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CRAZY BEAUTIFUL by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

CRAZY BEAUTIFUL

By Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Age Range: 12 - 14

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-547-22307-0
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Lucius Wolfe and Aurora Belle are both new in school, but their situations couldn’t be more different. Aurora is instantly popular. Lucius, on the other hand, is an antisocial double amputee with hooks for prosthetics—to replace the hands he blew off in a reckless chemical accident. While Lucius makes only enemies among the usual crowd of stock high-school nasties, Aurora effortlessly becomes the social queen. Yet sweetheart Aurora is fascinated by Lucius, and the two orbit one another despite his pariah status. The tale’s structure (a not-particularly-successful “Beauty and the Beast” retelling) at first creates impressions of an unsubtle and offensive disability-as-beastliness metaphor. But as the story unfolds, it becomes clear that it’s Lucius who believes that disability is beastly, and his coming-of-age involves his learning that he’s wrong. Somehow, this romance transcends all of its potential pitfalls to create a powerful story about recovery and friendship. (Fiction. 12-14)