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My Kind of Crazy

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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.

336 pages, Paperback

First published April 5, 2016

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About the author

Robin Reul

2 books166 followers
The author of MY KIND OF CRAZY and WHERE THE ROAD LEADS US, Robin Reul has been writing since she was in early elementary school, when she used to make her own book club flyers for her classmates and then pen them original stories. She loves to write stories that straddle the line between humor and heartbreak, filled with quirky, memorable characters who stay with the reader long after the story ends. When she's not writing, Robin can be found drinking copious amounts of iced coffee and listening to way too much 80's music. She lives in Los Angeles suburbia.

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5 stars
347 (26%)
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454 (35%)
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364 (28%)
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23 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 338 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,728 reviews1,279 followers
March 10, 2016
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to SOURCEBOOKS Fire and NetGalley.)

“I’d read online that how you ask a girl to prom can completely make or break a guy’s chances. I wanted to do something special that Amanda would never forget. Apparently it worked, just not the way I intended.”

This was a YA contemporary story about a boy who accidentally set fire to a tree whilst trying to ask a girl to prom.

The characters in this were alright, but I didn’t really love any of them. Hank didn’t seem to think much about his future other than working at a supermarket, and Peyton came across as a little odd at times. I also wasn’t sure how believable a lot of her stories were.

The storyline in this was about Hank accidentally setting fire to a tree whilst trying to ask a girl called Amanda to prom, and instead meeting Peyton and falling for her a little bit. We also had another guy called Nick, who was also interested in Peyton, and a storyline involving Hank’s father and his drinking problem.

The ending to this was fairly happy, although the future was still a bit undecided.

6 out of 10
Profile Image for Amanda.
197 reviews45 followers
June 10, 2016
Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire & Robin Reul for my copy of the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

To be honest, I have been putting off reading this book for some time now as I went off the idea of it, so when I finally decided to give it a shot I didn't have high hopes but I was pleasantly surprised I really liked it and wish I read it sooner so my rating would be a 3.5 stars.

Hank lost his brother & mum in a horrible car accident when he was younger, while he's still coming to terms with it all his dad can't seem to handle it making alcohol his only option for release which understandably makes Hank's life so much harder. One night he has the bright idea of trying to ask Amanda one of the most popular girls in school to go to prom with him and not in any usual way! Hank spells prom on her front lawn in sparklers under a pine tree and totally forgets about the mulch from the fallen pine and he literally sets the lawn on fire. He decides to bail on the whole thing but drops an empty box of sparklers which later makes him come back to the scene of the crime to get his evidence only to find an ally in a stranger called Peyton who finds the empty box before him but promises not to mention a word. Hank & Peyton strike up an unusual friendship and Hank learns that not only is his life a mess Peyton's home life is far worse... with a mother who doesn't care and her abusive partner making her life hell Hank finds himself getting further into Peyton's life than he expects but is everything as it seems?

The book was really funny, Hank's mind goes at 100 miles an hour and he is constantly exhausting every area of every situation he is in which kept me gripped to the book and I couldn't stop reading. The author did a great job touching on mental health & abusive relationships without it becoming too dark and disturbing making it seem pretty real but with the humor there it made it much lighter.

I thought the book would have been like any other high school drama but it wasn't. I found myself in love with the way it was written because it was always fast paced which I was really entertained with. The whole Peyton thing had me wondering what was going on I had to know more and why all this was happening, she really got my mind ticking.

Nick was my favourite I imagined him being like Wolowitz from The Big Bang Theory, just a complete womanizer. The thought of him with his eye patch checking everyone out assessing his chances had me in fits of laughter.

I would recommend this book if you like a different story from the rest with twist and turns that keep you wanting more.

Check out my blog! www.amandaminnockx.tumblr.com thanks :)

“Sometimes, to help make sense of things, we tell ourselves stories and we convince ourselves that they're true, but that doesn't mean they really are.”
Profile Image for Brittany (Brittany's Book Rambles).
225 reviews451 followers
August 13, 2016
4.5/5 Stars

My Kind of Crazy made me laugh so hard that I thought my sides were going to split. At the same time, it made me feel sad and got me to really think about all the types of families there are, and all the different walks of life people come from. Robin Reul truly knows how to find humor in a dark place, and her book is a charming and heartbreaking read that depicts a side of high school that is rarely shown. Somehow, Reul managed to highlight important life issues, while also keeping it light enough that I didn't feel at all bogged down or depressed when I finished reading.


My biggest love for this book lies in the characters. Hank is hysterical, relatable and even charming in a doofy kind of way. I'm convinced that in high school, him and I would have been besties. His story is truly compelling and I honestly wish that he was a real person.


My Kind of Crazy is everything I want out of a John Green book minus the melodrama and pretentiousness. You guys know that I'm really picky when it comes to contemporaries, so believe me when I say that this is one of the good ones!

