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I Belong

Review: Crazy House by James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet

Crazy HouseTitle: Crazy House

Author: James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet

Genre: YA Dystopian

Series: N/A

Publication Date: May 22, 2017

Format: Hardcover, 368 Pages

ISBN-10: 0316431311 (Hachette)

ISBN-13: 978-0316431316 (Hachette)

Reviewed by: Kristie


A thrilling new YA novel from master of suspense James Patterson, who’s created a frightening new future: a world where teens are taken, imprisoned and forced to fight for their survival. Where 17-year-old Cass will do whatever it takes to save her twin sister from Death Row.

There were no charges. There was no trial. There will be no escape. 

Seventeen-year-old Becca Greenfield was snatched from her small hometown. She was thrown into a maximum-security prison and put on Death Row with other kids her age. Until her execution, Becca’s told to fit in and shut her mouth… but Becca’s never been very good at either. Her sister Cassie was always the perfect twin.

Becca’s only hope is that her twin sister will find her. That perfect little priss Cassie will stop following the rules and start breaking them, before it’s too late. Because her jailers made a mistake that could get them both killed:

They took the wrong twin. 

Quick & Dirty: Dark, quick read set in a dystopian world where nothing that is happening makes any sense but it does have a satisfying ending.

Opening Sentence: Thank god for programmable coffeemakers, that’s all I want to say.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Crazy House was a novel where I had no idea what to expect. The synopsis on my ARC was short and sweet, nothing like what is on Goodreads. And for some reason, I didn’t read it before picking up my copy. All I knew was that a sister was kidnapped and that no one can find her and that she can’t get out. I was definitely not expecting a young adult dystopian novel. I honestly thought this was going to be a contemporary mystery novel.

Twin sisters Cassie and Becca have spent their lives growing up in a cell where their lives and everyone’s lives around them are determined. Their cell is a small farming community which only measured about fourteen miles from end to end. One day Cassie wakes up and realizes her sister Becca is missing just like a few other kids in town. The town should be in turmoil over the missing kids especially since population control is severely maintained but instead the disappearances have been brushed aside. The Provost claiming that these kids are terrorists and no one wants to go against his word.

Cassie searches for her sister with no luck so she enlists the help of the twin’s worst enemy, the Provost’s son. Her search uncovers the worst place on earth. I do not want to go more into detail to avoid spoilers but this place is harsh. Crazy House is not a correct term, although I guess some people might call prison a Crazy House, and the characters do keep calling it that. I thought it was more like Abuse House or Death Row because they are in a prison. The kids range in age from probably eight years old to older teenager. They are terribly abused, beaten and tortured.

The story is quite dark obviously. I knew the twist but what mattered was how it played out and the main characters’ reaction to it. Plus, it was the way that they played out the ending that made me really enjoy it even though I was really getting uncomfortable with the torture these kids were going through. The novel did keep me in suspense until the very end.

Crazy House was told through many different POV’s in the first person. The chapters let you know who was currently telling the story. I never once got lost in the different perspectives. The one thing that I really did like with Crazy House was the very short chapters. It kept everything moving and the story felt like a really quick read.

Overall, the story is a dark, quick read. I feel like this book could have a sequel but it is good as just a standalone too. I wouldn’t mind reading more about this world but I am satisfied with this ending. If you want a good thriller of the young adult variety then I would recommend checking this out especially for this weird dystopian world.

Notable Scene:

“Cass. I’m really glad to see you, but trust me when I say that I would give anything for you not to be here.”

“I want to be where you are,” she said stubbornly.

“This is a prison,” I said carefully. “Full of kids from hundreds of different cells, including ours. Kathy Hobhouse is here, and I guess Livvie Clayhill use to be. But in here there are tests and training and fights.”

Cassie frowned. “What? Why?”

“How well you do at them decides how long you’ll stay,” I said, still pussyfooting around.

“So people get out?”

I hated seeing the spark of hope in her eyes. Slowly I shook my head. “No. This is . . . death row. The only way out is . . . to get executed.”


FTC Advisory: Hachette provided me with a copy of Crazy House. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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