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Goy Crazy
     

Goy Crazy

4.2 8
by Melissa Schorr
 

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Rachel Lowenstein can't help it. She has a massive crush on a goy: Luke Christiansen, the gorgeous star of the basketball team at St. Joseph's Prep. But as the name implies, he's not exactly in Rachel's tribe. Clearly, her parents would never approve. And her Jewish grandmother, on more than one occasion, has issued a stern edict: "Don't go with the goyim!"

Overview

Rachel Lowenstein can't help it. She has a massive crush on a goy: Luke Christiansen, the gorgeous star of the basketball team at St. Joseph's Prep. But as the name implies, he's not exactly in Rachel's tribe. Clearly, her parents would never approve. And her Jewish grandmother, on more than one occasion, has issued a stern edict: "Don't go with the goyim!"

But still...

Everyone's got an opinion - from her annoying neighbor Howard to her new, social-climbing best friend - only making it harder for Rachel to make a choice. Should she follow her heart and turn her back on her faith? Or should she heed her family's advice and try to find a nice Jewish boy?

With an unforgettable cast of characters and razor-sharp wit, Melissa Schorr's debut novel is an engaging comedy about a girl going goy crazy.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Debut novelist Schorr expresses the lighter side of teen rebellion through her spunky, discontented heroine, a sophomore at Riverdale High in the Bronx. As Rachel Lowenstein reflects on her boring, relatively sin-free existence during the High Holidays, she decides that "racking up some serious pointage on the Sin-O-Meter" will make life more interesting. Her main goal is to snag a "blond Adonis," namely, Luke Christiansen, who attends a Catholic school. Hooking up with Luke does prove to be exciting but causes her a good amount of stress as well. Especially when the two bump into her parents' friends at a Lower East Side deli and when Luke pressures her to get a tattoo (an action that might prevent her from being buried in a Jewish cemetery, according to Rachel's girlfriend). Predictably, Rachel's feelings of guilt (coupled with the fact that Luke is a bad kisser) cause her to rethink her attraction to a "goy" and set her sights on a nice Jewish boy (childhood friend Howard Goldstein).This humorous depiction of first love offers a witty first-person narrative and situations to which all readers can relate, but the lessons Rachel learns from her experience with Luke lack depth. While she gains insight into herself, in general, the "goys" here (Luke, his friends and an ex-boyfriend of Rachel's cousin) are cast in a dim, somewhat unflattering light. Perhaps all the better to make a case for Howard. Ages 12-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Kelly Grebinoski
What is wrong with a little crush? A lot. In fact, sophomore Rachel Lowenstein knows that falling in love with the wrong guy is not all that it is cracked up to be. Enter Luke Christiansen. Luke is a star basketball player and is popular. He has blond hair and blue eyes. Rachel is Jewish and Luke celebrates Christmas. Not only do Rachel's parents steer her in the other direction, but her grandmother also gets involved. Rachel gets good grades and does not have a lot of social friends. When her best friend Jen tries to nudge her way into the in-crowd, Rachel learns a little about herself. She decides to get tangled in a trap of deception with her Jewish neighbor, Matthew Wallen. She is not actually dating him or—is she? Rachel's Jewish faith controls her fate. Does she pull through or fall in love? Whatever she does, she experiences what most fifteen-year-olds do in high school: social pressures, scandals, and more. Schorr's writing is honest and her dialogue is rich with description. It will leave even the non-Jewish reader wanting more.
VOYA - Mary Ann Harlan
It is nice to see religion handled in a lighthearted manner in young adult fiction. Rachel Lowenstein and her parents are "twice-a-year Jews" who only attend temple on the High Holidays. Nevertheless when she finds herself with a crush on Luke Christiansen, who attends a Catholic school and has a crucifix over his bed, she does not tell her family. When Rachel breaks the "teen commandments" and Luke becomes her boyfriend, and she goes to great lengths to make sure her parents do not know-after all her bubbe told her "don't go with a goyim.o Despite the different conflict, this novel is a predictable romantic comedy. Rachel examines her feelings on being Jewish, and her relationship finds her in a few uncomfortable situations because of the religious differences. Of course, Luke is the wrong boy for reasons that have nothing to do with religion, and in true romance fashion, the right boy is under her nose. There are subplots that help Rachel grow and discover herself, including a math class she should be acing but is not, a best friend who has suddenly become popular and has a boyfriend, and another friend who has developed interest in a Hebrew youth group but has her own secrets. As with all predictable romantic comedies, this one ties up with a neat little bow.