3 out of 5 Stars
Twenty-two-year-old Darla is going nowhere in life, living in a small town where everyone knows your business and there are limited ways out. She’s stuck having to take care of her disabled mother and working at a gas station. Picking up a naked hitchhiker probably isn’t her best decision, but she’s never been known for making good choices.
Trevor and Joe are part of a band called Random Acts of Crazy. The band is just something they do for fun while they prepare to live their lives as their parents see fit. Getting high as a kite and ending up naked on the side of the road eleven hours away from home just might be the best thing Trevor’s ever done. He and Darla form a bond that shows Trevor there’s more to life than what his parents want for him. When his best friend Joe comes to rescue him, the dynamic between the three of them shifts, and they all might learn a few lessons about life.
I enjoyed the first half of Random Acts of Crazy more than the second half, but overall it was a decent story. All three main characters showed growth and progression; I just didn’t love how they each got there. In the beginning, I loved the way Darla and Trevor’s relationship progressed. They each learned something from the other, and it was nice to see the contrasts between their lives. The situation may have been a bit unrealistic and extreme, but it’s fiction and it was believable enough.
What I didn’t love was how Joe came into the picture and things shifted to another level. It felt like we were starting over with a brand new character needing to learn the same lessons the other male character had already learned. And then there was sexual attraction between Darla and Joe. I’m sure many people enjoy the idea of a threesome. I’m not opposed to it, but it just didn’t feel right to me in this story. It was more like Darla was attracted to Joe just because he was hot and he was there, but she tried to talk herself into feeling more.
Then there was the insecurity on all three main characters’ part. It was a constant back and forth over their feelings, and hearing it from three different people made it rather tedious. In fact, one of my biggest problems with this story was that it was told in first person point of view, but from all three points of view. The constant switching made it difficult to remember who was speaking at any given time. Each chapter held more than one point of view, and sometimes there were all three points of view multiple times within a chapter. It was too much, especially when Joe and Trevor were basically thinking the same thing but we had to hear it from each of them. This book would have been much better had it been written in third person point of view.
There were also numerous tense issues and direct reader addresses, as well as some formatting problems. Every now and then, there would be a minor inconsistency, like in one scene where Darla started the car twice. A little better editing would have gone a long way.