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My Kind of Crazy
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My Kind of Crazy
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Everybody needs someone who gets their crazyHank Kirby can't catch a break. He doesn't mean to screw up. It just happens. Case in point: his attempt to ask out the girl he likes literally goes up in...
Everybody needs someone who gets their crazyHank Kirby can't catch a break. He doesn't mean to screw up. It just happens. Case in point: his attempt to ask out the girl he likes literally goes up in...
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Description-

  • Everybody needs someone who gets their crazy

    Hank Kirby can't catch a break. He doesn't mean to screw up. It just happens. Case in point: his attempt to ask out the girl he likes literally goes up in flames when he spelled "prom" in sparklers on Amanda Carlisle's lawn...and nearly burns down her house, without ever asking her the big question.

    Hank just wants to pretend the incident never happened. And he might've gotten away with it-except there is a witness.

    Peyton Breedlove, brooding loner and budding pyromaniac, saw the whole thing, and she blackmails Hank into an unusual friendship. Sure, Hank may be headed for his biggest disaster yet, but it's only when life falls apart that you can start piecing it back together.

    "Funny, authentic, and, at turns, heartbreaking."-Jessi Kirby, author of Things We Know by Heart and Moonglass

    "I had so much fun reading this book."-Adi Alsaid, author of Never Always Sometimes and Let's Get Lost

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    1

    So here's the thing. It's not like I woke up this morning and said, "Hey, I think I'll light the hundred-year-old eastern red cedar tree in front of Amanda Carlisle's house on fire today." Because I don't know about you, but when I wake up, my mind doesn't go straight to arson. Honestly, the first thing I focus on is how fast I can get from my room to the bathroom without my dad's girlfriend, Monica, trying to chat me up while I'm awkwardly standing there in my boxers.

    I'd read online that how you ask a girl to prom can completely make or break a guy's chances. I wanted to do something special that Amanda would never forget. Apparently it worked, just not the way I intended. "Use sparklers to spell out PROM," the article on the Internet said. There was even a picture with them all lit up on the ground. Totally idiotproof.

    I snuck into her yard like a ninja under the cover of darkness and tried to jam the sparklers into her lawn, but the soil was hard and unyielding. I looked around, desperate, and then I spied a nice, soft patch of mulch underneath the cedar tree near the side of her yard. It was perfect, and the sparklers slid in easily. A few minutes later, I had them all lined up just like I'd seen in the picture. Once they were lit, I yelled, "Amanda!" I actually had to call out twice because she didn't hear me the first time. Then she came to the window and gazed down as the sparklers fizzled down to the ground and-boom!

    Turns out it was fresh pine mulch underneath that cedar. Pine trees produce turpentine, so I might as well have lit those sparklers in a pool of gasoline, considering how quickly the mulch caught fire.

    I didn't know what to do, so I ran. Which is why I'm now hiding behind a bush across the street in her neighbor's yard. This is definitely going down in history as the most epic promposal fail ever. And then, as if things couldn't get more catastrophic, they do.

    Baseball is practically a religion where I live in Massachusetts's South Coast. People take their Red Sox pretty seriously, and the diehards decorate their trees with red and blue streamers every season in a show of support. The Carlisles are no exception. And it doesn't take long for the flames to catch and race the length of those ribbons into the dry branches above.

    From where I'm crouched down, I have a perfect view of the Carlisle house. I can see Amanda's eyes widen and her jaw drop open as she observes the quickly escalating situation in her yard. She pulls away from the window-I'm guessing to call the fire department. We should probably talk about prom some other time.

    With things clearly going south, I do what any sensible person would do: I get the hell out of there. Of course, a sensible person wouldn't have put sparklers in a pile of fresh mulch directly under a highly flammable tree. Hindsight is twenty-twenty.

    So in the most casual way possible, I hook my backpack-which is loaded with empty sparkler boxes-over my shoulders, hop on my bike, and pedal away from the scene at what I hope passes for a normal speed. Cool as a cucumber, that's me.

    I reason for a brief moment that perhaps Amanda didn't actually see me there. Even if she did, she doesn't know me all that well so she might not recognize me. I am wearing black jeans, and my Batman hoodie conceals my medium-length, stick-straight brown hair, so I am sort of camouflaged. Not to mention that those flames were pretty distracting.

    The fire station is about five streets away, near the library. I start to worry that the firemen won't get there fast enough and...

