December 12, 2013

Book Review: Crash Into You by Katie McGarry

At First Sight: Isaiah Walker needs money if he wants to keep on living with his best friend Noah, as he waits to age out of the foster care system and to graduate high school, he doesn't want to go back to live with his foster parents or to be sent to a new foster home if the state discovers he hasn't been living with them for months. So he's willing to do something he swore he would never do: illegal drag racing. Just for a night, just to keep himself afloat.

Rachel Young is tired of having to pretend to be someone she's not in order to make her mom happy, but her whole family depends on it, as she's the only one who can keep her mom from wallowing in the lost of her first daughter Colleen, who died before Rachel was even born. Having to be perfect for her mother all the time, and being over protected by her four older brothers, has left Rachel with a propensity to have panic attacks (which she always hides from everyone). The only thing that makes Rachel feel like herself is driving her mustang as far as she can.

When a drag race gone wrong leaves Isaiah and Rachel both in danger and indebted to a local criminal, their lives become deeply entangled.

Second Glance: I don't think I'm doing a good job of summarizing this book, but I've been trying all afternoon and this is as good as it got. I really don't want to give much of the story because I found it pretty interesting and entertaining. And what I said, it's really just the first, say, quarter of the story.

Crash Into You jumps right in to tell Isaiah and Rachel's story, and I really liked both of them. Isaiah has a lot of anger but he's very loyal to those he loves and really wants to make something of himself, even if his aspirations aren't the same as Noah's. Rachel is stuck with a life that makes her really unhappy, her family loves her but they are also very selfish and expect her to be Colleen 2.0 so her mother can be functional and happy, and they pretend not to see how much that's hurting Rachel.

Isaiah and Rachel are very different, but find comfort in each other. To Isaiah, who hasn't experienced many good things in life, Rachel is like an angel who loves cars as much as he does, and who accepts him for who he is - scary tats and piercings and all - while Rachel sees Isaiah as the one person who likes her for herself.

They are both messed up in different ways but together they make each other better. And I love when I find that in a story.

Plus, in the background, we got plenty to keep us interested as the story progresses, Isaiah's mom is trying to return to his life, and his social worker Courtney is determined to make him deal with her; Beth's four brothers are a bit messed up in their own ways, and Noah and Echo (from Pushing the Limits) are still around, struggling with their own issues, but happily together.

And then there is Abby. I love Abby. I haven't loved a secondary character this much in a really long time and I hope I get to read her story sometime.

Bottom Line: In my opinion, Crash Into You was worlds better than Dare You To, I kind of liked it as much if not better than Pushing the Limits. I was frustrated by the story sometimes, but the characters always made sense and sounded true to themselves, and the story kept the tension going until the end. All in all, a win in all accounts. 

starstarstarstar1/2Personal Favorite 

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