some things needed to be expanded, to develop, to make sense!
Wait! Here comes the happy part! (I flipped the way I typically write a review). Crazy Beautiful made me laugh. Like out loud. Which I never do because I don’t need any more reason to be considered crazy. It was the scene where Lucius and his younger sister went shopping to style Lucius. The entire scenario was hilarious, the dialogue completely realistic, and the bantering between siblings so relatable!
The theme of course darker than most teen novels but still had its touch of cuteness. I enjoy the buildup of Lucius’s evilness, his loner personality, and his ability to create madness within love. Suspense was partially there. Emotion as well. Would have liked the two dynamic characters interact more before thinking that they’re in love-ish. Aurora seem a bit bland at points—too much sweetness, trustworthiness.
Overall: I so want this to be longer! It might steal away from the impact but it might also answer so many questions!
This cover is drool, drool heaven. It’s so mystique, possessive and dark. Something about just makes a girl swoon.