Author: Katie McGarry
Pub Date: November 26, 2013
ARC Received from Harlequin Teen in exchange for an honest review.
Dannie says: Trope-y as hell, but still a fun read.
The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life—that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers…and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker—a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.
Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks—no matter how angelic she might look.
But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.
WHAT I LIKED
Character chemistry--Katie does sexual chemistry in a league of her own (or one where she has very little company.) It's one of the reasons I pick up her books and give them a chance even when I'm not sure I'm going to be grabbed by the story. And I have yet to start one of hers that I didn't finish.
The FMC's personal demons and how she worked to overcome them. And I won't say more than that here because of major spoilers, but I liked how the author handled that. I did want her to take it a little further though so it's a like, not a love for me.
WHAT I LOVED
How much fun I had reading this book. It's not completely original or unpredictable, but well written with engaging characters, fast paced, and steamy sexytimes. Obviously this is how this author has built a name for herself in Contemporary Upper YA/NA and it is well-deserved.
WHAT I WANTED MORE OF
Thoroughly researched plot points. This was a source of contention for me in the original book in this series and continues to irk me--A guidance counselor is NOT a therapist. The training and licensure process are totally different. Are there people who do both? Sure. (I'm one of them.) But it would be a HUGE liability (one the public school system would not take on) to have mental health practitioners employed to practice therapy in a host environment. Fortunately, this wasn't as prominent in this book so it didn't completely ruin the read for me.
Original characters. The whole bad-boy-rich-girl trope is just kind of meh for me. I think to pull it off, you have to do it better than what's already out there. These two fell a little short for me, too similar to some of Simone Elkeles' characters. That said, they were still engaging enough that I finished the read.
***SPOILER ALERT FOR TWO PARAGRAPHS BELOW***
I think the author missed an opportunity to write something really unique by having the wreck happen in the last 20 pages of the book. That situation is ripe with conflict and I really wanted to know how they handled her injuries as a couple, and how things came together for her family (and his resolution with aging out of foster care.) While I liked reading this story, that would have been one I hadn't read before.
I was really disappointed that the brothers weren't linked to the main conflict more. It almost seemed like the story was originally written to go that route but the author (or publisher) ultimately changed her mind. But that would have upped the ante on their conflict and the FMC's relationship with her family a lot. So I was disappointed she didn't go there. I think you do your story a disservice when you don't up the conflict and tension between characters as much as possible.
Short story long, this book is not going to change the world, but sometimes you need a book that does something better--takes you out of yourself and into something fun for a little while. CRASH INTO YOU does just that.