By Tqwana B.
3 out of 5 stars ★★★☆☆
I never intended to pick up a naked hitchhiker wearing nothing but a guitar. A guitar. Really. I don’t collect guys like that (don’t ask what kind of guys I do collect), but when you spot a blonde, tanned, sculpted man with a gorgeous smile and his thumb poking up and practically begging you to stop – you stop.
And I definitely never thought I’d be staring into the bright blue eyes of Trevor Connor, the lead singer for Random Acts of Crazy, an indie rock star I followed like the slobbering fileshare fangirl I am. How he came to be nude and lost six hundred miles from home is quite the tale, but how we fell in love is even more unreal.
Because someone like Trevor Connor, headed to Harvard Law next year, isn’t supposed to want someone like me, a rural Ohio chick majoring in Boredom at Convenience Store University who is all curves and frizzy blonde hair and manners so unpolished they have sharp edges that make you bleed.
But he did.
When his best friend, Joe Ross, the bass player for Random Acts of Crazy and a man who makes Calvin Klein models look like Shrek, drove eleven hours through the night to rescue him, though, it got real complicated. It’s one thing to like two different guys and be torn.
What do you do, though, when maybe – just maybe – you don’t have to choose?
As my Aunt Josie says sometimes, “It’s always complicated.”
* * * * * *
Random Acts of Crazy is a standalone, full-length novel (300+ pages, 85,000 words) featuring Darla Jo(sephine) Jennings, the 22-year-old niece of Josie Mendham from the Her Two Billionaires series. It has, like many New Adult novels, an exploration of sexuality for the three main characters, doesn’t shy away from mature content, and Darla has a sailor’s mouth.
We don’t always love the books we review here on 80 Books, and this is one example. Yet, I found myself wanting to finish this read (I think that’s why I gave it 3 stars instead of 2), though it was problematic on so many levels and ridiculously predictable.
A girl picks up a naked guy on the side of the road, one who’s high as a kite, wearing a guitar and a smile, you would expect this to be humorous. Humor differs for everyone, but I didn’t find much funny about Random Acts of Crazy. In fact, I found this book to be somewhat insulting and condescending. Privileged rich boys from Massachusetts come to the trailer park and somehow find freedom to be themselves? Bullshit. There’s no freedom in poverty.
Spoiler: Notice that in the end, no one stays in the Ohio trailer park. Nope; we all go back to Mass to live a better life, with our BMWs paid for by our parents (But you’re such a man, right?).
The narrative itself is sort of imbalanced and reads as if the author wrote it on the fly and had to make things work as she was going along, rather than plotting it out ahead of time. Like, oops, I forgot I wrote this, now I have to make it make sense. Take ‘Aunt’ Josie for example, who I believe was confirmed as an aunt in the beginning, but then her closeness in age to Darla was explained away by making her a cousin who acted like an aunt? Yeah, confusing. Or when Darla suggests to Trevor that he include his autistic brother in his band, but Trevor doesn’t mention the brother’s piano skills until much, much later in the book.
What did I like, then?
Darla our heroine, because she’s knows that there is no freedom in poverty. Being poor sucks a whole helluva lot more than being micromanaged by well-to-do parents. She knows that if she doesn’t get out, she’ll end up like her sweepstakes-addicted mother and her friend in the abusive relationship, or getting drunk at the bar like her uncle. I love that she’s not a size 0 and has insecurities, but doesn’t shy away from her sexuality. She takes risks. Darla sort of saves this book. And though this will never be a favorite, I want to read Kent’s Billionaire series to see how gutsy Darla is doing in Boston.