Sunday, July 17, 2011

Who Are You "Crazy" About? ;)

Shortly after huffing off the South Pacific snoozer, I picked up a couple books off my shelf that my mom asked me to read a couple years ago -- she sends me books when there is something related to me or something that reminds her of me. Once it was a book that was merely based in Camp Pendleton Marine Base where I was born, this time it was an animal lover character who was an art teacher trying to put together a production of Into The Woods (a play where all the familiar fairy tales are thrown together and mixed up so that Snow White is mingling with Prince Charming, Cinderella gets mixed up with the Bad Wolf.. that sort of thing...)... well, I played the Evil Stepmother in my high school's production of Into The Woods and when I was a kid, I had aspirations of being a vet (what girl didn't at some time, right?).

Crazy For You by Jennifer Cruise at first glance seems like one of those fluffy beach reads, and it mostly is but surprisingly it also features a dark element in the form of a  super creepy control-freak, stalker of an ex-boyfriend, and even that I could relate to (though I doubt this was what my mom wanted to remind me of lol)!

Jennifer Cruise

Wonder if she was inspired by this song at all?
Madonna - Crazy For You

So what's it about? : Quinn McKenzie (does every chick book have those kind of names??) is a high school art teacher living the perfect life everyone else wants her to lead. Quinn has always been the safe, reliable daughter to her parents while her sister Zoe is the wild-child searching for passion and LIFE. Quinn also has what at first seems to be the perfect man to everyone - he never raises his voice, always keeps her gas tank filled up, makes all her meals, etc. He also happens to be the star citizen of the town, being the coach that took the local team to multiple championships. Cruise even goes so far as to describe him as a "6'5 Viking", so yeah, at first you say, "Way to go Quinn!" Then comes Katie! Katie is a stray mutt Quinn takes in -- and decides to name Katie -- much to Bill the Viking's displeasure.

Rat Dog Bad Dog by Jo Ann Henning
He thinks the dog will undoubtedly ruin the perfect life he's built for Quinn and himself. This makes me picture Bill to be something like Eustace from Courage, The Cowardly Dog

aaahh I miss that show = (

anyhooo.... Bill not accepting the dog leads Quinn to realize that "perfect guy" is really a control freak and she decides she'd prefer to live by herself with Katie than with Bill in the picture -- which is when Bill slowly but surely starts to go psssyycchooo. Yeah, I didn't not expect to find a character in such full blown stalker mode! This guy will not take "no" for an answer!

With Katie now in her life, Quinn realizes she doesn't want to play it safe with her life anymore, she wants passion and excitement like her sister Zoe finds. She wants to feel moments of irresponsibility. Katie ends up being the catalyst that brings a flood of other little changes into Quinn's life.

One change happens to be with Nick, Quinn's mechanic hottie of a best friend. Bummer is once Quinn makes herself a single lady again, Nick falls into the "should I or shouldn't I try to get her naked" dilemma that  I guess many guys with pretty female friends suddenly single have to work through at some point in their lives.     It's abundantly clear to the reader what they both want, but I guess for the sake of conflict and page count, there's a number of chapters dedicated to the "I don't want to ruin our friendship" routine. ( I can say from my experience that if you had a strong friendship before, odds are good it will be there after, even if the romantic thing doesn't work out - otherwise it probably wasn't as good a friendship as you thought. Sure there will probably be a period of awkwardness but it is possible to bounce back into a friendship and laugh about your venture into romance later).

Had to throw this into the mix - one of my favorite female vocalists
Adele - Crazy For You 
(completely different song from Madonna's, just same title, also fits nicely with the storyline of this book!)

There was just one little problem keeping Nick from being the perfect guy. He was a fan of boobies and girls he could make giggle... not so much of hanging around the next day. Avoided sleepovers like the plague. But if you were down to party between the hours of 5pm-10pm after he was off work and before he wanted to turn in before the next work day, then he was game!

So on one hand, Quinn is stuck with a crazy stalker ex who sits outside her new place and sabotages it while she's away so she'll see "how much she needs a man around to fix things", not to mention tries to kill her dog a number of times but insists it's out of love and concern for her. On the other, she's got a guy running hot and cold, between him saying "you're so hot, it drives me crazy" to "you're like a sister to me". WHAAA??? Those two feelings need never to combine lol. At least Nick is cool with the dog though! Poor dog got so mistreated by Bill, I wanted to mess up Bill. 

Rat Dog by Brian Kirwan
(click on name to see his website with more of his artwork)

Lots of entertaining stuff here. I don't normally get too excited with the chick lit but I do like the funny ones from time to time and this was definitely a good mix of light and dark - FYI Bill does get an amazing attitude adjustment from Quinn that is not to be missed. Guys, make sure your porch railings are firmly nailed down before you come home late for the umpteenth time or you talk smack about one of your ladies' best friends!

I'd recommend this one to animal lovers, survivors of crazy exes, or anyone looking for fun escapism for a bit!

Oh! and it's the first book I've seen in ages to actually use the word "dweeb" in dialogue between adults!

Nighttime by Sara Pulver
See Sara's Etsy store with more great art here!
And this last little bit is for my fella, who loves him some uber-cheeze... (whaddya think, hun - wedding music here? hehe)

Crazy For You - David Hasselhoff

Can't miss the live performance of this complete with hanging rainbows...

ahhh... good times

Okay.. another Cruise book next post... see ya soon!