Today is the release day of The Problem With Crazy by Lauren McKellar, I just finished this book last night and I loved it. I’ll share my review with you today, a short interview with Lauren and there is a release blitz wide giveaway at the bottom of this post.
The Problem With Crazy
by Lauren K McKellar
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Berto Designs
Release Date: February 13, 2014
The problem with crazy is that crazy, by itself, has no context. It can be good crazy, bad crazy . . . or crazy crazy—like it was when my ex-boyfriend sung about me on the radio.
Eighteen-year-old Kate couldn’t be more excited about finishing high school and spending the summer on tour with her boyfriend’s band. Her dad showing up drunk at graduation, however, is not exactly kicking things off on the right foot—and that’s before she finds out about his mystery illness, certain to end in death.
A mystery illness she is likely to inherit.
When your whole life goes from adventure and ecstasy to sad and suicidal, what’s the point? Not knowing who to love, and who to trust . . . where does it end?
The Problem With Crazy is a story about love and life; about overcoming obstacles, choosing to trust, and learning how to make the choices that will change your life forever.
*A portion of sales from this book will be donated to a Huntington’s disease-related charity (details TBC)
I got a copy in exchange for an honest review
Normally I avoid books that deal with illnesses as best as I can, but when I read the blurb of this book I just knew I had to read it and I am really glad I did. The Problem With Crazy is a story about a girl named Kate who’s whole life changes when she finds out her dad has Huntington’s disease and she might have it too. The book deals with a lot of heavy issues, but there are also enough happy and light moments.
The start of the book felt a slightly slow, it also reminded me a bit of Lauren her other book, Finding Home, although I am not sure why exactly. Then the story really started and quickly I was so absorbed in the story I just wanted to keep reading. The problem With Crazy is a really great book that made me experience so many different emotions. I once had a lecture on university about Huntington’s disease and I always wondered how someone would deal with knowing they could inherit it and whether they wanted to get tested or not. It really sounds like a horrible disease.
What amazed me the most is how realistic this book is, it’s not all happy or all sad or just okay all the time. It’s just like real life, it has it’s up and downs and it’s big ups and big downs. And The Problem With Crazy takes the reader to all those ups and downs. It was a crazy ride, but it was also a really good story. There is so much in this book, it’s not only about battling a disease, or learning how to live with someone who has a disease, it’s also about appreciating the little things in life, surviving, dealing with painfull things and there is also love and friendship and beautifull touching moments.
I really liked Kate as a main character, she not always deals with her problems the right way, but I still thought it was admirable what she did do and how she dealt with everything. She went on, even though a lot of bad things happen. Sometimes I wonder how she was able to get up every day, but there are also those little sparks of light and happiness and they seemed even more wonderfull towards the backdrop of all the pain and hurt.
From the start I didn’t like Dave, his behavior just rubbed me the wrong way. I didn’t really feel their romance. Luckily later on in the book there is some real romance and I really rooted for them. Stacey, Kate her best friend, she was wonderfull although sometimes she seemed a little pushing. Sometimes she was pushing Kate to do certain things, although they where usually for the best. Lachlan and Jonny where two other great characters. They where amazing and I wondered how they where even still standing and getting on with their lives and starting a coffee shop after everything that happened. I also really liked Kate her mom and dad and all the family interactions and how they changed and later on in the book there are some really touching scenes and I loved how family played a part in this book.
To conclude: I really enjoyed this book, it started slightly slow for me, but after that I simply didn’t want to put this book down. There are so many highs and lows in this book, there is so much pain, hurt and sorrow and also places filled with light, hope and happiness. This book almost had me crying a few times. It deals with so many problems and issues and real life. Most of all that’s what I loved about this book, how real it was. This stuff really can and does happen out there and it’s frightening, but it’s also amazing how realistic the author managed to write this. I really liked most of the characters and how their relations developed in this book. I also liked the focus on family and how it played a role in this book. There are some really emotional and touching scenes and this book was definitely worth the read.
You can add The Problem With Crazy to your to-read list on Goodreads
“You can take off now, Kate.” I turned to him, and he nodded to the door. “I’ve got the rest of this.”
