***I received a free copy from my Goodreads group in exchange for an honest review***
The summer after graduating from college, 22-year-old Danny Wolinski takes a cross-country US road trip with his friend, Ian Perez, hoping to find the inspiration to reach his songwriting potential, start a band, and avoid student teaching in the fall.
Danny is tormented by intense physical and psychological pain and sees music as his only relief, but the more he searches for his inspiration in an America filled with endless parties, heavy drugs, and lost souls, the more he questions whether it exists.
A deeply disturbing psychological coming-of-age novel, THE SUMMER OF CRUD explores the complexities of friendships, masculinity, sex, mental illness, and addiction, and shows how the quest to unlock one’s creativity can both inspire and destroy a person.
THE SUMMER OF CRUD is the first book in a loosely-linked series with UNDERSTANDING THE ALACRAN and DEVELOPING MINDS: AN AMERICAN GHOST STORY as the second and third books, respectively.
I enjoyed this book. Danny was the main character with Ian being his road trip buddy. Tension started from the very beginning when Ian wouldn’t let Danny put his stuff in the car. The author did a great job with dialogue. Their fights seemed so real that I often wondered ‘how in the world can Danny be friends with Ian? He’s a jerk for no reason.’
My favorite lines: 1) We woke up late the next morning to the smell of fireworks and hot dogs and phony patriotism. 2) “And I’d rather live in a real world full of anger and abuse than a fantasy world of rainbows and unicorns.” 3) With such pain, every moment is about one thing and one thing only: escape. 4) I tried to see myself in the mirror, but my vision was so blurred and thoughts so rapid I couldn’t recognize anything outside of my own misery.
I felt bad for Danny. He was bullied by Ian. He was depressed and probably should have been on meds instead of excessively drinking. Danny definitely needed a hug.
The book kept mentioning a girl Danny had a crush on. I wish we could’ve gotten to know her more. What about her was he attracted to? With the ending, I’m still trying to figure out the point of the road trip…but, I guess it ended like that because the book is part of a series.
I RECOMMEND this book to read.