Read my full review of My King of Crazy!
Profile Image for Kelly Hager.
3,102 reviews130 followers
December 22, 2015
I know that it's really lazy to compare books to movies and to be like, "Oh, this is just like [whatever]." I know. But while reading this, it felt like I was watching a John Hughes movie. Which is really weird because I know those movies so well that there aren't really surprises in them and everything about this book felt like the best kind of surprise.

But this struck the feeling that I have with his movies, the weird combination of people being just as flawed and weird and (to sub from the title) crazy as they are in real life mixed with the idea of people being better than they tend to be in real life.

I don't want to talk about Hank or Peyton or Amanda (although I will point you to Some Kind of Wonderful---which I prefer to Pretty in Pink because Duckie is a scourge) or any of the plot because you should discover it as I did, as Robin Reul reveals it, page by page. So I'll just be over here flailing.

(Basically this book gave me what Liz Lemon would probably call literary-transmitted crazymouth.) You need to read it. I'm so happy I got to. :)

Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Jamie (Books and Ladders).
1,336 reviews190 followers
April 6, 2016
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

The main takeaway from this story is that everyone deserves a chance and everyone is capable of love, even if they have never received it before. Also, don't set fires. And if you light a candle make sure you blow it out before even closing your eyes for sleep. Pinky promise me you will do this.

I loved that the story was predictable and yet not. I guessed some of the things that were to happen but others caught me by surprise. It kept me flipping page after page (well, tapping at the end of my screen) so I could keep going. I willed myself to read faster (I finished the book in a little less than 2 hours) and it still wasn't fast enough. This story had me captivated from the get-go and I didn't WANT to put it down.

The characters are so well rounded and I think all the choices they made had logical sense and purpose. Was I a little disappointed in their actions? Sometimes, but not because I was like "No, Hank/Nick/Peyton/Amanda wouldn't do this" but because I was like "HANK/NICK/PEYTON/AMANDA WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?" I was like a mama bird watching my little flock trying to fly: I was worried they would nose dive and not soar above the clouds.

I'm sorry I didn't update more while reading but I read chapter one and then didn't stop. This is one of those feel good but make you cry kind of books and I just can't wait for everyone else to read it. The writing is phenomenal and will have you burning through the pages to be able to read more (see what I did there?). I love love love this one and I want to thank past!Jamie for already having pre-ordered this one. I highly recommend you all do the same.

Books and Ladders | Queen of the Bookshelves | Books Are My Fandom | Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin'
Profile Image for Laurie Flynn.
Author 6 books1,078 followers
March 18, 2016
When I saw the deal announcement for this book, I went kind of, well, crazy. I was absolutely dying to read it. That concept! That voice! Plus, the use of the word “promposal,” which is just awesome. And while attending ALA Midwinter in Boston, I was lucky enough to scoop up an ARC.
And people, this book is every bit as crazy good as I hoped it would be.

Seventeen-year-old Hank Kirby meant for his attempt to ask beautiful Amanda Carlisle to prom to be romantic, not creepy and illegal. All he wants to do is write out “PROM” in sparklers in her yard. Instead, he ends up setting a fire and fleeing the scene. He’s seriously hoping nobody saw, but the strange girl who lives across the street from Amanda saw everything—and mysteriously, wants to befriend Hank. Peyton Breedlove loves to play with fire—literally—and she thinks Hank shares her pyromaniac tendencies. A friendship and trust are forged, and although Hank considers walking away from Peyton’s weirdness, he realizes his feelings for her might be deeper than he imagined—and that she might need him even more than he needs her.

I’m a sucker for voice-driven YA contemporary, and MY KIND OF CRAZY has all kinds of voice. Hank is such a fantastic protagonist. He’s funny and real, uncertain and freaked out, hopeful and hopeless, strong and vulnerable. I’ve made it no secret that I love reading boy POV, and Hank is a new favorite in that department. I really enjoyed how his relationship with Peyton develops as the book goes on, and that it’s a slow burn (no pun intended, but it kind of works, right?) as he figures out his mess of feelings.

MY KIND OF CRAZY is my kind of book. When a book is as hilarious as it is heartfelt, the sad things that happen are amplified—if you’re able to laugh through several pages and get sucker-punched in the feels when the next chapter starts, that’s a testament to truly great writing. I’m so excited for the world to discover this book—and looking forward to whatever Robin Reul writes next!
Profile Image for Kurt Dinan.
Author 15 books183 followers
December 10, 2015
Yeah, see, this is what I want from a novel. It's damn funny, fast-moving, honest, and, stealing from the title, kind of crazy. Hank comes across as a real teenage boy--confident, yet full of second guessing; funny, yet self-conscious; introspective, yet impulsive--and is so incredibly likable. With what I see as a glut of uber-serious YA novels, Reul's novel, which does have a serious side, also does not take itself too seriously, if that makes sense. I want more time with Hank and Peyton, I want to be friends with them, which, really, is the highest praise I can give. Buy this book!
Profile Image for Jaime Arkin.
1,422 reviews1,326 followers
March 28, 2016
Probably 3.5 stars!

