“I’m looking out from inside the chaos. It must be a one-way mirror because no one seems to be able to see back inside to where I am. The looks on their faces, the judgment in their eyes, tells me everything I need to know. The most frustrating part about the whole messed up situation is that even though I’m the one that they stare at in shock, I am just as shocked as they are. I know no more than they do of why I lose control. What they don’t know is that I am more scared of myself than they could ever be.” ~ Tally Baker After a devastating turn of events, seventeen year old Tally Baker is admitted to Mercy Psychiatric Facility where she is diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. She has come to a place where she honestly believes that her life is over. Her mind tells her that she will never smile or laugh again, that she will never be normal again. It is in this unlikely place that she meets two people, different in every way, yet both critical to helping her realize that she has so much more living to do. Candy, a cantankerous sixty year old Mercy Psychiatric patient, is hell bent on driving everyone as crazy as she is. Candy shows Tally that, regardless of her diagnosis, the ability to push on and live her life to the fullest is her choice and hers alone. In the midst of Tally’s oftentimes humorous, sometimes heart-wrenching, escapades with Candy, a new patient is admitted to Mercy—a Native American woman named Lolotea. Along with this new patient comes a daily visitor, her son, Trey Swift. At first glance, it is obvious to Tally that he is incredibly handsome and unbelievably caring. But what she learns through her second glance, and many thereafter, is that there is much more to Trey than he ever lets on. It is during these daily visits that Trey and Tally build a friendship far deeper than either of them truly realize. With Trey, Tally feels for the first time since being admitted that someone is looking at her as a person and not as a disease. Trey begins to make it clear that he wants more than friendship, but she knows that she can never give him more. How can she, when she won’t even give him the truth? Tally doesn’t tell Trey that she is a patient at Mercy, and she doesn’t ever plan to. Her plans go up in flames when she finds out that Trey is a new student at her school, the school where her brokenness was found out in the floor of the girl’s bathroom in a pool of her own blood.
I'm just going to put it out there...I LOVED this book. Loved it. Loved. It.
I've got a soft spot for mental health issues, having seen people I know and love affected by them so to see a realistic portrayal of something that doesn't necessarily guarantee a Happy Ever After. That's not to say that HEA's aren't possible -- but they aren't a quick fix. They take work and effort and faith and trust...and Call Me Crazy totally gets it.
I FELT these characters. Tally's insecurities and her frustrations. Trey's devotion. Even Candy's snark. Loftis does an amazing amazing job writing this story. She manages to find the perfect balance of angst and new love and friendship all wrapped up in a slightly frayed bow of realism -- pretty and perfect from a distance but upon closer inspection, it could start to unravel with just the slightest mishandling. Like Tally. (I hope that makes sense because it totally does in my head.)
Yes, I know Im rambling a bit -- but that's what I do when I love a book. The thoughts are bouncing around in my head and won't slow down long enough for me to form them in to pretty and concise words. But believe me when I say that I am smiling and bouncing and flailing about this book. And there were flutters. Yes, flutters. All in all, it was a very emotional read for me in all the best possible ways.
And the best part -- it introduced me to a new author. I am dying to delve into the other works by Ms. Loftis because I know I won't be disappointed.
Call Me Crazy Excerpt Chapter 3
I’m hunched down beneath the table like a frightened rabbit as I watch the tall figure kneel before the new patient across the room. I’m not sure how I came to be hunched down. All I know is that the moment he walked in the room, I felt the uncomfortable rush of something pouring through me. I’m not sure if I liked it or not.
He is Native American; there is no doubt in my mind about that based on his extremely apparent features. His long, black, amazingly shiny hair would have any woman envious of the obvious health in the locks. It flows down his back like a cascading waterfall. His naturally tan skin appears as smooth as silk and his piercing dark eyes don’t seem to miss a thing. He had even caught my movement and had glanced in my direction when I had so brilliantly decided to hide from a person I didn’t even know. I watch as he slowly stands and continues to look down at the woman before him. By the hesitancy in his movements she is obviously very important to him and I’m awed by the tenderness that such a large, imposing guy can show. After several minutes he turns to leave and my eyes never leave his retreating form until I can no longer see him. I feel a kick to my ribs and scramble up with a grunt.
“Crap Candy,” I growl at my snickering companion as I rub my side and glare at her. “What was that for?”
“A better question would be why were you hunkered down under the table drooling over Kemosabe?”
I frown at her. “That’s tacky don’t you think?”
“I’m sixty years old and crazy; I can do tacky if I want,” she snorts at me.
I can’t really argue with her there. Like pregnant women, old, crazy ladies pretty much get a free pass on crassness and eccentricity.
“So come on,” she pats the chair that I had so quickly vacated, “tell Candy all about it.”
I roll my eyes. “He just took me off guard, that’s all,” I lie smoothly.
Candy isn’t buying it. “He was hot, just admit it. Hot and he got you bothered.”
I cringe. “Candy, you calling a guy young enough to be your grandson hot is just not right.”
“Psht,” she flips her hand at me. “I’m old, not blind or dead. Besides, I didn’t say I wanted to jump his exotic bones.”
I groan as I bang my head against the table. “Where do you learn these terms? I mean it’s not normal for someone your age to blurt out crap like that.”
“Did you just use the term normal in a sentence describing me?” She raises her brow surprisingly at me.
I laugh. “Good point.”
“So, are you going to tell me why Pocahontas’ brother had you running for the hills?”
“There is something wrong with you, you know that, right?”
She smiles at me. “That’s what the voices in my head keep telling me. Now spill it.”
Now...go forth and read! Trust me.
Where to buy:
Barnes and Noble