Crazy Comes in Threes
Contemporary New Adult Suspense
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Bad things always happen to Quinn in threes.
First her mother gets involuntarily committed to the behavioral disorder unit of the hospital. Then Quinn moves in with her new college roommates, only to find out that they are each as different as night and day. But the worst is yet to come: if Quinn can’t support her eleven-year-old sister, Tara will go into the foster care system, and she will never see her again.
Quinn devises a plan. She brings Tara to the dorms, telling her resident assistant and the desk attendant that her little sister is only spending the night. At first no one notices that Tara never actually goes home, but after a few days, Quinn’s roommates get suspicious. Tara’s social worker could stop by their house at any time and take Tara away forever. Quinn has to choose between her dream of living the college life, or Tara’s safety.
Strong start to a potential powerful series
This book tells the story of Quinn & her little sister Tara as they deal with a mother with debilitating mental illness, Quinn gaining custody of her sister, and trying to find a new "normal." Quinn desperately wants to go to college, live in the dorms, and for once be the quintessential teenager--going to parties, studying over pizza, and making friends with her roommates. But it all falls apart as her Mother's bipolar disorder makes it necessary for Quinn to "step up" and take care of her little sister.
Barone uses Nancy's (Quinn's mother) bipolar disorder to show how damaging mental illness can be, not only to the person suffering, but how the family as a whole is affected as well. I loved that Barone had Quinn confront ugly stereotypes we have as society ("those" people are crazy, only lazy "abusers" need food stamps, etc). It was a great opening to what could definitely be a deep story that deals with mental illness, families, the fallout, and how it's possible to peace your life back together after it's shattered.
This is the first book in a series Barone had to put on the back burner and I am eagerly waiting to see what else she does with it.