This book was a bit of surprise for me! I honestly thought it was going to be a whole lot more light-hearted than it actually was. I mean… when it starts out with a guy who decides to ask the girl he’s been crushing on to prom by lighting sparklers in her lawn… and it ends up setting the whole yard on fire, I was expecting a lot of fun.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of fun in this story, but there was also a lot of depth. Hank Kirby, while a bit of a screw-up (self admittedly) has his own family issues. After the death of his mom and brother, his father turns to alcohol to cope and so his home life has become contentious, but he has his comics and his drawing to escape. When he accidentally sets fire to the yard, he meets Peyton. Though Peyton herself is a loner, she takes an interest in Hank, and her home life is even worse than Hanks.

Though maybe things aren’t exactly as Hank is made to believe… Peyton is hiding things and as their friendship progresses to something more, her secrets come out and test just how much he is willing to put into a relationship.

Let me just say right away that I thought the end was maybe a bit … forced… I think that’s the word I’m trying to come up with. Here’s the thing. As these secrets of Payton’s were revealed, I think that there were things that she said and did that definitely toed the line of unforgivable.
Additionally, I don’t think that the story really delved into the mental illness that is portrayed here and the end just conveniently ignores it by pretending everything conveniently works itself out.
What I did like… I totally loved Hank. I am sucker for a good boy pov story and Reul delivers on that front. He was the perfect combination of awkward and weird and geeky and just plain sweet. I really enjoyed getting to know him and I thought his story was compelling and interesting and he felt real to me.

If you’re looking for a YA that’s at times is funny and light-hearted, yet deep and profound at others… something that explores characters finding themselves and fighting for the things they care about then you’re going to want to grab My Kind of Crazy.

Thank you to the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.
Profile Image for Laurence R..
617 reviews87 followers
January 28, 2016
Talk about a successful read! This was a fun, surprising and interesting book that made me forget all about the real world while I was lost in its universe.

The first thing I noticed about it was how realistic and authentic it was. Instead of reading about an attractive and popular character who's lucky in life, we discover a boy who lives a bit like an outcast, talking to a few people and trying to be unseen by his father most of the time. He doesn't have much luck at all, especially when the only time he's trying to be noticed by someone, a girl he wants to go to prom with, he sets her lawn on fire. I thought it was quite funny, but I could also relate a lot, because who hasn't tried to do something unexpected and ended up ruining it entirely? Hank's reaction was also realistic, which made me like him immediatly. While I can't really say this about everyone in this book, he never pretended to be anyone else and seemed to accept who he was more than most teenagers I know, which I appreciated even more, since his authenticity and sincerity made him easy to seize.

I know this novel might sound like your typical funny, quirky and cute YA story, it's far from that. It deals with a lot of issues, like mental health, but also ones that we all experience, like lack of communication with relatives or stereotypes. It was very well done and I learned a lot from it. I loved how there was never a "bad guy" in the end, because misunderstandings happen more frequently than we think and it's more realistic like that. I was happily surprised by the absence of the typical cheerleader/jock who's a bully but everyone seems to love anyways (I don't know about you, but while tons of YA novels have these characters, I've never met such stereotypical people), because it seems like all the characters in this book are more than they appear to be (just like most human beings).

I had a really nice time reading this book and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to a lot of people!

(Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
Profile Image for H.B. Jasick.
Author 14 books123 followers
March 13, 2017
Sometimes, somethings don't turn out exactly the way they are planned. When a promposal leads to the fire department being called, Hank Kirby is sure to be without luck, especially when he realizes there was a witness. What starts out as an attempt to keep the witness happy so that they don't tell, leads to a series of unfortunate, but hilarious situations that prove that his lack of luck might actually turn into him being truly lucky. A story of finding out who you are, finding what really matters, and discovering your possible destiny. This is a great story worth being shared and read, repeatedly. ❤️
Profile Image for Shaun Hutchinson.
Author 25 books4,642 followers
December 28, 2015
My Kind of Crazy is wonderful. Robin Reul has managed to write a book that is equal parts funny and heartbreaking. Hank Kirby's voice is authentic. This isn't a book filled with perfect people, but rather with people who probably remind you of your friends (or at least people you'd want to be friends with). I went into this thinking it was going to be a lighthearted comedy, but I found so much depth to these characters. Peyton and Hank and Nick felt real to me. They're hilarious and they have problems. And Reul doesn't let them off the hook easily. There are no easy solutions to their problems.

My Kind of Crazy is the kind of book I think teens are going to devour.
Profile Image for Glire.
740 reviews519 followers
April 6, 2016
Me siento engañada.

La portada y el capítulo inicial pueden hacerte creer que se trata de una historia divertida. No, no lo es.


Este libro toca temas realmente serios: enfermedad mental, muerte, depresión, padres alcohólicos, abusivos y ausentes. Esto podría hacerte creer que se trata, entonces, de una historia emocional e intensa. No, no lo es.

