Book Review: Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Gema is an 18-year old from Miami, FL. She loves reading and writing young adult fiction and claims to pass out in the presence of sterile wit. 

Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

191 pages, Houghton Mifflin, $16.00

“I chose hooks so that everyone would know I was different, so I would scare even myself.”

Lucius Wolfe isn’t your regular new kid. Sure, he’s moved into a new house and doesn’t know anyone in his school, but what makes him different are the hook he has for hands. Lucius blew his arms off in an explosion of his own making. Question is, why? Aurora Belle is also a new kid. She’s not comfortable with change but her father argued that the move to a new house would be healthy since their old house had “turned into a mausoleum” since her mother’s death.

The story begins on their first day of school. For the brief moment that they make eye contact in the school bus, Aurora and Lucius are connected. Immediately, Lucius wishes to protect her from any harm and Aurora contemplates love at first sight. The moment passes once they get off bus; however, a glimmer of interest stays with them. In school, Lucius and Aurora are welcomed from the different ends of the social spectrum. Lucius’ hooks set off the school’s metal detector. “That gun in the security guard’s pocket? I’m guessing he’s not happy to see me.” Not noticing the hooks, the guard frisks Lucius in the middle of the hallway. Humiliating much?  On the flip side, Aurora walks through the metal detectors with ease and receives a smile from the guard.

Aurora is beautiful and compassionate. Lucius is different and anti-social. Following her deceased mother’s advice, “you should be nice to everyone until a person gives you a reason not to be, and sometimes even then,” Aurora is nothing but pleasant to the hooked Lucius despite his grunts and scowls.

The characters are honest and unlike other young adult novels out there, neither is portrayed as perfect. We get to read about both sides of this relationship. We see how one struggles with a secret while the other struggles to keep curiosity at bay and not find out what said secret is. Despite the fact that he has no arms, I thought that Lucius had a great sense of humor; as Aurora’s father put it: “The boy’s got spunk.” Aurora is easily sucked into the cool kids’ crowd but she isn’t completely brainwashed and still maintains her own personality and opinions. I applauded this.

The page turned easily while reading this modern take on Beauty and the Beast. It’s written in first person and the chapters interchange between Aurora’s and Lucius’ point of view.  Each perspective moves the story along and doesn’t allow it to get stuck in just one scene. I found that impressive. Lauren Baratz-Logsted writes about a rare kind of love between two teenagers. It’s a love that sees past the social divides and irregularities of a person and accepts the person’s rawest and most honest version of themselves. It also brings a positive idea to light: a person may be disabled, but the disability doesn’t make them any less human.

For an enticing and straightforward love story seek no further than Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted .









New FTC guidelines say that I must mention if I received a book I’m giving a thumbs up to for free or not. So for the record, all the books that I’ve reviewed/will review were given to me for free for the purpose of reviewing. I judge a book on its literary content and not on how well I know, or don’t know, the author. Essentially, I am here to tell you, the reader, if I think a book is worth your time and money or not. Until (if ever) the FTC realizes the error in assuming that blog-reviewers are less honest than newspaper reviewers, this disclaimer will appear in all of my upcoming book reviews.

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