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4.04  ·  Rating details ·  285 ratings  ·  77 reviews
Laura is a typical fifteen-year-old growing up in the 1960's, navigating her way through classes, friendships, and even a new romance. But she's carrying around a secret: her mother is suffering from a mental illness.

No one in Laura's family will talk about her mother's past hospitalizations or increasingly erratic behavior, and Laura is confused and frightened. She finds
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 20th 2014 by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
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Linda Phillips Hi Christine,

Huge apologies for absolutely missing (not ignoring) this question. And the very belated answer is YES, although I am quite sure I am…more
Hi Christine,

Huge apologies for absolutely missing (not ignoring) this question. And the very belated answer is YES, although I am quite sure I am very late to this party. But going forward, I would love to Skype with your classroom if still interested.(less)
Linda Phillips I imagine it would be PG13 because of the theme of mental illness.

Community Reviews

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4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  285 ratings  ·  77 reviews

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Robin Constantine
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Novels in verse are always so impressive to me - to tell a story with poetic language is no easy feat. CRAZY follows Laura as she battles her own feelings about her mother's mental illness. I loved how she found her own peace with it through art. A thought provoking and poignant read.
Libby May
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This books was so.... good. Deep. Like a rich curry dish (what is happening? I've started to rate books as foods. XD)

Honestly, I never really loved books in poetry formatting, but it fit really well in this one.
Laura was relatable. I really felt connected to her. She was annoying sometimes, and rather dramatic, but generally I felt that she was so REAL.

Laura thought about things, played with ideas, and in turn, decided against it. Flashes of suicide, constant thoughts that just infiltrated her
Courtney Whisenant
This is a beautifully poignant novel of verse spanning a year in the life of Laura, a teenager whose mother suffers from mental illness. Anyone who has experienced mental illness personally or through the life of a loved one will be able to relate to the raw emotions experienced by Laura. I was deeply moved by the honesty captured within these pages and left with a feeling of hope and thankfulness for medical advancements, great friends, and strong support systems. There is so much I want to say ...more
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I rated Crazy with four stars because it is a amazing yet crazy book with the ups and downs of Laura’s life. Though this book is very good there were some parts of it where In was a little bored. But what I just said should not hold you back from reading this book, the author of the book explains everything with such depth that it feels like Laura is right in front of you telling you her story. If you are into story’s that keep you wondering about what will happen and make you sit down for hours ...more
Jasmine Gutierrez
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
***SPOILER ALERT*** Can you imagine the pain you would have to go through living with someone who has a mental illness? Well this book shows you just how you would feel. This book is in the genre fiction. I loved this book because it shows the pain fifteen year old Laura goes through.

Lauren is growing up in the 1960's so there's no good remedy to help her mom get better. Laura's mom has a mental illness. This causes her mom to behave weirdly such as throwing objects at Laura, staring out a windo
Carol Baldwin
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing

It has been my great joy and privilege to walk alongside of Linda Phillips over the last fifteen years as she has crafted her debut YA novel, CRAZY. From reading the first twenty poems in which Linda poured out her anguish as a teen struggling with her own mother's mental illness; through watching Linda add, subtract, and organize these poems into a story arc at the 2009 Chautauqua Highlights Writing Workshop we attended together; through hearing the up's and down's of finding her agent and publ
Beth Honeycutt
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sad but interesting story based loosely on the author's life. Beautiful imagery!
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A heartbreaking story about mental illness in the 60s
Anna Graham
Jun 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A thought-provoking story told in verse, CRAZY by Linda Vigen Phillips is a YA novel set in the 1960's. CRAZY follows its protagonist Laura as she tries to balance her typical life at school with her secretly dysfunctional life at home. Laura's home life revolves around her mentally ill mother, and Laura worries because “I must have her genes, and I know from biology that those genes are sitting there inside me ready to go haywire just like hers.” (Pg. 137-138)

CRAZY does not shy away from the di
Ashley Owens
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I definitely recommend this book, and will have some thoughts to share at a later date.
Jun 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I Won this book in a goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review

I think the main reason I liked this book so much was that I found it to be sooo relateable. This book talks about mental health issues - which I have my own experiences in, and art - which I loved because I am also an artist.

I think this book is the perfect summer read, although it tackles serious topics I found it to be quite uplifting. When I finished reading this book it really put me in a good mood.

It wasn't just the s
Book Concierge
From the book jacket - Laura is a typical fifteen-year-old growing up in the 1960s, navigating her way through classes, friendships, and even a new romance. But she’s carrying around a secret: her mother is mentally ill. No one in Laura’s family will talk about her mother’s increasingly erratic behavior, and Laura is confused and frightened. Laura finds some solace in art, but when her mother, also an artist, suffers a breakdown, Laura fears that she will follow in her mother’s footsteps.

My rea
Erin Cataldi
Jul 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read this beautifully crafted prose in one sitting. I couldn't put it down. Set in 1960's Oregon and told through the eyes of a fifteen year old girl watching her mother's breakdown, this young adult novel is a must for any mental health collection. Laura, a talented artist, tries to cope with her mother's strange illness by purring on a brave face and telling no one. She's alienated her friends from her home problems because she doesn't know what to tell them, for she has no answers. Laura in ...more
I was pleased to win a copy of Crazy by Linda Vigen Phillips through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program. Crazy, a novel in verse, is based on Phillips' experience growing up as a teen with a mentally ill relative. Laura the books main character is a straight A student and talented artist who is struggling to keep herself focused while her personal life spins out of control. The book takes place during 1963-1964 when mental illness was a topic spoken about in hushed tones and wasn't somethi ...more
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I started a few pages like a week ago at the doctor's office and it sat lonely in my purse since then. I became frustrated with the my other current read and remembered the book in my bag.
I have never read a book like this one. It is written in verse and it confused me at first, but then I became so engrossed in the story that it just flowed without a second thought to the style.