La autora toma toda la chispa divertida del comienzo y la apaga con montones de heavy drama que luego no lleva a ninguna parte.

¿Qué el papá de Nick es alcohólico y este problema juega un papel importante en la trama? No importa. Mencionemos de pasada una reunión en AA y solucionado su hilo argumental. ¿Qué Peyton tiene un serio problema de piromania en torno al que gira todo el plot? Dejemos de mencionarlo de pronto, estoy segura de que todos van a olvidarlo. Right?


El romance es otro desastre. A Peyton le gusta Nick porque cree que el es un "alma noble". ¿Cómo llegó a esa conclusión luego de verlo incendiar el árbol de un vecino? We never know. A Nick le gusta Amanda, asi que habla mal de Peyton —porque ella es "tan rara" (un alma noble salvaje ha aparecido)—. Esto es hasta que Peyton comienza a mostrarse débil y necesitada, entonces florece el amor (porque aparentemente no hay nada mas fácil de amar que una doncella en apuros) y Nick le pide... ¿que se muden juntos? ¿Tras solo una semanas de haberse conocido?


Se salva de que no le de solo una estrella porque la escritura tiene sus buenos momentos, pero ese plot... not my kind of crazy.
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,165 reviews1,523 followers
April 2, 2016
Hank Kirby wanted to make a bold move to ask his dream girl to the prom, he decides to go to her house and spell out "prom" with sparklers in in her front yard. Unfortunately for Hank this wasn't the wisest choice as when the sparklers are lit they catch the dry grass on fire and quickly spread to a tree. Freaking out with what to do and hearing the sirens coming Hank makes a run for it only to find he'd dropped one of the sparkler boxes.

Going back to search for the missing box the next day Hank runs into Peyton Breedlove who lives close by and witnessed the whole incident. A brooding loner and budding pyromaniac, Peyton feels connected to Hank and somewhat forces the two into a friendship with Hank worrying Peyton may tell on him. After spending some time with Peyton though Hank feels the two have more in common than he would have imagined with this somewhat weird girl.

My Kind of Crazy is a cute YA contemporary story where the awkward boy wants to go out with the popular girl but ends up meeting his awkward soulmate instead with various obstacles thrown in the way. I read where this was compared to a John Hughes movie of the eighties and I could totally understand the comparison, loved the movies and thoroughly enjoyed this read that brought me back to them.

The characters in here are best described as a group of misfits that while they are awkward in every way they are also completely enjoyable. I did kind of question if Peyton's issues were a little too deep with the overall feel of the story, it's tough not to worry she'd get the help she needs but still couldn't help but hope they all get their HEA.

Overall, fun YA contemporary read that I'd recommend checking out.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....

Profile Image for Ruth Lehrer.
Author 3 books65 followers
December 6, 2015
I was lucky enough to receive and ARC of this 2016 book. The smooth prose really reminds me of John Green's style. I loved the different levels of "truth" that the characters share with each other, peeling layers of confession, hurt and vulnerability. And funny!-- I especially love the first fire scene; a young crush gone awkward wrong. This YA debut is going places. 2016 look out!
Profile Image for Bee.
814 reviews209 followers
May 31, 2016
Quite The Novel Idea ~ Words from the Clouds

What is up with all these good contemporaries this year? I'm scared for the day when this lucky streak is going to run out. Though My Kind of Crazy isn't quite up there with some of the other recent YA Contemporary books I've read, it's still pretty high up on the list. Speaking off, this will be another list review, as I find it easier to explain my feels about this particular book in that way.

I really loved the overall story. There was originality to it and a lot of diverse elements, which I always celebrate. It deals with things like poverty and mental illness and abuse while avoiding stereotypes. Though one could argue that Nick and his italian family are stereotypes, but if you know typical italian families (which I do, hi boyfriend's family!), they are all walking stereotypes so. Yay diversity!

I also loved the characters. I was surprised how much I ended up liking some of them, like Hank's dad and his girlfriend Monica. Hank's dad grows so much throughout this book and he's just a side-character! Monica ended up being totally awesome and sweet. I even liked Amanda, the popular girl Hank has a crush on. She was actually pretty nice. Nick was a really good friend for Hank and I loved their dynamics. I liked all the relationships in this book, really.

♦ Of course Hank and Peyton are the most important characters of the story. Yes, I did love both of them individually. They both come from a messed-up home and they understand each other. Hank grows a lot in this book and I'm so proud of him! And Peyton too! I love them both, individually. Together? Well...

While I did root for them as a couple and I liked their romance, sometimes the pacing of it felt all over the place. Does that make sense? Probably not. Sometimes it went too fast and then it went back a step or two again. Could be just me though.

♦ The writing was really good. There was tons of humor, which I love! Hank's voice was so real and I really felt for him! This book is funny, but also quite emotional at times because of the aforementioned issues it deals with. Though maybe those emotional moments don't always hit quite as hard as they should with me.