About the Author-

  • Robin Reul has been writing stories since she was old enough to hold a pen. Though she grew up on movie sets and worked for years in the film and television industry, she ultimately decided to focus her attention on writing young adult novels. And unlike Hank, she does not know how to ride a bike. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son and daughter. My Kind Of Crazy is her first novel.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 14, 2016
    In this debut novel, Reul crafts a romantic hero who is valiant, sensitive, self-deprecating, and a little confused about which girl he wants to date. Aspiring comic-book artist Hank Kirby nearly burns down the house of his dream prom date, Amanda, with a sparkler-related proposal gone wrong, and flees the scene. But there's a witness: Peyton, a strange, pyromaniac girl from school who sees a kindred spirit in Hank and suddenly wants to be his friend. Hank's self-deprecating narration is consistently funny ("She pulls away from the window—probably to call the fire department. We should probably talk about prom another time"), bringing a lightness to a story that also delves into loss, grief, parental negligence, and mental health. Beyond Peyton's inability to stay away from matches, she's dealing with a drug-addicted mother; Hank has major tragedy in his past, too, and he finds an unexpected confidante in Peyton, even as he continues to pursue Amanda. The road to romance between Hank and Peyton may be bumpy for them, but readers should find it entirely enjoyable. Ages 14–up. Agent: Leigh Feldman, Leigh Feldman Literary.

  • Kirkus

    February 15, 2016
    A young man without direction unknowingly finds it when he comes up with a harebrained scheme to ask a girl to prom. Following an online suggestion, Hank plants sparklers in the lawn of Amanda Carlisle's house--sparklers that spell out "PROM." When the sparklers start a fire, Hank hightails it, but there were two witnesses: Amanda and someone else. That witness is Peyton, a loner who likes to start fires. While Amanda launches a website to find out her secret admirer, Hank spends time with Peyton and his friend Nick, discovering he has a connection with Peyton. But Nick likes Peyton, too, and Hank knows he has nothing to offer anyone; not with his drunk father, who has resented Hank ever since the death of Hank's mother and brother. When Amanda announces the winner of a date to prom with her, the relationships among Hank and his friends will change, and Hank just might discover how much he has to offer. While Hank makes for a flat protagonist and his father is two-dimensional, such secondary characters as Peyton and Nick shine (the cast is largely white). Still, it's a sweet story, and there are engaging enough twists to keep readers turning the pages. A sensitive look at two teens with complicated histories learning to build a future together. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2016

    Gr 9 Up-Hank Kiby's promposal has gone wrong-starting a fire in Amanda Carlisle's front yard, wrong. Hank thinks he has managed to escape without being seen when a witness pops up, Peyton Breedlove. Rather than turning Hank in, she believes she has found a fellow pyromaniac. The two fall into a friendship that ultimately leads to something more. Hank wants to rescue Peyton from her abusive home life, while he struggles with his own alcoholic father. Mature language appears throughout the text as well as mature settings, such as the club where Hank's father's girlfriend is an exotic dancer. The lack of consequences for a variety of incidents, such as Hank's accidental arson and decision to let Peyton take merchandise without paying from the grocery store where he works, is unsettling but realistic. Astute readers will see Peyton's cries for help in her fire-setting tendencies and in an emotional moment when she lies about her mother pinning her down to violently cut off her hair. No mention is given of getting Peyton help or following up with a professional. Messy ends are tied up too neatly, and the book concludes on a fizzle rather than a bang. VERDICT The plot will appeal to readers, but lack of exploration into deeper issues limits this to larger collections.-Carrie Fox, South Park High School, PA

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • DOGO Books hanmor1617 - I am reading this book right now and so far I absolutely love it.
  • Publishers Weekly "Reul crafts a romantic hero who is valiant, sensitive, self-deprecating, and a little confused about which girl he wants to date...The road to romance between Hank and Peyton may be bumpy for them, but readers should find it entirely enjoyable."
  • VOYA Magazine "This first-time author has deftly captured what it is like to be a supposedly "average" kid trying to gain the attention of an out-of-his-league girl... The characters, even the supporting ones, avoid stereotype, and their dialogue is authentic and interesting. Readers will find a bit of themselves in the protagonists' actions and emotions.
    "
  • Jessi Kirby, author of Things We Know By Heart "Funny, authentic, and, at turns, heartbreaking."
  • Jessica Brody, author of A Week of Mondays and 52 Reasons to Hate My Father "Robin Reul absolutely sparkles in this witty, charming, and thoroughly entertaining debut that celebrates the bit of crazy in all of us. This is my kind of book!"
  • San Francisco Book Review "Robin Reul has created the perfect novel. From flawed, yet lovable, characters, to Hank's fresh voice, to a storyline so well plotted the ending is entirely satisfying, the book draws readers right in and doesn't let go. While telling Hank and Peyton's story, this book also imparts broader life lessons, much in the same vein as Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why and Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl. It isn't preachy, but challenges readers to see people, and their problems, in a different way simply by introducing them to great characters who also happen to be dealing with great obstacles. Very highly recommended."

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