Crazy Love You
Darkness has a way of creeping up when Ian is with Priss. Even when they were kids, playing in the woods of their small Upstate New York town, he could feel it. Still, Priss was his best friend, his salvation from the bullies who called him "loser" and "fatboy"... and from his family's deadly secrets.
Now that they've both escaped to New York City, Ian no longer inhabits the tortured shell of his childhood. He is a talented and successful graphic novelist, and Priss... Priss is still trouble. The booze, the drugs, the sex—Ian is growing tired of late nights together trying to keep the past at bay. Especially now that he's met sweet, beautiful Megan, whose love makes him want to change for the better. But Priss doesn't like change. Change makes her angry. And when Priss is angry, terrible things begin to happen.
As I pulled up the long drive, deep potholes and crunching gravel beneath my wheels, towering pines above me, I was neither moved by the natural beauty nor stilled inside by the quietude. I did marvel at the fingers of light spearing through the canopy, dappling the ground. I did not admire the frolicking larks or the scampering squirrels for their carefree existence. No. In fact, it all made me sick. There was a scream of protest lodged at the base of my throat, and it had been sitting there for the better part of a year. When it finally escaped—and I wasn't sure when that might be—I knew it would be a roar to shake the world to its core...
Enjoy this Reading Group Guide for your discussion.
Honors and Awards
- Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Best Book of the Year
- Booklist Top 10 Crime Fiction Audiobook Award Winner
- Bustle "10 Terrifying Audiobooks" selection along with Ruth Ware's The Woman in Cabin 10, Joe Hill's The Fireman and Shari Lapena's The Couple Next Door.
- The A.V. Club Reading List recommends CRAZY LOVE YOU with Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, Robert Galbraith's The Cuckoo's Calling and more.
Praise for Crazy Love You
"When I tell you I could not put this book down, I mean I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN!!! It is dark and twisted and captivating and full of endless surprises. I promise you're in for a wild ride."
—John Searles, bestselling author of HELP FOR THE HAUNTED.
"With CRAZY LOVE YOU, Lisa Unger has outdone herself. I’ve been a fan of hers for years but this is hands-down my favorite book she’s written. It has all the twists and turns we’ve come to expect from her, along with a delightfully unreliable narrator, and a psychological depth that is as poignant as it is shocking. People like to exaggerate claims of reading a book in a single sitting. I did—cover to cover without once rising from my chair. It’s that good."
—Gregg Hurwitz, New York Times bestselling author of ORPHAN X series
"Unger serves up all the standard entertainments of the psychological suspense tale, along with the bonus delights of sharply drawn characters and occasional rest breaks of humor… adept at evoking the eerie, but she’s also capable of droll sociological commentary on the urban scene… After reading Unger’s sinister thriller, anyone cavalier enough to think they can easily put the past to rest will think again."
—The Washington Post
"Exhilarating and gut-wrenching... proves to be complex and surprising in several ways, and Unger has a gift for telling a story with great characters while also manipulating the reader... it's crazy good."
"The union of art and story is the heart of Lisa Unger’s slick Crazy Love You... At first I thought I knew where Unger was driving me, but then she slammed on the brakes, turned and drove me right off a cliff."
"An extraordinary psychological thriller... manages to do an incredible amount of things, all of them well, including a truly unique romantic triangle and the blurred lines between unconditional friendship and romantic infatuation... a simmering tale of romantic obsession and angst in the tradition of Body Heat or Fatal Attraction, laced with the noirish spirit of James M. Cain. Wonderfully crafted and beautifully executed."
"Unger has long been adept at writing suspenseful, surprising novels, and Crazy Love You ups the ante. Every time I thought I had a handle on what was really happening and why, she gave the plot another sly twist that left me scrambling to catch up... has enough supernatural elements to remind us of Stephen King territory, but Unger always keeps us uncertain about just how real they are by populating her plot with characters who have a variety of psychological problems... It all leads to a shocking but ultimately satisfying ending, with even darker secrets revealed and resolved."
—Tampa Bay Times
"Unger’s skillful portrayal of complex and traumatized characters make her latest psychological thriller one that will keep readers engaged from start to finish... this imaginative tale... may be the author’s best work yet."
—Library Journal (starred review)
"A sordid tale of obsessive love gone bad."
—CBS Watch! Magazine
"Scores another bull's eye with this one. Classic Unger and a surefire hit."
"Suspenseful ... Will keep readers hooked."
"Her novels have explored deeper and darker parts of the human psyche and have drawn on unconventional storytelling. The result is character-driven stories that are emotionally involving... Unger skillfully keeps the reader off kilter"
"Darkly compelling psychological thriller."
"Nothing is what it seems in this creepy romance novel...Unger lets Ian tell his own story, and we get a close-up look at what’s going on in his head. It’s a little bit scary."
"This book is a real knockout...a haunting story of possession, addiction, and anger...Unger’s tricky psychological twists will keep you guessing until the last chapter. This is a compelling read that will not only scare you, but will keep you thinking after you finish the last page."
—Mystery Scene Magazine
"Manages to keep us guessing."
—Raleigh News & Observer
"Lisa Unger has a knack for writing the kind of edgy psychological thriller that lures you in and wraps itself around you. Then, just when you think I got this story nailed, she whooshes you off into another direction. When you settle there, you know you better not get comfortable... It’s just brilliant!"
"New and loyal readers alike are certain to be thrilled with this phenomenal thriller. It mixes two of my favorite genres, thriller and horror, into one perfectly constructed, absolutely chilling package. At this point in her writing career, no one can doubt or question Unger’s talent. It’s simply brilliant, taking readers to places they’ve never been (or in this case, were too terrified to go!)."
"CRAZY LOVE YOU is a mind-bender that pretty much forces you to read in a single sitting."
"Crazy Love You by Lisa Unger had so many elements I love from an unreliable narrator to a twisted thriller with a dash of mystery and romance that kept me flipping the pages. Brilliantly paced with depth, suspense and an underlying paranormal element Crazy Love You delivered... will knock your socks off."
—Caffeinated Book Reviewer
"Lisa Unger is without a doubt one of my favorite authors and this book just proves why. She is the master of twisted, dark tales. I've read quite a few of her books and seem to fall in love with her writing even more with each book."
—Always With a Book
"Crazy Love You is a mesmerising work of psychological suspense fiction. Will leave you wondering what is real and what is not!"
—Jay Dwight, Bookseller (Dymocks Australia)
"If you like your romance laced with fear... Lisa Unger’s Crazy Love You delivers page-turning psychological suspense as a woman from a novelist’s past wreaks havoc."
"The psychological and paranormal dimensions of Crazy Love You are superbly drawn, endlessly fascinating and extremely frightening. The undertow of despair might not be safe for novice word-swimmers."
"Riveting ... This is a complex, intricate story, yet the pages fly by as Ian, the most unreliable narrator since Nick Dunne in Gone Girl, leads us on a wild ride in this superb psychological thriller. Unger is at the top of her game here."
—Booklist (starred review)
"CRAZY LOVE YOU kept me reading like a madwoman, desperate to find out what happens next. This is a haunting, compulsive tale that will have you under its spell long after you've closed the book."
—Tess Gerritsen, #1 Internationally bestselling author of RIZZOLI & ISLES series
"Mesmerizing and unnerving from its first pages to its stunner of an ending, Lisa Unger's Crazy Love You is a tale you won't soon forget."
—Megan Abbott, bestselling author of YOU WILL KNOW ME and HBO writer.