Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted and I thought I'd review!
In an explosion of his own making, Lucius blew his arms off. Now he has hooks. He chose hooks because they were cheaper. He chose hooks because he wouldn’t outgrow them so quickly. He chose hooks so that everyone would know he was different, so he would scare even himself.
Then he meets Aurora. The hooks don’t scare her. They don’t keep her away. In fact, they don’t make any difference at all to her.
But to Lucius, they mean everything. They remind him of the beast he is inside. Perhaps Aurora is his Beauty, destined to set his soul free from its suffering.
Or maybe she’s just a girl who needs love just like he does.
This book had some interesting connections for me. At my school, I'm very involved in the Musical Theater side of performing arts. Just a couple weeks ago, we finished our production of Beauty and the Beast which is what Crazy Beautiful is a modern re-telling of. So that's the first weird part, but then within the story, *SEMI SPOILER* the characters are putting on a production of Grease which my director just announced to be the second show we're doing this year. Crazy ironic right?!?!?!
So the plot is fairly simple, and follows the typical Beauty and the Beast storyline. Do I really have to go into detail. Beast is hideous. Beauty lives with her father. They fall in love, except that there is some second guy, who is bad, that also loves the Beauty. He turns Beauty against Beast, but eventually Beauty returns. The are together forever, yada yada.
(Actually, there is another reference, at least to the Disney movie; Aurora's last name is Belle.)
Anyway, although Aurora was kind of a typical "Beauty" the fact that her mother's death was explored more by Logsted can be greatly admired. The fact that we added a fourth person to the love triangle made it a complicated love square. ;)
Here is my diagram to explain:
How are my drawings? Adequate?
I haven't read a good love square in a long time so I was pleasantly surprised, and pleased!
Also, just the fact that we were able to dive into Lucius' mind so much, was so refreshing. Although he still had this dark and mysterious outlook, we learned more about him as a character, and as a rough base on the traditional Beast.
My favorite character, had to be Nick the Security Guard. Just that side plot of Lucius helping him get into the NFL again was so, oh, I don't know the word. Not pleasing, but almost, amazing. It was a softer side to Lucius that doesn't show up right away, and certainly doesn't show up with the traditional Beast. As for Nick himself, he was so human. *SPOILERS* Just his embarrassment of hassling Lucius about the metal detector. the moment that was the best for me was when he decides he doesn't care about hooks. That's he's just going to like Lucius for who he his. Reflecting on that decision later, he shakes Lucius' hook, in a gesture that must have been agonizing awkward for Lucius in the past.
My favorite moment with Aurora was her curiosity about Lucius and his amputees. That raw feeling of un-bearability and helplessness she feels when reading stories from other double amputees.
The underlying theme that I want to point out so much, is the desire for human touch. Also expressed in the stories from other amputees, but mostly expressed from Lucius himself, we discovered this tantalizingly painful feeling for not being able to feel someone. The scene when *SPOILERS* Aurora and Lucius kiss just in his mind he wants to touch her. And she wants him to touch her. Ahhhhhhhh, it was unbearable even for me! I can't even begin to fathom what it would have been like for them.
The more I analyze this book, the more I like it! 4.5/5 stars!