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Rachel Lowenstein has all the problems of a typical 15-year-old girl: socially driven friends, boy trouble, and bad hair days. Fed up, she vows that sophomore year will be different. First rule: break the rules, or, more specifically, break "The Teen Commandments," her listing of good-girl ways. After all, getting high grades and thinking for herself haven't gotten her very far up the social ladder. Then Luke Christiansen, a handsome, blue-eyed, and definitely not-Jewish basketball star, arrives on the scene. Rachel juggles several issues as she plays dumb in math class to gain cool points, follows her best friend's forays into the "So Very" crowd, and hides her boyfriend from her parents. But it's her struggle with her heritage that ultimately takes center stage. Eventually, she tackles her compulsion to please everyone and discovers that she already possesses the "foundation" to make wise decisions about her faith, her friends, and her family. Schorr's debut novel successfully combines Jewish values with snappy narration, much like Sarah Darer Littman's Confessions of a Closet Catholic (Dutton, 2005). Peer pressures are realistically portrayed as Rachel navigates the politics of popularity. Her fresh and witty voice is injected with such humor that readers will be drawn into the tale and will agonize along with her. Descriptions of parties with alcohol, discussions of premarital sex, and a Web-site scandal involving a seminude picture make this novel more appropriate for older teens.-Erin Schirota, Bronxville Public Library, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
High-school sophomore Rachel Lowenstein is, like most teenaged girls, preoccupied with boys, self-confidence, popularity and a positive identity that may not necessarily include her Jewish roots. Wishing to break from her overprotective parents, Rachel vows to follow her own version of the "Teen Commandments." They include, "Your parents may think they are your Lord, but your peers are your God. Thou shalt follow their will." It's a continuously self-reflective, sometimes funny, sometimes deprecating, almost always cynical account of her daily struggle to outwit her parents and find acceptance among peers (who behave outside her Jewish norms) while fulfilling her own desires. Moreover, Rachel discovers the importance of good values despite religious faith, while trying to date her newfound gentile boyfriend. Schorr's perspective of a Jewish teen's pressures, which include drinking, the pitfalls of the Internet and self-destructive behavior, are realistically portrayed from her Holocaust-surviving Bubbe to her eagerly excited parents, who are tricked into assuming she is dating the Jewish boy next door. Rachel's narrative is droll and sharp with scenes that are comical, troubling and poignantly sincere. Well-written chick-lit with a Jewish slant. (Fiction. YA)
School Library Journal - Erin Schirota
Schorr's debut novel successfully combines Jewish values with snappy narration, much like Sarah Darer Littman's Confessions of a Closet Catholic. Peer pressures are realistically portrayed as Rachel navigates the politics of popularity. Her fresh and witty voice is injected with such humor that readers will be drawn into the tale and will agonize along with her.
Booklist - Stephanie Zvirin
Dialogue is wry and funny, and Rachel, smart and sensitive, is at that familiar place where the opinions of peers, especially boys, are tough to ignore. Even readers who aren't Jewish will recognize Rachel's struggle to find the right path––and the right boy––for herself.
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books - Karen Coats
Chock-full of laugh-out-loud irreverence. Her comically overblown hysteria keeps pages turning for every girl who's ever wanted an off-limits boy.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786838523
Publisher:
Hyperion Books for Children
Publication date:
09/28/2006
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Melissa Schorr, the author of the comedic young adult novel GOY CRAZY, is a widely published freelance journalist currently living outside Boston.

As a native New Yorker, she grew up in the Riverdale section of the Bronx and attended the Bronx High School of Science and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism outside of Chicago. Upon graduating, she returned to New York and began her publishing career at Working Woman and GQ magazines.

While working in the editorial department at GQ, she proposed a humorous essay called “The Joys of Goys,” about her personal experience dating non-Jewish men. That generated national attention from angry rabbis to admiring prison inmates (as well as her agent), and served as the inspiration for her novel, about a Jewish girl who falls for a Catholic boy.

She has served as a stringer for People magazine, a columnist for the Las Vegas Sun, a features reporter for the Oakland Tribune, and an editor at the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine.

Her work has also appeared in more than 20 publications, including Glamour, Self, Allure, Marie Claire, Bride’s, Baby Talk, Working Mother, In Style, Esquire, San Francisco, National Geographic Traveler, Wired magazine, as well as newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal and the San Jose Mercury News, and websites including Lifetimetv.com, Reuters Health and WebMD.