“Are you sure?”
I walked over to the door and paused there for a second, unsure if I was doing the right thing.
“Yes?” I spun around at lightning speed.
He was there, right behind me, incredibly close. I had no idea how he’d moved so fast, but his broad shoulders were suddenly at my chin level, the muscled lines of his arms visible beneath his shirt.
I slowly let my eyes roam up his body, across his chest and over his rigid jawline, over the little freckle on his cheek and deep into his chocolate eyes that were staring into mine, staring through me, like he could see every little secret I’d ever kept.
Don’t look at his lips, Kate. Do not look at his lips.
I let my eyes flick down to his lips and saw they were slightly parted and wet. His Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed, and a shiver ran down my spine.
And here are 5 questions Lauren answered about her book, I didn’t come up with these questions myself, they where included in the media kit. But I think they are great questions and I love the author her answers and finding out why she wrote this book and what the message is
Question: Where did you get your inspiration?
Lauren: I was inspired to write this story when I met a friend of mine’s father, who unfortunately, has the disease. I didn’t go through the struggle with him when he got tested, or anything, but meeting someone who suffered from such an obviously horrible illness was really sad.
My cousin suffers from a mental illness, and one of the things I dislike most is the special treatment, and the frequent use of the term ‘crazy’. And so, The Problem With Crazy was born.
Was writing about such a horrible illness difficult?
Lauren: I think writing about any illness is difficult. When you create fiction about something that not only alters people’s lives, but can kill them, you’re treading on sensitive ground.
That’s why I did a lot of research; I interviewed victims, spoke to state bodies, and observed people who weren’t affected, but who knew people who were. I hope this means I’ve done the subject matter justice.
Question: Why New Adult?
Lauren: This illness is all about change in life, and for me, New Adult, or Upper YA, is one of the biggest change periods a person will go through. It’s coming of age, it’s defining life moments, and I couldn’t think of a time when people are more socially aware and conscious, and yet still at a period when life- and person-making choices are made. For me, eighteen years was the ultimate age to set this story with maximum impact.
Question: So is the moral to the story to not get Huntington’s disease?
Lauren: No. This disease isn’t contagious. It’s hereditary, which is horrid enough.
However, the moral isn’t to do with this particular illness. It’s twofold; it’s partly to do with the literal use of the term ‘crazy’, and, more importantly, to do with living life to the fullest. To not knowing when or where you could die, but to living life anyway. To trying, and persevering, and working, and laughing, and smiling, and loving, and living—it’s to being. To being as if each day is your last—and in spite of the fact.
Question: So, heavy stuff. Let’s talk about romance. Is there some lovin’ in this book?
Lauren: Well, you know what? Love is a central theme, as it is in most of our lives. Loving, however … well, let’s just say, it’s certainly not an erotic romance. Still, I don’t know that I could write and not include love to help bind the elements together. For me, love has always been a part of my life. I’d dream of finding ‘the one’ when I was younger; and now that I’ve finally found him, it’s everything I could have wanted, and more. To write a story and not incorporate a part of that, a fragment of something I probably feel strongest about—I don’t know that I could do it.
Finally, the dedication. Tell us about that.
Lauren:Well, I dedicated this book to the person who inspired me to write it. I wanted to raise awareness about something that struck someone so cruelly.
Also, that person is someone’s father. While my father never had Huntington’s, he did pass away from cancer when I was in my late teens, and I feel like the altering of a father figure is something that’s personal. This book is being released on the anniversary of my father’s death; so it’s for dads everywhere. Happy, healthy, loving, paternal, diseased, and healthy. Because who can argue with that?
About the Author:
Lauren K. McKellar is a writer and editor of fact and fiction. She has worked in publishing for more than eight years, and recently returned to her first love: writing books that make you feel.
Lauren loves to write for the Young and New Adult markets, and blogs with Aussie Owned and Read, as well as vlogging with the YA Rebels.
In her free time, Lauren enjoys long walks on the beach with her two super-cute dogs and her partner-in-crime/fiancé.