Publication Date: August 2015
Format: Paperback, 384 pgs
At first glance, Crazy Love You may seemed like a typical crazed-man-stalked-woman kind of thriller but let me tell you this novel took me by surprise, which is a good thing. Well, although the stalking and obsessive parts are still present in this story, the author has taken a different approach with the storyline and weaved something different out of it.
Ian and Priss are childhood friends. When Ian was ten, his mother suffered from postpartum psychosis and killed his baby sister. Ian has somewhat felt lonely and a little depressed after the birth of his sister, given that she had attracted most of their mother's attention but it is mostly after his mother's admittance to a mental hospital which led to a downward spiral of his life. His father is more of a practical person and hardly someone who has a gift in words. Although he too feels the ache and pains for himself as well as Ian, he never really shows his emotions. And Ian feels he is lost to the world, until he met Priss in the woods.
Priss is everything Ian is not - she is wild, bold and unreliable and most of all, she is Ian's personal hero and an avenger. Ian used to be fat, acne-faced and often gets bullied in school but now they are all scared of him. His 'relationship' with Priss continues all the way to adulthood. Ian is a successful graphic novelist then but Priss remains where she is, except that she is getting wilder, bolder and more beautiful. Although Ian is satisfied with his career, he is getting tired of the wild things he's done with Priss - the drinks, the drugs and their passionate nights together; all his efforts in trying to keep his depressing past at bay until the day he met Megan. Megan is nothing like Priss; she is sweet, kind and has a loving parents. Ian wants to have a future with Megan but Priss isn't happy. And from there onwards bad and unexplainable things begin to happen to Ian. This chain of unhappiness events will lead Ian to return to his childhood home in The Hollows, where he would learn something about the place he'd grown up in and the secrets which are still hidden there, waiting to be exposed.
As I mentioned before, Crazy Love You threw me off by surprise. I couldn't say what the surprise is, because that would take away your, er, surprise. However, I can say it was a very different read from the others which fall into the obsessive love category, and to me it was a good thing and definitely offers a fresh perspective. Aside from the storyline, what I liked best is the graphic novels culture which is an obvious important thread in this story. You see, Ian finds solace in comic books as a boy and his love for them has made him as what he is today. There are parts of Ian's graphic novel story, Fatboy and Priss, being incorporated into the novel so readers will understand more about Ian's and Priss' world, after all Ian devotes most of his life story into his graphics. I wouldn't say I liked all the characters here, but suffice it to say they are all very interesting and are well developed. The setting of The Hollows is an atmospheric place and I understand that the author has this setting in her previous books before; and readers will be able to read about this setting again in the author's latest release, Ink and Bone, which would be out in June 2016.