This is the story of Rachel Lowenstein and her romance with Luke Christiansen. Rachel is Jewish and is pretty sure her parents want her to date (and eventually marry) and nice Jewish boy. This has never been an issue before because she’s never really dated before. That all changes when Luke steps into the picture. As his name suggests, he’s not Jewish. He doesn’t even go to the same school Rachel does. He attends St. Joseph’s Prep. – a Catholic school. Be that as it may, Rachel likes him and jumps at the chance to go out with him, even if it means hiding it from her parents.
Goy Crazy is a really interesting and well done book. I typically don’t really enjoy teen school/dating stories, but this one was so smart and so interesting on many different levels (not to mention very, very funny) that I couldn’t help but enjoy reading it immensely. Schorr handles the religious issues really well and paints a very realistic picture of a teenager struggling with the constraints of religion. What’s nice about it is that Rachel never loses her faith, she’s just frustrated with her religion and what she perceives to be her parents’ strict wishes based on it. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t question things, but she doesn’t waver. There’s a big difference, although it’s not a distinction I’ve seen made in fiction very often.
Schorr’s writing is fantastic. Rachel has a very definite voice that drives the book. She’s funny and real and draws you in. You want things to work out for her because Schorr writes her such that you almost feel like she could be your friend. And like with real friends, you occasionally see train wrecks coming and can’t do anything about them! The good thing is that I never lost faith in Schorr, I always knew that Rachel would end up ok no matter what trouble she got herself into because she was in the hands of such a talented writer. I would definitely pick up another book by Schorr based exclusively on her writing.
My one issue with the book was that the story was slightly predictable. Some of that was because of the cluelessness of the character, but some of it was just the way it was set up. This appears to be Schorr’s first book, so perhaps that’s an issue that will get better with time.
This was a really fun, funny book that dealt smartly and interestingly with some rather heavy issues. It’s not every book where the teenage heroine is worried that she won’t get to be buried in the cemetery her family is in because of a boy! I would definitely recommend this book. It’s a great read!