When Sam falls in with the wrong crowd and doesn’t know what to do, he takes some advice from an unexpected source that tells him: Do right. Fear nothing. For awhile, it seems things are finally going well for Sam, but when a schizophrenic girl starts calling Sam her “magic friend” and begging him to help her defeat demons, and Sam is accused of a major crime, he begins to wonder if doing right is always the best policy, and whether there really are darker, more dangerous things out there that he should be fearing.
As a YA suspense/thriller, this book is crazy awesome. The first-person perspective provides insight into Sam’s sometimes erratic decision-making, and makes him feel like a very real character, even when he’s doing completely out-of-the ordinary, crazy things, like playing chicken with a freight train. His inner dialogue is true-to-life and somewhat sarcastic, which made it fun to read. The scenes portraying Jennifer’s mind were intense, harrowing, and downright creepy, and I loved how the author stepped into her cracked frame of mind with the narration during these parts. There’s danger, suspense, and a few twists along the way that I didn’t anticipate. Although the ending was a bit crazy, I liked how everything was resolved at the end, and the epilogue wrapped the story up very nicely.
Despite a realistic glimpse into the mental frustrations of a PK (pastor’s kid), I’m not sure that this makes the best Christian novel. Some of the things that Sam did weren’t necessarily “doing right” even though that was the mantra he tried to live by, and I was left with the impression of “the ends justify the means.” In fact, that was kind of the take that Sam’s father, the pastor, had in his discussion with Sam in the epilogue. When “doing right” includes breaking curfew, breaking into a mental hospital, and breaking a number of laws, that might just be sending the wrong message.
Regardless, I’d still recommend Crazy Dangerous to fans of the YA suspense/thriller genre. It’s a quick, thought-provoking read that does not disappoint!
Thanks to the publisher for providing me a review copy of this book!