Published: December 1st 2013 by HarlequinTeen
Format: Paperback, 464 pages
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From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane
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.
Katie McGarry continues to write amazing, heartwarming stories in Crash Into You, and this time she’s finally given us bad-boy Isaiah’s story. I loved this book – it even made me a little teary – and I can’t wait for the next one, Take Me On.
Isaiah’s got problems: he can’t help Noah and Echo pay the rent, he’s heartbroken over Beth abandoning him, and his mother has just walked back into his life after eleven years. In the midst of all the chaos he meets Rachel, whose life seems perfect from the outside, but is just as broken and difficult as Isaiah’s on the inside. Rachel was born to replace a sister who died of Leukaemia. She tries her utmost best to emulate this stranger who’s the only reason she exists, but she couldn’t be more different on the inside. Coupled with panic attacks that remind her parents of what they lost and the fragility of their daughters, Rachel’s life is utterly miserable, as are the lives of her four brothers – two old enough to remember her dead sister, and two who were conceived because her mother kept trying until she had another girl.
Isaiah and Rachel are absolutely smitten for each other from their first meeting, which smacks too much of insta-love for my liking, but they won me over by how devoted they are to one another. They are bound by their love of cars and speed, and their very sweet relationship blossoms under the unlikeliest of circumstances: they are both wanted by a street thug and have six weeks to come with the money he’s demanding from them. They have their individual hang ups as well: Rachel’s over-bearing and over-protective family and Isaiah’s past, but their mutual love for another is never in doubt. Which is refreshing, because too many books focus on faux relationship drama brought on by ex-girlfriends and female friends, keeping secrets and generally no communication between the couple, which doesn’t happen here.
Not only does this novel provide long glimpses into Noah and Echo’s lives, and even Beth’s, it also features quite the cast of secondary characters. Each of Rachel’s brothers distinct and well painted, and Isaiah’s friends, including Abby and Logan, are very interesting as well. Of them all, I love Abby the best – her quirky, sometimes abrasive friendship is just what the book needs to balance out the dire situation Rachel and Isaiah are in. The best part – Take Me On is about West, one of Rachel’s brothers.
The plotting is superb in Crash Into You – I didn’t want to put it down! I just had to know what happened next, and every time I thought, OK at the end of this chapter I’ll go to sleep, I kept reading! I went to sleep at 1:30AM, after I’d turned the last page. I just couldn’t get enough of the adrenaline filled racing scenes and the amazing romance. I think the book is well crafted, and of all three books in the series, the best in terms of plot, pacing and writing.
Of all the complex and weighty issues that Crash Into You tackles, including bad parenting, illegal activities, increased responsibilities when growing up, and the importance of the people you consider your family, blood relations notwithstanding, the one that made an impact on the most is the thoughtful examination of what happens to children in foster care after they turn eighteen. If no one teaches them to budget, to run a household, to save, and if they have no where to return to if they find college too hard or not right for them, how do they survive as adults? Katie McGarry always writes about the benefits of a good, caring therapist, and more importantly in this novel, a social worker who truly cares and wants the best for their charges. I think this book has a great underlying message, and creates awareness of issues that a lot of people are lucky enough to never have to think about.
The only thing that lets this novel down is its cartoonish villain, Eric. He’s a street thug, a very smart one, who runs the illegal drag racing that Rachel and Isaiah compete in. He’s dangerous and mean, with a host of other similarly tough and violent boys at his call. But he’s still young, and I don’t think it’s credible at all that the police apparently know all about his activities and can’t bring any charges against him. The book makes him out to be some young, cocky version of a Mafioso, with a lot of power behind him, but it was hard for me to believe.
Crash Into You is my favourite book of the Pushing the Limits series so far. I’ve always enjoyed Isaiah’s scenes and am grateful that we finally got to read his story. Fans of the series will be kicking themselves if they miss this instalment, and I’m eagerly awaiting the publication of the next book!
Blogging Outside the Box is a feature at Speculating on SpecFic, where books outside the SFF banner are reviewed. It is intended to highlight some of the non speculative fiction titles I am reading and share my thoughts with readers.