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The Crazy School (Madeline Dare #2)

3.31  ·  Rating Details ·  1,534 Ratings  ·  255 Reviews
From the acclaimed author of A FIELD OF DARKNESS comes another compelling novel featuring the acerbic and memorable voice of ex-debutante Madeline Dare.

Madeline Dare has finally escaped rust-belt Syracuse, New York, for the lush BerkshireMountains in Massachusetts. After her husband's job offer falls through, Maddie signs on as a teacher at the SantangeloAcademy, a boardin
ebook, 0 pages
Published January 10th 2008 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2008)
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Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review: was okay. Highly readable but dayum, not as mysterious or thrillerish as the cover blurb would indicate. Took waaay too long to get to the mystery. And the mystery got wrapped up so quickly, so pattly, like a Nancy Drew book.

And the never-ending ending!

But still, it wasn't so bad I couldn't finish.

Full Review:

Madeline Dare has moved with her husband, Dean, to Massachusetts to teach at Santangelo Academy, a boarding school for difficult teens. (It quickly becomes
Jan 03, 2011 Brenan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There were parts of this book I really loved, but the parts I loved did not outweigh the parts I completely despised, which included:
1. The depiction of Madeline as this life changing teacher in this school where all the kids really need are more people like her. In reality, I think if kids like the kids in that book (who seemed to have been written by someone who has never, in my opinion, had a conversation with a teenager) had as their only adult role model Madeline Dare, they would be worse
Jun 27, 2008 Rita rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hated, mystery
Eh. It was eh. I liked her first book, Field of Darkness. It had a lot of holes in it, but I really liked the main character and forgave the unevenness of the writing and the plot because it was her first book.

Crazy School is her second book, same main character, but it’s a big step down from the other book. She relied too heavily on the work she’d done building up the characters in the first book and was negligent with developing them further in this one.

And the timeframe was weird. It was a li
Review Of The Book :
She's a swaggering, snippy, snarky babe-detective. Takes on any phoneys and cuts to the chase. She's Nancy Drew with attitude. Entry level mystery, with contrived chain of clues, overly-concocted resolution.

Review Of The Acknowledgments :
Well once you settle into the two full pages of the author's acknowledgments, you'd think she'd just navigated the Kalahari or solved the Middle East crisis or something. Really a lot of self regard here, AND THEN SHE MENTIONS EVERY BOOKSTO
Ellz Readz
My thoughts...For me, reading The Crazy School was a bit like riding a roller coaster. It has its ups and its downs. Let me start with what I liked about the book. The plot of this story contains a huge mystery to be solved. This mystery is written in a way that you have no idea who can be trusted, who is lying, or manipulating everyone in the story. I second-guessed everyone. The characters were interesting. It is my understanding that the school portrayed is based on an actual institution. In ...more
Jan 15, 2011 Darrell rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
"The Porsche shifted hard and steered harder, suspension so tight that running over a fingernail pairing at eighty could have you pissing blood for a week."

The first half of this book is about a foul-mouthed teacher trying to help some troubled students. It was somewhat engaging, however about half way through it turns into a standard whodunit. This is apparently a sequel since there are vague references to previous events that leave the reader more confused than tantalized. The Crazy School is
Mar 28, 2010 Zona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 60-in-2010
I was totally enthralled by this story! I found so many parallels between Madeline and myself. Cornelia Read gave Madeline such a fantastic voice and I found myself giggling at every chapter until the end when I was just awestruck by the story. Even then I was cracking a smile while on the edge of my seat.
Although I'm not of Madeline's generation, I felt a kinship with her as I read along. I loved her husband Dean and her good friend Lulu. I also adored the students, especially Weisner and Sitzm
Sep 10, 2008 Elizabeth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: If your bored and enjoy "light" mysteries and don't mind bad language
Shelves: my-books-read
First of all, if bad language bothers you, then don't read this. I liked the "climax" part of the story. I liked the twists. Near the end, it seemed to try and smash everything in at the same time. It was almost like the author was quick to end it. I also thought that this book could be shorter, if it didn't have some scenes drawn out, or it could've at least been more entertaining and not boring.

