There are an awful lot of novels about 15-year-old New York girls trying to survive high school and somehow to be accepted (or at least left alone) by the popular crowd. And despite each one's requisite positive message when the heroine decides that she likes herself for who she really is, most of these novels hide their lack of appealing, well-developed characters and failure to address real issues behind an overabundance of flippant dialogue couched in the latest slang, with reference to recent movies or music thrown in, just to make readers feel that the story is relevant to their lives. Melissa Schorr's Goy Crazy doesn't use any of these crutches because it doesn't need to--main character Rachel, as well as the supporting characters, feel like real people. Without losing the humour that the wry and witty first-person narration injects, the novel successfully tackles the interesting--and every day more important--question of how to reconcile familial and societal expectations with one's own wishes. Suitable for all young adults, Goy Crazy is a fun and stimulating read.
While at temple for Rosh Hashanah (one of the two times a year that her family actually makes it to temple), 15-year-old Rachel Lowenstein has an epiphany. If shes going to be forgiven once a year by praying and repenting, then whats stopping her from committing a few little sins, just like everyone else? Heck, maybe a bit more sin is just what she needs to perk up her infuriatingly dull life. Sophomore year is already off to a bad startwith her parents as overprotective as ever, her best friend now hanging out with the So Very crowd, and Mr. Demented Diamenties sticking her in the back row of math class, which had always been Rachels best subject. Maybe its time to try something different, and see if her life doesnt improve by breaking a few of the old rules, and making some new ones of her own.
The first, and most important, of those is to somehow snag the most bussable busboy that Rachel meets at her brothers bar mitzvahthe very blond haired and blue eyed Luke Christianson.
An attendee of St. Josephs, Luke is definitely one goy that Rachel is sure her parents would never approve of. Her folks would much rather see her end up with a nice, predictable Jewish boy, like her neighbor, Howard Goldstein (whos been a total jerk since the sixth grade). Rachels grandmother has always warned her to never go with the goyim, but Rachel is just dying for a little excitement&and a little bit of Luke. The first step is to find out if he even remembers who she is&
Told with a breezy style, light-hearted honesty, and a keen eye for the hilarious, Schorr brings to life a heroine who takes realistic steps to find what she really wants. I truly enjoyed reading this successful first novel, and this is one author from whom Ill be watching for more YA in years to come.
Rachel Lowenstein has always been a good Jewish girl. So when she first spots Luke Christiansen, Catholic schoolboy, she stays away from him, although she describes him as a "blond Adonis." Later on, she realizes that her life is truly boring and maybe what she needs to spice it up is a little sin. Her first plan of action: get Luke. After several planned "just-passing-by" incidents, she is successful, and Luke invites her to a party. At first, Rachel is thrilled to be the subject of Luke's affections, but sneaking out to meet him, using her neighbor Howard as a cover-up date, and lying to her incredibly overbearing parents causes more stress than the former good girl expects. This, coupled with the fact that Luke really is not a good kisser, cause her to break it off. Maybe (gasp!) her parents were right? But where to find a good Jewish boy that is just as attractive as Luke, and a much better kisser? This novel has a plot that many girls can relate to, Jewish or Goy: liking someone who your parents don't. The Goy characters are slightly flat, but that just helps to prove the point of the story. Rachel's lessons learned can also be predicted, but overall this is a fun, entertaining read.