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.
Admittedly I struggled to get into this book at the start, it was less the story and more the format. The imaginary friends that Jason creates to cope with the stress in his life are presented kind of like a script, injecting thoughts into various scenarios. I've had issues with this format before, so it's not surprising that this was a hard sell at the start for me. However, the story itself was enough to keep me going.
Jason is doing everything he can to keep his life on track, but he's also a scared kid who doesn't know how to keep his father safe, and he's terrified that the mental illness that is plaguing his father might also be something he has. He's afraid to ask for help, afraid to let anyone in, but he also knows that he can't do this all by himself. Enter a support group from school that allows Jason to not only get some help for his father from people who understand that life is far from perfect, but also create some bonds that give him the support he so desperately needs to let go of his imaginary friends and start living life honestly.
This is a heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting story about life's road bumps and finding your tribe who will help you get through the hard times.
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