Laura is a 15 year old who is trying to figure out things about herself and her bipolar mother. It is set i
Louise Galveston
May 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
CRAZY is a novel written in verse in which the main character, Laura, tries to come to grips with her mother's mental illness and her own fear of inheriting the disease. Set in the early sixties, when such issues where often swept under the rug and misdiagnosed as mere "nerves," Laura doesn't know who to trust or where to turn. Even painting, which has been her refuge, no longer soothes.

The language of CRAZY is beautiful and succinct, and I particularly loved the way the verse tied in visually
Jun 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaway-winners
The novel "Crazy" is a coming of age story with a twist. The reader gets to be with Laura while she endures her sophomore and junior years at high school. I instantly connected with Laura because I had to deal with friends and first loves, but where we differ is her home life was much different. Laura's mother was "crazy". Laura is such a lovable character and the reader can connect with her instantly. Phillips has created a story where the reader feels Laura's emotions, which is a great gift fo ...more
Melissa Carpenter
May 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Crazy is a beautifully written account of how mental illness affected one family in the 1960's, and of the hope that comes from art, open communication, and the road to healing. Written in verse, Crazy is a collection of thoughts, snippets of conversations, observations, and artwork from Laura, the book's protagonist, over the course of a year. Her mother suffers from a mental illness that Laura tries to hide from her friends, both because she's ashamed to have a mom who's not normal and because ...more
Kristen Lippert-Martin
Jun 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was my first verse novel, and if they're all this good, it won't be my last.

Though this story is set in the 1960s, it has a timeless feel to it. The saddest thing is realizing that the Laura's mother could have had a much better quality of life nowadays. But the mental health profession just wasn't there yet. The lack of understanding and secrecy that surrounded those with mental illness only worsened matters. Laura's fears about her mother and her own future are intimately bound together
Jul 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was very excited to receive a copy of this book through the Early Reviewer program, and then a bit disappointed when I looked inside to see that the book is in poetry form. However, the poems flow very well, and follow a linear storyline, and actually enhanced my enjoyment of the book. (What a wonderful surprise!)

The story follows Laura, a high schooler whose mother suffers from an unnamed mental illness that nobody will talk about. I think it does a wonderful job describing the stigma of ment
Jun 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, ya, poetry
What a unique book! The verse is so full of feeling that main character Laura simply leaps off the page, inviting you into the complex and difficult world of familial mental illness that she has to navigate daily. I couldn't help but cheer her on as she demanded answers from family members and started to find ways to heal through her art and her outside relationships. This is a beautiful and meaningful debut from Linda Vigen Phillips.
Rebecca Petruck
Crazy is a deep, from-the-inside look at mental illness that is both unflinching and yet never veers into melodrama. The author is incredibly generous and kind in sharing this story with readers, and I look forward to sharing it with friends for whom it will be a balm. Thank you for writing it Linda Vigen Phillips.
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Verse novels are always such a lovely surprise. I love the rhythm and how each poem is both complete and a part of the whole. Phillips does a masterful job creating just the right rise and fall of emotions, hope and despair. Set in the 1960's, this tender coming of age tale of a young girl dealing with her mother's mental illness is as relevant today as it was for teens then.

Jan 24, 2015 rated it did not like it
Though generally I would write a scathing review for a book that wasted this much of my time, clearly the author poured a lot of her own true story into this book so I will hold the hate for the next plague in my life.

Let's just say this wasn't my cup of tea.
It's my SLJ read. The review will be published by them.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The novel Crazy by Linda Vigen Phillip is an emotional historical fiction novel about Laura, a fifteen-year-old girl going to high school in the early 1960 ’s. While it may at first seem this is a story about an average high school girl who feels lost and while this may be true at school, Laura’s family is everything but ordinary. With her mom’s episodes, while her family ignores, Laura tries to walk through life, while trying to keep all of her emotions to herself. And through her experiences, ...more
Jan 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joy Kirr
Laura, 15, shares a year of her life living with her mother and father. Her older sister, moved out and married with two kids, is also still in her life, but not helping her deal with her mother who has a mental illness. She really has no one to talk to, so she spends much of her time painting and sketching. The talk about art in this book was intriguing - I wanted so much to see it! My favorite prose was when she'd write about her figurines she'd made. I also like how, being set in the 1960s, t ...more
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Laura is a regular fifteen-year-old experiencing childhood in the 1960's, exploring her way through classes, companionships, and even another sentiment. In any case, she's bearing a mystery: her mom is experiencing a dysfunctional behavior.
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
In my opinion, it was a very boring read but had an interesting storyline. I expected more "crazy" things to happen in the novel; underwhelmed.
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Linda Vigen Phillips was born and raised in pristine southeast Oregon. She left after graduating from U of O but Oregon never left her. She says, "There is a deep-down reservoir in my soul that holds the sound of lake wind whistling through tall Ponderosas, sun glancing off of Cascade Range peaks, the semi-arid wind carrying sage and juniper scent....more renewable resources than any writer could ...more
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“But there is one cool thing
about having a weirdo mother.
She works so hard at remembering
where she left herself
she doesn’t have time
to work on me.”
More quotes…