Cassie has always been the responsible twin, the one to take care of the farm after their parents couldn’t, the one to do well in school and follow the rules. Becca is the rebel who hangs out with slackers, people who don’t add anything to the community. But when Becca goes missing, Cassie will do anything to find her, including defying the provost who sets the rules.
When the twins reunite it’s in a place Becca calls Crazy House, where kids are jailed, forced to fight each other, and executed regularly. Together they have to use their strengths to figure out how to get out alive.
Crazy House by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet is the first book in a series set in a future world where individual communities, or cells, specialize in producing something specific (i.e. the farming cell where Cassie and Becca live). Actions, occupations, even the number of babies allowed to be born are controlled. The twins are a threat to stability when they refuse to conform.
Even so, their lives aren’t at stake until they lose their place in that community. The jail they inhabit is brutal and unforgiving, but it also harbors a secret. Figuring it all out provides the clue to their ultimate survival.
With fast-aced action and a mystery to solve, Crazy House is sure to appeal to readers aged 14 and up who are okay reading about violence directed at teens. The end resolves the first book in a satisfying way while setting up the next book to come.
The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.