The drama levels spiked a bit too high sometimes. Some of those were necessary, but others felt a bit too much. The book would've still been great without some of those drama moments.

Overall, My Kind of Crazy is a funny, diverse, pretty original and honest book that deals with some tough issues without beating you over the head with moral lessons. Another YA Contemporary I recommend to fans of this genre.
Profile Image for Alex (Pucksandpaperbacks).
445 reviews155 followers
June 6, 2016
I recieved this book via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review
One promposal goes up in flames, literally. Hank meets Peyton the day after his failed promposal. Peyton becomes a big part of Hank's life. Though, Peyton is not who Hank thinks he knows.

This story turns modern-day Cinderella when Amanda Carlisle creates a survey to find who the mysterious house-burner is. Hank becomes #456 to try to take Amanda to prom.

Reul took the time to describe her characters specifically their attire. That was something that stood out to me. 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 a family dealing with tragedy. It was written very well, had me almost on the verge of tears.

Hank writes 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.

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.

In the end, I didn't agree with Hank's decisions. [more to come...]

Character development was okay in this book. We do see Hank develop, but the biggest character development was within his father.

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!
Profile Image for Paula.
415 reviews52 followers
March 11, 2017
This book was crazy, but crazy good. "My Kind of Crazy" by Robin Reul surprised me. I had wanted to read it for a while and finally decided to do that. I expected it to be a YA rom com type of book, but I got way more than that. Don't get me wrong. It was funny. At times I was laughing tears. Being in the head of a teenage boy for the duration for a book is already funny in itself. If the boy is one who has the worst luck or the stupidest ideas - that will either leave you cringing or laughing. I did both.
I adored Hank. He was a cool teenager, even though there were few people in his high school who world agree with this statement. But I could relate to his clumsiness and his social awkwardness.
His story started out with a bang, well, actually it was sparklers. Ones he lit on a girl's front lawn and caused a fire. That's one way to impress someone. Pity he impressed the wrong girl - one who seems crazy at best and scares the daylights out of him. Peyton is different - she likes to set things on fire and clearly doesn't even try fitting in.
I was intrigued by her, though also a little bit scared or at least worried.
What starts out as Hank trying to placate Peyton so she doesn't rat him out, slowly turns into friendship.
But neither Hank nor Peyton know how to handle the situations life throws at them and the secrets that try to get in between them.
I loved seeing how they tried to navigate through not only teenage life but also through difficult lives, difficult pasts and personal problems.
I thought it was great how Peyton's issues added depth to the book, I just wish the author wouldn't have rushed through the ending. The issues Peyton had deserved a little more attention toward the end and a little less of happily ever after. After establishing so much of her personality and of her relationship with Hank, it felt cut short how they deal with everything. That disappointed me a little because it was no minor hiccup that Peyton and her behavior caused, so while I liked that Hank was really supportive, something was missing for me.

The writing style was fabulous though and the pacing was great as well. I enjoyed Hank's inner monologues and his thoughts in general.

It's definitely a book worth reading.

4 crazy stars.
Profile Image for Trisha.
4,652 reviews161 followers
July 11, 2016
"It can be a lonely friggin' road, Hank. But knowing you're not alone can carry you through some pretty dark places."

What a wonderful story. About being imperfect and being okay - and about friendship and family and love. This was a quick read - funny just when I needed it but serious about serious issues but showing that those issues don't have to define us. We all have quirks. Don't change who you are, find someone who loves your quirks.
Profile Image for Erica Chapman.
Author 2 books178 followers
January 27, 2016

LOVED it!! So much character in this story. ADORE Hank! His voice made me laugh out loud a lot. This is full of charm, wit, and heart. I found myself rereading certain lines because I related to them so much. I was a fan when I read this intro in 2014 and now that I've read the whole thing I can say that Reul is now an insta-buy for me!!
Profile Image for Joshua Flores.
25 reviews9 followers
November 26, 2015
This book is now one of my all time favs. It is a blend of John green and Jennifer Niven, with a hint of David levithan. I loved it. From lighting a tree on fire to sneaking into a strip club, this book has it all. I laughed the entire time I read it and I enjoyed it so so much. What a wonderful and sentimental story of appreciating the crazy in us all.
Profile Image for Gae Polisner.
Author 11 books472 followers
May 20, 2016
I read an early version of this book and it is poignant and ridiculously funny -- laugh out loud funny -- with quirky unique characters. Cannot wait to read the final version. You want to add this to your Must Read shelves.
Profile Image for Tom.
325 reviews30 followers
January 12, 2016

Were I in high school, I would totally have a crush on Peyton Breedlove. She’s one of those weird girls who wears tee shirts emblazoned with 1970’s rock band logos, and ripped jeans with smiley faces drawn on her exposed knees. She refuses to eat fruits or vegetables with skins.

Oh, yeah. And she’s a pyromaniac.

We all have our faults, though, right?

