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Goy Crazy by Melissa Schorr

February 4th, 2007 (12:02 pm)
okay

Current Mood: okay
Current Song: Ferris Bueller's Day Off score music

For Rachel Lowenstein, the highlight of her brother's bar mitzvah was meeting a waiter named Luke. He's sweet, he's cute, he's her age - but he's not Jewish. In fact, his last name is Christensen and he goes to St. Joseph's Prep. She doesn't mind that he's not Jewish, and her friends probably wouldn't either, but Rachel is concerned that her parents might. It's really her grandmother's words that haunt her, accent and all: "Rachel, find a nice Jewish boy to marry. Don't go vith the goyim."

Rachel doesn't want to shake things up too much, but she doesn't want to ignore her feelings either. She decides to see Luke in secret. Never to fear: this is no Romeo and Juliet tragedy, but rather a light romantic comedy. While Rachel tries to figure out who she loves, she's also trying to sort out what she believes and who she is. Her little slip-ups along the way only make her more endearing to readers -- and to the boy next door, Howard Goldstein.

GOY CRAZY is a humorous, sweet story with a lovable main character and a delightful cast of characters. Rachel has two close friends who are extremely different: Jen, a social butterfly who goes to Rachel's school, and Leah, a reserved girl whose family goes to temple with Rachel's. There's Luke, of course, who is a basketball star, and Howard, the guy she's known forever and disliked just as long. Rachel's parents are kind and cautious, and her grandmother, Bubbe, has a remarkable presence. Rachel is never funnier than when she drafts - then breaks - the Teen Commandments, which include "Thou shalt not begrudge thy best friend's social success" and "Thou shalt not kill thy little brother."

Early teens who can't wait to be in high school as well as older teens who are currently stuck there should pick this book up. It is long enough to appeal to "serious" readers and the cover and plot are bound to catch the eyes of hopeless (hopeful!) romantics. Young girls will relate to Rachel's torn feelings, while adults who are kids-at-heart will remember their own high school dating experiences. Interfaith dating is not often addressed in teen novels, and Melissa Schorr clearly and gently addresses it, stamps it, and sends it with a smile. A notable debut.

Give this review a "yes" vote!

Mazel Tov Music: A Playlist for Goy Crazy
Hava Nagila (traditional arrangement)
Confessions of a Teenage Girl by Bonnie McKee
On Her Mind by Duncan Sheik
Horizon by The Rocking Horse Winner
Suddenly Everything Has Changed by The Postal Service
I Always Was Your Girl by Jennifer Love Hewitt

Read chapter one of Goy Crazy.

Check out my interview with the author, Melissa Schorr.