Despite the best of intentions, seventeen-year old, wisecracking Hank Kirby can’t quite seem to catch a break. It’s not that he means to screw things up all the time, it just happens. A lot. Case in point: his attempt to ask out the girl he likes literally goes up in flames when he spells “Prom” in sparklers on her lawn…and nearly burns down her house.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Peyton Breedlove, a brooding loner and budding pyromaniac, witnesses the whole thing. Much to Hank’s dismay, Peyton takes an interest in him—and his “work.” The two are thrust into an unusual friendship, but their boundaries are tested when Hank learns that Peyton is hiding some dark secrets, secrets that may change everything he thought he knew about Peyton
** I received this book via Net Galley and courtesy of Sourcebooks Fire! In exchange for an honest review, this does not change my opinion. **
One promposal goes up in flames, literally. Hank meets Peyton after his failed promposal; spelling PROM out in sparklers in front of Amanda Carlisle’s house. Peyton becomes a big part of Hank’s life. Though, Peyton is not who Hank thinks he knows.
This story turns modern Cinderella when Amanda creates a survey to find who the mysterious house-burner is. Every guy in the school wants to accompany Amanda to senior prom. As a result, Hank becomes #456 of candidates to take Amanda to prom.
Hank writes and draws comics to escape his reality. His love for superheros was something I loved! I felt it was very different to see that in a character. I liked how it tied into his college plans. Hank is conflicted between working his long, tedious shifts at Shop N’ Save and his dream of going to college. Peyton turns his senior year around to be the most eventful.
Reul took the time to describe her characters specifically their attire. That was something that stood out to me. Peyton likes to wear big band tees such as Pink Floyd. Hank was wearing a Batman hoodie the night his promposal went wrong. I like to imagine characters and getting to know what they wear on a daily basis was really great.
Abuse and alcoholism are touched on in this book. As well as Hank & his father dealing with the tragedy of losing their wife/mother and son/older brother. It was written very well and had me almost on the verge of tears. It definitely hit my in the heart.
I’m still taken back from this book because of all it’s surprises. However, this book was predictable, and I did slightly predict some of the twists. The darkness was executed excellently, thanks to the comic relief – jokes Hank told/scenes – because I was not expecting the sadness!
Character development was okay in this book. We do see Hank develop, but the biggest character development was within his father. At the end, I didn’t agree with Hank’s decisions and I felt the ending could have been different.
Overall, I enjoyed this read! It was very dark at times, and happy too. I was laughing and I really connected to the characters. This was a good debut novel and I’m excited to see what’s next for Reul! I encourage you to pick this up if you’re interested in a dark with a pinch of humor contemporary. The story is very intriguing!
AMAZON • B&N •INDIGO • INDIEBOUND • BD
ROBIN REUL has been writing stories since she was old enough to hold a pen. Though she grew up on movie sets and worked for years in the film and television industry, she ultimately decided to focus her attention on writing young adult novels. And unlike Hank, she does not know how to ride a bike. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, and daughter.My Kind of Crazy is her first novel.