However, it’s not Peyton that high school senior Hank Kirby has in his sights for a prom date. He wants to ask one of the hottest girls in school, the beautiful, surprisingly nice Amanda Carlisle. Average guy Hank knows that to have any chance, he’ll have to devise something extra special to get Amanda’s attention and woo her into that all-important prom date. His plan seems brilliant.


One night, he sneaks into Amanda’s front yard, and sticks sparklers in the ground, spelling out “PROM.” He lights them, then calls Amanda’s name. She comes to the window just in time to see the huge cedar tree in her front yard burst into flames and threaten to burn down her house. Hank’s ingenious plan had basically turned into arson. Hank turns tail and hauls ass away on his bike, hoping he can escape.

When he discovers a missing piece of evidence, he returns to the scene, only to find the mysterious Peyton holding the incriminating sparklers box. She compliments him on his fire and returns the box.

Thus begins a friendship, a ride so wild Hank could never have imagined where it would lead.
That’s the beauty of Robin Reul’s novel “My Kind of Crazy”: the characters.

Everyone has their quirks. Hank’s best friend, for example, is a lazy-eyed Italian named Nick, whose father is rumored to have killed a man. The two are the type of friends who are thrust together by circumstance. Neither of them are horrible geeks, but they’re certainly not A-list popular.

All too soon, Peyton finds Hank and Nick in the cafeteria, and an interesting triangle is set up. Amanda and prom pretty much disappear from Hank’s mind, as he finds himself drawn to the troubled, mysterious Peyton. Then Amanda—who finds the arson/promposal intriguing—sets up an online questionnaire, trying to discover her would-be suitor’s identity so that she can accept his offer and go to prom with him.

Over 400 guys sign up, answering questions about how and why they performed the pyrotechnic act.

How the Amanda Carlisle sweepstakes turns out is just one of the great surprises in “My Kind of Crazy.”

There’s so much to love in this book. To me, the greatest joy in reading it is that Robin Reul obviously had a ball creating this world. Her characters all have their own brand of crazy working. Like all teens, there are parental issues, some worse than others. There are the standard issues all teens face—the inevitable awkwardness, even among the elite, the love for chili cheese fries, worrying about appearance, et cetera. But Ms. Reul loves her characters, and treats them all with affection, even when they’re at their worst.

“My Kind of Crazy” is an apt title, too. Everyone in the novel has their own set of oddities. Even the apparently flawless Amanda…I mean, who sets up an online contest for an unknown guy to be her prom date? Especially when the guy nearly burned down her house. That’s just weird.

What Robin Reul is able to do, though, is show that while we’re all crazy, sometimes our crazies mesh harmoniously, and we create bonds stronger than we ever imagined possible.

I once had a girl tell me, “The crazy in me gets off on the crazy in you.” (It turned out she was a complete lunatic, but it was still a great line)

In the end, Hank, Peyton, Nick, and even Amanda are all changed in their own ways. It’s a tweak of confidence here, a dollop of affection there, and a whole lot of self-discovery along the way. The ending leaves us with a sense that everyone will be okay. Nobody’s life will be perfect. Nick won’t be the lothario he dreams of being, and Hank will never be a hero like in one of his beloved comics, but we know they’ll be fine.

That’s what we do in this world. We make our way through as best we can, even though—as the song goes—“Mama, we’re all crazy now.”

By the way, that song was originally by the English band, Slade, then covered by Quiet Riot.

Peyton would know this. And that’s why I’d have loved her.

Most Highly Recommended
(nb: I received an advance review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley)
Profile Image for Alyssa Marie.
58 reviews6 followers
January 20, 2016
Thank you to NetGalley for my copy of My Kind of Crazy.

This was truly one of the best books I've read and I'm not even a big YA contemporary reader! I felt such a strong connection to this book. After finishing it, I feel uplifted and with a fresh outlook on life. It is a rare kind of book that can bring this sort of feeling to me. My Kind of Crazy reminded me a lot of John Green's novels - Hank's narration is so funny, witty, and profound. He is comical and sometimes sarcastic. The way the words flowed from page to page was done so magically well that I even felt like I was in the story.

After Hank's disastrous attempt to ask popular Amanda to prom, he comes across another girl in school - Peyton. She witnessed everything he did that night when Amanda's house almost went down in flames from Hank's "promposal" sparkler idea gone wrong. Peyton is quirky, mysterious and unlike anyone else he has never known. As their paths cross, they develop an unexpected friendship and closeness. I especially love the way their relationship developed over time. Nothing felt rushed or forced, their conversations felt real and even sometimes awkward. That made it feel even more realistic to me. Not only was the story between Peyton and Hank so engaging and interesting, but there were more stories going on this book that pulled me in as well. I liked the family dynamics between Hank, his father, and Monica. I mostly loved how realistic the relationships felt.

