by Lisa Unger
Genres: Mystery, Suspense Thriller
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Love hurts … Sometimes it even kills. Darkness has a way of creeping up when Ian is with Priss. Even when they were kids, playing in the woods of their small Upstate New York town, he could feel it. Still, Priss was his best friend, his salvation from the bullies who called him “loser” and “fatboy”…and from his family’s deadly secrets. Now that they’ve both escaped to New York City, Ian no longer inhabits the tortured shell of his childhood. He is a talented and successful graphic novelist, and Priss…Priss is still trouble. The booze, the drugs, the sex—Ian is growing tired of late nights together trying to keep the past at bay. Especially now that he’s met sweet, beautiful Megan, whose love makes him want to change for the better. But Priss doesn’t like change. Change makes her angry. And when Priss is angry, terrible things begin to happen…
Crazy Love You by Lisa Unger had so many elements I love from an unreliable narrator to a twisted thriller with a dash of mystery and romance that kept me flipping the pages. Brilliantly paced with depth, suspense and an underlying paranormal element Crazy Love You delivered.
Ian Paine had a painful childhood growing up in the Hollows, a small rural town in Upstate New York. He found solace with his friend Priss and his love of comic books. Bullied and accused of crimes he did not commit he sought escape to New York City. He becomes a successful graphic novelist and through it all Priss remains his friend and confidant. Priss has a whirlwind personality filled with booze, drugs and sex. She is very protective of Ian, and their relationship is quite toxic. Ian is growing weary and is ready for something more when he meets and falls for Megan. For the first time in forever, his life is falling into place perfectly, but Priss is not happy and the tale that unfolds sends their lives spiraling out of control.
Unger weaved such an incredible tale from Ian’s childhood to his wildly successful Fatboy graphic novels. I love how she kept me as the reader on edge as I tried to discern fact and fiction. A subtle paranormal thread and side characters took me further down the rabbit hole. Ian while not entirely likable is a character the reader comes to care for even as we question everything. Megan is sweet, and their romance is sprinkled throughout the book. The focus if Crazy Love You, is on Ian and his relationship with Priss. It was brilliantly done.
The synopsis of Crazy Love You is vague, and I make it a point never to reveal more. I think that with this book in particular the joy is in the discovery. I went into this with nothing more than the synopsis and loved how Unger allowed the tale to unfold, weaving the past into the present and connecting the dots. The characters are fleshed out, the story is vivid and the tension and danger increase as the story progresses.
If psychological thrillers and unreliable narrators are your thing, Crazy Love You will knock your socks off. I cannot wait to explore more of Lisa Unger’s work.