I'm thinking... If the book didn't have rough language and was from the students point of view, it
Jul 14, 2008 Carly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book, but I just didn't. Although I can appreciate its creative, twisted plot, I constantly wished for better character development and more believable dialogue, especially in the latter three-fourths of the book. I felt almost tricked by the beginnning of the book, when my interest was piqued by an intriguing setting, a smart, somber tone, and progressively complicated characters. Just when I felt engaged and invested though, the story unexpectedly abandoned those satisfac ...more
Jan 05, 2014 Maddie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
To start, I have to say that I didn't know anything about this book before I jumped in. It was in a book cart at school, and I was drawn in by the synopsis. I was also a little biased because I share my first name with the character. I had no idea that this was part of a series, and that didn't have a huge impact on the story line, which I appreciated.

That being said, I had mixed feelings about "The Crazy School." It started off as an interesting book, especially as it got more into some of the
This book has been on my To Read shelf for years and I can't remember how it got there; either I picked it up at a used book sale or my mom gave it to me. There's a Borders sticker on the back cover but I was not involved with acquiring this book at that location, since I would not have paid actual money for it (the back cover copy is interesting but not as compelling as all that). I finally took it off the shelf to read the other day. It was a fine book and all, but my biggest problem with it i ...more
Oct 22, 2008 Nikki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, fiction
The Crazy School, while it didn't enthrall me quite as much as Cornelia Read's first book, A Field of Darkness, was still a worthy successor. Madeline Dare, the preppy-raised-by-hippies heroine of the first book, has torn her husband away from Syracuse and they are now living in the Berkshires. (It's the early 80s, I think). Husband is looking for work (it's a long story) and Madeline is teaching at "the crazy school" -- a residential school/psych treatment center for rich kids, run by a very d ...more
May 08, 2010 Caitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
Another excellent book in Cornelia Read's Madeline Dare series.

Madeline has escaped Syracuse for somewhere that's not a lot better - a private school for troubled teens in the Berkshires. She's teaching English and disturbed by the cultlike way the school is run - think EST with teenagers and you'll have a sense of the place. When two of her favorite students turn up dead, Madeline knows something bad is happening.

Read expands on Madeline's life with her husband, Dean, and on her life in this se
Mar 12, 2010 Catherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked out this book on a whim and boy was that a good whim!

One of my few issues with it was that I didn't get to learn quite as much about Madeline Dare's background (which was often hinted at, though never fully-disclosed) as I would have liked, but upon reading reviews (didn't even look at goodreads until after I finished!), it appears that this is the SECOND book about Madeline. Since I really did enjoy this one, I will definitely be checking out the first.

Overall this was a moderately-pac
Jun 08, 2011 Christen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was excellent. Although is is part of a 3 book series (hopefully more coming!) it was able to be read as a stand alone book without being confused. Of course I has read the third book first, the second book second, and about to read the first book last and even though I think the other books may have given parts of the first book away, I still can't wait to read it. Cornelia Read's writing is edgy and quite frankly pretty much just like the way most people talk. I like that this book d ...more
Jan 20, 2010 Viccy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There’s craziness in Western Massachusetts in Cornelia Read’s entertaining second novel featuring ex-debutante Madeline Dare. She and her husband, Dean, have relocated to the Berkshires from Syracuse, New York and Madeline has taken a job teaching history at a cultish private school, Santangelo Academy, a dumping ground for troubled and dysfunctional adolescents. Having lived through the self-help decade of the seventies in southern California, Madeline is distrustful of the draconian regime at ...more
This was a great book. It wasn't really what the back of the book led me to believe it was but still, really great. I ALSO didn't know that it is apparently part of a series. I want to go back and read the rest of Madeline's story, but it isn't needed to enjoy Crazy School at all. The kids are really what make the story. They have great personalities and Read gives her characters this funny, ironic, but cynical humor that I love. It's a very easy read. I picked it up on a whim and read it while ...more
Mar 15, 2010 Lexi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic chiller/thriller featuring Read's intriguing heroine Madeline Dare. Accepting, out of desperate circumstances, a position as a teacher at a boarding school for troubled teens, Madeline finds herself accused of involvement in an incident that left two students dead. As she tries to find out what is really going on, the schools' authoritarian and cultlike feel become more and more disturbing, and it goes to a meserisingly dark place. Really excellent psychological horror stuff here.
Feb 15, 2008 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Older teens who like suspence novels
Recommended to Diane by: Read a good review
Shelves: high-school, mystery
Santangelo Academy is a boarding school for disturbed teens who have run out of conventional schooling options. But, as new teacher Madeline Dare discovers, some of the "therapeutic" treatments prescribed are downright sadistic. And when two kids are found dead, with Madeline framed as the killer, she finds out that something very wrong has been smoldering within the Crazy School.
Bette Ammon
Jan 28, 2008 Bette Ammon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Crazy School" is Cornelia Read's second book. It too features the fearless and frank Madeline Dare ("A Field of Darkness"). Here Madeline is teaching in a boarding school for wayward teens. Her feelings of outrage and unrest turn out to be justified when two students are murdered and Madeline herself becomes a suspect. The dialogue is snappy and the language is realistically graphic.
Gwen the Librarian
This is a worthy follow-up to the phenominal debut A Field of Darkness. The action is more fast-paced and this is a quicker read, but the characters are just as well-drawn and the plot is suspenseful.