She was awarded a 2000 Knight Science Journalism Fellowship from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

Schorr currently lives outside Boston, Mass., with her husband, her daughters and her dog, Bailey.

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Goy Crazy 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
All a girl wants to do is find the love of her life, or in this case a high school sweetheart. Fortunately for Rachel Lowenstein, she has just found the guy at her brother's bar mitzvah. He's handsome, a basketball player, and his name is Luke Christiansen. Which is the only problem she has with Luke--his last name. All Rachel hears from her grandmother and family is how she should find a respectable Jewish boy to date and marry. But crushing on Luke may not be the best choice for Rachel since he is far from being Jewish; he celebrates Christmas! So Rachel decides that she is tired of all the problems that she faces, from bad hair to having hardly any friends, and makes up her own teen commandments, which she occasionally changes, and which she hopes to break.

So Rachel begins to change the way she does things. She starts acting dumb in math class, lies to her family, and tries her best to keep Luke a secret. Besides that, Rachel also has to deal with her only best friend, Jen, who is trying to get into the popular crowd; Leah, her only other real friend who keeps on warning Rachel about her wrongdoings; and Howard, Rachel's neighbor turned enemy.

Yet Rachel starts to second-guess her decisions and wonders if they are really worth all the lies and deception when the ultimate tragedy happens to her. Is Luke really the guy for her; is acting dumb in math class worth the "popular" points? Rachel ends up discovering her true self and sees that change just isn't for her.

GOY CRAZY is sweet, tragic, and laugh-out-loud hilarious. With her first teen novel, Ms. Schorr successfully makes her main character understandable, relatable, and, above all, realistic. By the end of the novel, readers will be glad about Rachel's final decisions, yet sad that the novel is over. GOY CRAZY was a fantastic read that left me wanting more. I just hope there will be a follow-up to this novel.
AmeliaTheYoungAuthor More than 1 year ago
Goy Crazy! The book is great. And Shares a plot that most kids of every religion can relate to. This is a book that would be great to share with friends. All the way through the book, it challenges against Rachel and Jen, Rachel and Leah, Rachel and Howard, Rachel and Tara, Rachel and Her Parents, and then theirs Luke the only person who seems to understand her...Or so she thinks. This is a book that if you see it on the shelf at your schools library...Pick it Up!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
All a girl wants to do is find the love of her life, or in this case a high school sweetheart. Fortunately for Rachel Lowenstein, she has just found the guy at her brother¿s bar mitzvah. He¿s handsome, a basketball player, and his name is Luke Christiansen. Which is the only problem she has with Luke--his last name. All Rachel hears from her grandmother and family is how she should find a respectable Jewish boy to date and marry. But crushing on Luke may not be the best choice for Rachel since he is far from being Jewish he celebrates Christmas! So Rachel decides that she is tired of all the problems that she faces, from bad hair to having hardly any friends, and makes up her own teen commandments, which she occasionally changes, and which she hopes to break. So Rachel begins to change the way she does things. She starts acting dumb in math class, lies to her family, and tries her best to keep Luke a secret. Besides that, Rachel also has to deal with her only best friend, Jen, who is trying to get into the popular crowd Leah, her only other real friend who keeps on warning Rachel about her wrongdoings and Howard, Rachel¿s neighbor turned enemy. Yet Rachel starts to second-guess her decisions and wonders if they are really worth all the lies and deception when the ultimate tragedy happens to her. Is Luke really the guy for her is acting dumb in math class worth the ¿popular¿ points? Rachel ends up discovering her true self and sees that change just isn¿t for her. GOY CRAZY is sweet, tragic, and laugh-out-loud hilarious. With her first teen novel, Ms. Schorr successfully makes her main character understandable, relatable, and, above all, realistic. By the end of the novel, readers will be glad about Rachel¿s final decisions, yet sad that the novel is over. GOY CRAZY was a fantastic read that left me wanting more. I just hope there will be a follow-up to this novel. **Reviewed by: Randstostipher 'tallnlankyrn' Nguyen
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book is fantastic I can totally relate to Rachel and should be read by everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Every chapter was very interesting and I was always cracking up! You should definately read this book! I would totally recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, it was amazing! It took a while to get to the point but when it got there it was great. It stayed at a high point until it ended! I knew that she wasn't going to stay with Luke and that she was going to get with Howard. Most books go that way girl gets guy but then starts to like guy that she's known her whole life once he becomes popular. But it was a really great book.