Crazy for You
Jennifer Crusie
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Crazy for You
Jennifer Crusie
St. Martin's Press
323 pages
February 2000
rated 3 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Residents of the town of Tibbett envy Quinn Mackenzie her perfect life. After all, she’s living with the most popular guy in town, Bill; has a perfectly good job as a high school art teacher; is surrounded by family and friends and everybody likes her. But Quinn herself is beginning to have doubts, almost bored out of her head by her safe but perfectly stagnating life. Then Katie comes into her life. One look at that small black mongrel with its desperate eyes and trembling body and she knows this dog is her destiny. But Bill absolutely hates it, her friends dislike it, her family is doubtful. But Quinn is determined to have this rat-like creature for herself. This sparks off a chain of events which completely tilts Tibbett upon its axis and affects almost everybody.

Quinn breaks up with Bill, buys her own house, and tries to seduce her ex-brother-in-law, Nick. On top of this, she has to cope with home improvement, threats of harassment, dog-napping, breaking and entering, doing Cupid’s job as well as her own and trying to evade an increasingly obsessive and possessive Bill, who refuses to take ‘no’ for an answer. Her sudden bid for independence and excitement appeals to the other women in town, namely Quinn’s best friend Darla and Quinn’s mom. After numerous attempts to seduce her husband fail, Darla leaves him and moves in with Quinn. Quinn’s mom kicks out her cable-TV-addicted husband Joe (who moves in with Quinn) and gets her lesbian lover to move in with her. Then, in an abrupt about turn, Nick decides he is crazy about Quinn and starts wooing her with a vengeance. Quinn suddenly finds that there is altogether too much excitement and activity in her life.

Jennifer Crusie’s trademark of romance with humor, tinted with mayhem and spiced with sensuality, is apparent in Crazy for You. The setting is the usual one of a small, obscure town in Ohio and its sometimes normal and boring, sometimes crazy and quirky residents. On the surface everyone in Tibbett looks placid and normal, but no can even begin to guess at all the seething emotions and churning desires beneath this veneer of normality. Crusie exposes and explores it all with her usual tongue-in-the-cheek style that is fantastic and yet somehow believable at the same time. Only Crusie could have taken a dog and made it the catalyst of all the events which rock Tibbett to its foundation. Crisp, sparring dialogue, utterly realistic characters, authentic small-town atmosphere – this book has it all. However, the element of humor is not as prevalent as it is in her other books. This books deals with a slightly more serious topic of stalking – a subject which Crusie chillingly portrays. All in all, Crazy For You is an engrossing read.

© 2002 by Rashmi Srinivas for Curled Up With a Good Book

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