Feb 17, 2008 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Despite a slow first half, the book develops into a good mystery. The narrator is acerbic and funny, and the kids she teaches are highly entertaining. I missed some of the allusions to counter-culture literature and music, but I enjoyed reading the book overall.
Mar 04, 2008 Linda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't know why I read this -- I don't really like mysteries but I kind of liked it until somebody died and I guess I was supposed to care who did it. But I don't.
Feb 24, 2008 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: folks who've worked with ED kids or crazy administrators
This was good escapist reading.
Rachel Jones
Feb 20, 2008 Rachel Jones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I gobbled this one up. Madeline Dare, the protagonist, has a great harsh/funny voice.
Christy Stewart
Tries way too hard to be hip.
Ce livre a généralement été décevant. Je m’attendais à quelque chose de bien réfléchit, de travaillé, avec de bons personnages et une bonne intrigue; les éditions Actes Sud ne m’avaient jamais déçue dans leur sélection d’ouvrages jusque là. Cependant, je l’ai lu plutôt rapidement. Non pas que l’histoire me prenne réellement, mais quelque chose m’encourageait à poursuivre; probablement parce que malgré tout j’attendais de voir la résolution finale. Je ne vais pas nier que je me suis tout de même ...more
Apr 19, 2009 Aerin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1989, Madeline Dare moved from Syracuse, New York to the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts. She takes a job as a history teacher at the Santangelo Academy, a boarding school for disturbed teenagers. David Santangelo is a questionable headmaster and founder, who wears opera capes and hot pink helicopter uniforms and subjects his students and staff to bizarre therapeutic regimes. For example, when no student confesses to kicking a dent in the Xerox machine, all the students must sit in a sil ...more
Mar 01, 2011 Jennie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, Ms. Read, Ms. Read, how I want to like this series, but you're losing me!

Madeline Dare is an interesting character. I want to like her, too, I really do. But she keeps getting put in completely ridiculous situations that make absolutely no sense! What's she doing teaching in a school for emotionally unstable children? Granted, it's a rather dodgy school, but nothing in her background (so carefully detailed in the first book) gives us any clue that she is either: a)a qualified teacher; b)trai
Mar 25, 2010 Nely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review
Santangelo Academy (referred to by some as "the Crazy School) is a boarding school for wayward teenagers who have run out of conventional schooling options. New teacher Madeline Dare finds that some of the "therapeutic" requirements prescribed by Dr. Santangelo are unconventional and downright sadistic. And when two kids are found dead, with Madeline framed as the killer, she finds out that something sinister is going on within the Crazy School.

First, let's start off with something I didn't know
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I have circumnavigated the globe, throwing up in many of the world's airports as I hate to fly. I was born in Manhattan, and spent my childhood racketing around from New York to California to Oahu.

I know old-school WASP culture firsthand, having been born into the tenth (and last) generation of my mother's family to live on Oyster Bay's Centre Island. I was subsequently raised near Big Sur by divo
More about Cornelia Read...

Other Books in the Series

Madeline Dare (4 books)
  • A Field of Darkness (Madeline Dare, #1)
  • Invisible Boy (Madeline Dare, #3)
  • Valley of Ashes (Madeline Dare, #4)

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