My Kind of Crazy is a beautiful book that made me laugh but also feel so much emotion. People aren't perfect and life isn't perfect. This book is such a wonderful coming of age story that reminded me that life is not always what we expect. Life might be messy, but you never know what surprises your future might hold.
Profile Image for Kris.
408 reviews45 followers
March 13, 2016
(Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley, I received an ebook copy of this book for free to review.)

At first, I thought this was just going to be a silly little love story, but about 20% in I realized that wasn’t going to be the case at all. I also thought it had a similar plot line to another book I had read recently, again I was wrong. The two main characters are extremely relatable.
The author has a way of making light of tough situations, but not undermining the feelings involved. The story touches on the subjects of addiction, death, guilt, grief, emotional and physical abuse in a very empathetic way. There were a couple of times when I laughed out loud while reading, and other times I could feel my eyes welling with tears. It was the perfect combination of serious and funny.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. I found it quick to get through but also memorable.
Profile Image for Ari .
929 reviews306 followers
March 13, 2016
Original review: The Daydreaming Bookworm

*I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *


For the past two weeks I’ve been in a YA slump. I COULD NOT find anything that could hold my attention, which led to bad bookworm behavior (aka: me reading smut!). I needed to find a YA book that would hook me fast and thankfully My Kind of Crazy did just that. Let’s get this FANGIRL review started!

Hank Kirby only has one goal in mind when he sneaks out in the middle of the night armed with a boxful of sparklers to Amanda Carlisle’s house: to get her to go to prom with him. But his big, romantic gesture backfires and his plans go up in flames, literally. To add fuel to the already raging fire, Peyton Breedlove witnesses the whole thing. Peyton becomes quite taken Hank and oddly enough, Hank finds himself enjoying Peyton’s company, despite her strange pyromaniac tendencies. While their friendship starts to grow, Hank realizes that Peyton is hiding something, a secret, one secret that could change their whole relationship.

This little debut was PRETTY DAMN GOOD! Right from the first page, I was instantly hooked and I could not stop cackling. This book is like a combination Eleanor & Park x Flipped x Diary of a Wimpy, which are all books that I completely ADORE! The writing was what initially drew me in, with its perfect balance of both humor and seriousness. This is the kind writing style I LOVED to read when I was a teenager reading YA. Unlike many YA contemporaries today, the plot for this book is not romance driven. Family, school, and life as a teenager are all issues tackled in this book and it was a bit refreshing to not read a story about a boy and a girl falling in love. Hank and Peyton are two individuals who are just trying to find where they belong and they manage to do that together.

Family is a major theme throughout this novel as both Hank and Peyton both know what it’s like to come from broken homes. After losing both his mom and brother, Hank’s life changed for the worse as his dad became depressed and spent most of his days drinking the grief away. What I liked most about Hank’s relationship with his father is that even though he hated the way his father treated him, he still loved him deep down. He worked extra shifts to help his father with keeping a roof over their heads and was even willing to put off college just to keep working to take care of his father. I don’t think that Hank’s father is a bad guy, just a man still grieving and seeing how their relationship changed in the end was great because if his father didn’t step up, I would’ve been EXTREMELY UPSET!

Reul also tackles issues like growing up and figuring out one’s future. Hank has a passion for drawing and writing comics and Peyton encourages him to follow his dreams even though he doesn’t believe that they are attainable. Peyton too doesn’t look forward to much, other than turning 18 so she can finally be on her own, and by the end of the book, she has a some sense of direction where she wants to go and what she wants to do. It’s not perfect, but the fact that these two are even able to see themselves having more than what they originally bargained for is what matters the most.

Like I stated before, there is a bit of a romance throughout this book and these two together were a riot. The situations they found themselves in, the shenanigans they pulled, pure entertainment. These two worked well together because they were total opposites: Hank is kind of laid back and keeps his head down, while Peyton is loud and does whatever she sets her mind to. These two face a number of obstacles throughout this book, some that could make or break any relationship, and with each obstacle they overcame, they grew closer together and they also grew as individuals. Hank gains self-confidence and sees that he is worth something and Peyton learns what true, unconditional love feels like.

There is a bit of a plot twist thrown in when Peyton’s secret is revealed. I didn’t even see that coming and I have to admit it was GOOD, that’s all I’m going to say about that!

Overall, this was a fun and hilarious debut that I could not put down. I enjoyed every minute of it and I didn’t want it to end! I HIGHLY recommend checking out this book if you are looking for a quick and entertaining read. I laughed, I cried, I had a smile plastered on my face the whole time and I simply could not get enough!
Profile Image for Amirah I..
116 reviews31 followers
March 12, 2016
"Everybody needs someone who gets their kind of crazy, right? That doesn't come along every day."

