Sunday, October 30, 2011

Crazy For Crusie


I don't know if everybody has a go-to book but I do and it's Crazy For You by Jennifer Cruisie. It's a paperback copy I've had for years and one that's been read again and again.

There are lots of Cruisie's I love but this book moves beyond them all, actually moves beyond any book and is my #1 reread.

Why? I hope I can do it justice as I try to explain.

On a gloomy March afternoon, sitting in the same high school classroom she'd been sitting in for thirteen years, gritting her teeth as she told her significant other for the seventy-second time since they'd met that she'd be home at six because it was Wednesday and she was always home at six on Wednesdays, Quinn McKenzie lifted her eyes from the watercolor assignments on the desk in front of her and met her destiny.

Her destiny was a small black dog with desperate eyes, so she missed the significance at first.

And so the story begins.

Quinn is a woman in her mid-thirties who has been in a relationship with the high-school coach but not really in love with him and then a dog shows up and changes her life.

Quinn leaves the coach (he deserves it because he takes the dog to the pound after Quinn decides she wants to keep it) and she decides to start getting what she wants. And what she wants is to buy a house, to have her dog and to be in a relationship with Nick, her ex-brother in law.

Everybody in Quinn's life tries to change her mind but she fights for the life she wants. And slowly they all start to question their own lives. And the world descends into utter chaos as her mother kicks her father out, her best friend leaves her husband, her favorite student decides to date the school jock and the coach goes slowly insane ina way that's sad and scary to read.

Because it's Jennifer Cruisie there's great humor with punchy dialogue, strong women and sexy sex.

But the reason it's my #1 best book evah is because I love Quinn to pieces, I love how the coach goes crazy and goes from benign to seriously creepy and dangerous in a believable way to the end where SPOILER... Quinn beats the shit out of him in the last stand because he tries to hurt her dog.

No joke. This book has it all and does it all so brilliantly.

Even the bad girl in the book who sleeps with married men is someone that you can understand and feel sympathy for.

I read this book again today and just writing about it makes me want to dive back into the story. It's just that good.


I read this book some time ago and am in the process of rereading it now. It didn't have the same effect on me as it did Lori. I think my favorite Crusie is Bet Me.

This time round, I'm struck by the writing. Everything flows. I mean, just look at that first sentence. It's a long sentence, y'all! Don't see so many of them anymore these days. And it made perfect sense, was easy to follow and told us so much about Quinn. In just one sentence.

The thing about Crusie, is that she writes likeable protagonists. They all have their flaws, but there's really nothing kickass about them. They're normal, everyday people you'd like to call friend. Even the secondary characters. Except the coach, he made my teeth ache from the beginning and I started the book thinking Quinn TSTL for staying with him so long.

But it's a real pleasure to watch Quinn's evolution and it all started with a ratty looking black dog that only she seemed to love.

I think I'm about to go on a Crusie glom. :-)

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