2000 reissue of 1999 release, Contemporary Romance
St. Martin's Press, $7.50, 323 pages, Amazon ASIN 0312971125
There are two reviews of this book.
To most romance readers, Jennifer Crusie is a goddess. I sometimes feel
that I am in a minority of one in not worshipping at her feet.
Yes, she is a wonderful storyteller and has an excellent sense of humor,
especially if you like girl talk, but her women characters seem to bond
so closely with each other that the relationship between a Crusie
heroine and her girlfriends is closer than the heroine's relationship
with the hero.
Crazy For You is the story of Quinn McKenzie who teaches art in
high school. She is living with the coach, Bill Hilliard and he assumes
that they will marry and have sons who will be star athletes.
One day Quinn decides that her life is "beige" and she is tired of it.
That afternoon, a student shows up with a dog and Quinn falls in love
with it. This dog is a little, scrawny, ratty looking thing that
shivers and pees all over the place. Quinn adores it, Bill hates it and
tries to take it to the pound. That's the last straw, Quinn moves out,
buys a tumbledown house and moves in with the little rat/dog.
Quinn's friends all think she has lost her mind giving up a wonderful
man like Bill. Even Quinn's best friend Darla wonders about her. Darla
has been happily married for seventeen years and even though her own
marriage is getting a little boring, she still wonders. As for Bill -
well he progresses from denial that Quinn has left him, to stalking her
to assaulting her. Definitely not a nice man.
The love interest comes in the form of Nick, a mechanic who is Quinn's
ex brother-in-law. Nick and Quinn have been friends for years, but Nick
is allergic to commitment. When he sees that Quinn needs help with her
ratty old house and her ratty pissing dog and her stalker ex-boyfriend,
they end up spending a lot of time with each other and just being around
each other begins to activate their hormones big time.
There is a cast of colorful supporting characters including Quinn's
father who lives for ESPN, her mother who comes out as a lesbian, the
principal of the school who is a smarmy little brown-noser, and a host
of chicks who all seem to hang out at Darla's beauty shop.
Crazy For You moves along at a good clip and Jennifer Crusie is a
marvelous storyteller, but I never thought that Quinn and Nick
liked each other as people. Yes they lusted big time and
were very hot to trot, but that's about it for their relationship. I
just did not get a feeling that Quinn liked Nick as a man - actually I
didn't think Quinn liked men as men. She just was not all
that comfortable with "guy things" like sports (come to think of it, all
the men in the story who were involved in sports were real
Neanderthals). Nick was just there to scratch her itch and help her
with the heavy stuff.
In the best of romances, I close the book feeling that the hero and
heroine love each other and liked each other too. They
will put up with each other's annoying habits, be there for each other
in good times and bad and support each other no matter what. I predict
in a couple of years, Nick will get the old wanderlust and Quinn will
feel beige again and then it's "Goodbye baby, nice to have known ya!"
-- Ellen Micheletti
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