(Advance digital copy provided by Netgalley)

This book started off with a promposal- that went totally wrong! A supposedly romantic gesture has turned into a tragedy when Hank almost burned down the lawn of the girl he's trying to ask to prom. And there's a witness: Peyton The Cray Cray. She's a weird, friendless girl who happened to be at the crime scene at that time and Hank has to do whatever it takes to keep her mouth shut. Believe me when I say we're talking mental-crazy here, not the i'm-cool-idgaf kind of crazy. She does a bunch of weird and scary stuff like burning down Barbie dolls (what a waste!), lighting up random stuff in flames and some other things pyromaniacs do. I love how original the idea is! She's not the character you always meet in other books.


From the first meeting, there's an insta-friendship moment. Hank, Peyton and Nick (the typical two boys, one girl trio you see in YA books) are friends in no time. And as it turns out, the girl Hank's asking to prom, Amanda is in fact flattered by the act of the 'mysterious boy' who set fire to her lawn just to ask her out. So she starts giving out questionnaires to find the one held responsible. This may be Hank's chance, right? But at the same time, both Hank and Nick are starting to fall for Peyton. Dramas.

I absolutely loved the backstories of the characters. Once we get to know their family, they are just three friends of misfits that messed up in their own way. But what I didn't actually like is the friendship itself. It all happened too sudden, which is unbelievable. I mean, they have just met and bam! They're the best of friends. But I did love the relationship between Hank and Peyton - how it is built from trust and we as readers can feel it developing and it feels real.

"But someone can only hurt you if they matter to you in the first place. And this weird sense of loss I'm feeling, believing I've caused some irreparable damage to our friendship, makes me realize that in some messed-up way, she's started to matter to me too."

The characters are funny and relatable, though I'm not sure if I liked Peyton that much. Yeah, I get that it's her mental illness but man, she's scary! The flow of the story is good, and I've always love it when books don't give you an actual ending, but rather, an open future where a lot of things may happen, but with a hint of a happy ending. It's not just a teenage love story but in fact, also deals with family problems and confidence-building. I'm happy with how it all turned out in the end, and how much the characters developed their self-assurance and self-worth. A very good debut novel, indeed!
Profile Image for Alicia.
71 reviews50 followers
January 21, 2016
I was provided an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

"The minute you came into my life, everything went batshit crazy. Good batshit crazy. It's like it went from black and white to color. I'm not just giving up and walking away because you're the best thing that ever happened to me."

I'm not really sure how to explain my feelings for this book except for:

I finished this book in one day I just couldn't put it down! The book starts off right away showing the clumsy, nerdy Hank. After embarressingly failing to ask a girl, Amanda, to prom, and come forward for being the "mystery guy", he tries so hard to keep it under wraps and from possibly getting in trouble for the promposal-gone-wrong. He ends up getting involved with Amanda's neighbor, Peyton. This girl is strange. She came out of nowhere and until now, Hank didn't know she existed yet went to the same school. Yet there's something about her.

Peyton is crazy. Or, just not like every other "normal" teenager in high school. We slowly see Hank and Peyton growing closer. And sooner or later, their deep dark secrets emerge and we see sides of them we never saw coming. Crazy.

I didn't expect this to be your typical high school drama-love story type. But I'm not disappointed. At first I was a little weary, and not so sure about this story. It was just weird. But as I went on, I started to fall in love with the way this was written. And the story in general. I had to know what was going to happen next. And the whole time Peyton gives off this interesting and curious vibe. So much it makes you want to keep reading just to figure out what her deal is.

The end of this book completely ruined me. And I mean that in a good way. I was SO happy with the outcome and literally started crying at work (yes, I know). I started connecting with Hank's character (which was strange cause he's a guy but I felt for him during the entire book). More specifically at the ending, the family issues he overcame were just so heartwarming! UGH.


Profile Image for Wendy.
80 reviews37 followers
July 9, 2016
Lees mijn Nederlandse recensie hier: https://raisingmybook.wordpress.com/2...

I wished for this book on Netgalley because the synopsis got to me. It seemed a playful read and also very unique. So I started reading and it turned out this book blew me away.

First of all; I really love Hank, the main character. He is a sweet but maybe a bit of a crazy guy. Besides, he is quite witty. His hilarity really was the best thing in the book. He didn’t just make the usual jokes, but also a lot of self-mockery ones that really made me laugh. His personality was very pleasant.

There also was this thing about Peyton, she was described as a very mysterious girl and all the actions around that were very interesting. There is a good paced way how we find out what the secrets of Peyton are, while it also slowly becomes clear why she is acting like that and why she does that.

This book is dazzling and serious. There are some serious subjects that take place, like divorce, a car accident, alcohol problems and mental illness. Hank hilarity is regularly interspersed with the serious issues and this can really touch you. It makes you think how close laughter and crying stand together.

In addition, I find it very neat how Robin makes the serious matters negotiable. She knows how to give that turn so that it isn’t a depressing story, but a very open one. I think the jokes in this book truly contribute to that.

My Kind Of Crazy was very different, but I mean that in an absolute positive way. The main characters were sometimes, yes, a little weird. But that is exactly why the book is called My Kind of Crazy, right? The twist to the story makes this is a very nice read and that is why I give it five stars!
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