Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mrs. Scribe Reviews: Sounds Like Crazy

Holly Miller hears voices~but, of course, they're all in her head.

That's the premise of Sounds Like Crazy, by Shana Mahaffey. Mahaffey's novel is full of a dark kind of fun, which will keep you reading until the redemptive end.

Holly is basically an anti-social NYU honors grad who's stuck in the most social of careers~diner waitress. In between scribbling orders and fending off conversations with the creepy side of New York City, she engages in a little repartee with a group she calls "The Committee."

"The Committee" consists of 5 distinct personalities who are very close to Holly & exist only in that 3rd dimension inside her head. In other words, Holly is host to multiple personalities, who both help & hinder her in her quest to uncover a few pretty dark secrets she's long ago buried in her subconscious.

Far from being a psychological text on Dissociative Indentity Disorder, or a modern paen to Sally Field's "Sybil" of 1976, Sounds Like Crazy takes the reader on a wild ride thru New York City & within Holly's thought processes, as she embarks on a 2-pronged attack to turning 30~she uses her personalities to launch a wildly popular voiceover career as the star of an animated TV show, while at the same time tackling a sticky self-examination to get to the bottom of her distress.

Sandwiched within almost 400 pages, Mahaffey introduces us to Holly & "The Committee": Seriously overweight Ruffles, who gorges on the chips of the same name; The Boy, who seems to be an alter-ego for another life in another time; The Silent One, who keeps watch over Holly's spiritual side; Sarge, who keeps the trains running on time & Holly's nemesis, Betty Jane, who is so high-maintenance that she pretty much drives Holly, well, crazy. Betty Jane is also the personality at the center of Holly's new show biz career.

Mahaffey's characters, from her heroine (and she really does turn out to be one), Holly, to the BF Peter, to obligatory shrink, Milton, are sharp & sassy. And "The Committee" commands the reader's attention, as well.

Sounds Like Crazy is sometimes cryptic, sometimes cozy and just insightful enough to keep the pages turning until the slightly shocking apex of the story. I have to say that I was a little sad, after finishing the novel, to leave Holly & "The Committee" behind.

Author Shana Mahaffey, as her Web site indicates, is just as eclectic as her characters. Her different take on the human condition is a fun & eye-opening read.

22 comments:

Suko said...

Sounds Like Crazy sounds like my kind of book. Great review! :)

Ally said...

This does sound good!

FourthGradeNothing.com

quilly said...

It is always a good sign when a reader is sorry the story ended because they're going to miss the character. I'll put this on my TBR list!

Cheryl said...

Sorry, can't go there with you. I am glad you read it and reviewed it so nicely. Now I won't be tempted to go down that dark road.

Tara R. said...

I have to check out this book. Sounds interesting, but could hit too close to home.

Jenn@ You know... that blog? said...

Definitely going on my list! Thanks for the review!

Shana said...

Mrs. Scribe, Thank you so much for the lovely review. My goal was to create a world that stays with people long after they closed the book, because as a reader that is what I like most about books. I hope I succeeded in some small way!

Suko, Ally, Quilly, Tara, and Jenn, I hope you all enjoy Holly and her Committee. I look forward to hearing your thoughts...

Cheryl, I understand! I always try to leave a light on at the end of the dark roads I write about. Maybe some day.

Cheers! Shana

carma said...

wait a minute - she's antisocial but going into showbiz - do we have another Lindsay Lohan here ;-)


seems very breakfast club-y. Glad you enjoyed the book

Mayra, mommy to Pooh Bear said...

Thanks for stopping by. =)

This book sound quite interesting. I'll have to check it out. Great review!


-Mayra, SITS

xoxoKrysten said...

Um, that sounds like a great book! Totally adding it to my list!

Help! Mama Remote... said...

This sounds like a good read. It might uncover some things I've long buried. Thanks for the review and stopping by my blog from SITS. I'll be back to check out your reviews.

Melissa @ Cellulite Investigation said...

I'm going to use this post as a primer for writing a succinct book review. I've been wondering how to do that and you seem to have it down pat.

Tracy P. said...

Once again, redemption sells. ;-) Sounds like a great read! Makes me wonder if that's what's going on with Robin Williams.

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Oh sounds like a great read. I think I'll go pick this one up. Thanks for the review. I always feel better when someone tells me to go get a book instead of plunking down the cash for one that may end up sucking...

:)

Alex aka Ma What's for Dinner
www.mawhats4dinner.com

Shana said...

Just stopping by again.

Carma, I would say Holly is definitely *not* a Lindsey Lohan :-) She manages to do voiceover because it brings with it anonymity.

Melissa, I agree, this is a great primer for a review. As the author who's book was reviewed, though, I guess I could be bit biased :-)

Mayra, Krysten, Mamaremote, Tracy, and Alex, I do hope you enjoy the book and look forward to hearing your thoughts it.

Thanks again, Mrs. Scribe.

Cheers,

Shana (author of Sounds Like Crazy) :-)

trish said...

So glad you liked it! I enjoyed it as well and was a little sad to finish the book and have to say goodbye to the Committee. I loved how Holly was the main character, but her Committee was like the co-main character!

Anyway, I agree Melissa that you write great, succinct reviews! I know what you thought but you don't giveaway the whole plot.

The Blonde Duck said...

That sounds so interesting!

Herself said...

I'm never reading a book again till you review it. Well, not really, but I wish you would!

Jeanie said...

I love to read a book that I wish didn't have to end. You wrote a great review and I look forward to reading "Sound Like Crazy".

miss jo said...

A love a good tale of multiple personalities. Sounds like a great narrative. I'll check it out of the library. Gracias !

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

I need to check out this book.It sounds interesting.
Thanks for sharing!
Betty xx

yonca said...

Sounds like an interesting book.I'll bookmark it! Thanks for the review Melissa!

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