Monday, November 18, 2013

ARC Review: Crash Into You

by Katie McGarry
3.5/5 stars
HarlequinTeen, 2013
489 pages
YA Contemporary Romance
Scheduled to release November 26

Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

While I tend to shrink away from the extreme melodrama of books like Pushing the Limits and Dare You To, I still sometimes find myself drawn to them, craving the beautiful romance that sometimes emerges as well as the addictive writing. After reading the blurb for this book included in Dare You To, I had extremely high expectations for this story of Isaiah. We've seen him in the previous two books and it seemed high time that he got to tell his side of the story.

All started strong. Isaiah is a tough foster kid who has spent years cultivating his image so that no one can mess with him: maybe he wasn't the biggest kid to start but now people know not to mess with him; he doesn't have parents but he has his best friend Noah and Echo around him to provide some family; and he has cars and all his knowledge that can provide him a job and a way out of his life.

Rachel appears to be anything but strong. Born as a replacement for a daughter who died of leukemia and battling an anxiety disorder, Rachel's father and four older brothers "protect" her but they can't stop her from sneaking out to drag race, a need for speed that sends her colliding into Isaiah and putting the pair in debt to Eric, a street thug who is bad news.

Like McGarry's two previous novels, this looks at two seemingly disparate young people with practically uncountable problems who are thrust together, fighting an attraction with various degrees of success. We are already very familiar with Isaiah as he is friends with characters from the first two books. As the MC of this book though, more is shared about him. His love for cars is in the forefront and his family history is laid bare as are his convictions that he isn't good enough for a girl like Rachel.

Rachel is a new character to the series and we've not really seen someone like her. She is very rich and privileged but like the saying goes, "Money can't buy happiness." She is the youngest child and is incredibly overprotected due to the fact that her older sister Colleen died of leukemia. The view in the family is that she is there to keep the mother happy, to the extent that Rachel pretends to like purple and shopping like Colleen, downplays her fascination with cars, and hides her anxiety attacks even as they leave her completely sapped of energy, all so that she won't be a burden to her family. I clicked with Rachel's naivety to be honest; when she ventures in to the world of drag racing, she can't quite believe everything that's happening and I couldn't really either.

The real standout, for me and others as I've seen in reviews, was Abby, a drug dealing friend of Isaiah's who easily welcomes Rachel and is welcomed in return. There are several oblique hints at how she got in to the business but it's kept vague, indicating to me that she will be getting her own book at some point. As book 4 is about Rachel's brother West and a new character Haley, I am hoping book 5 will be Abby's and I'm sure there are others who've read this book that feel the same!

More of an enigma was Eric. First I know an Eric who is nothing like this villain so it was hard for me to keep seeing his name. Second this Eric is nineteen but seems to be in charge of a large swath of territory with his hands in many pots. As I confessed, I certainly overlap Rachel in naivety so I don't know if that young age is really plausible for his position but I suspect it's a bit unlikely. I felt a lot of menace from him though he wasn't nearly as frightening as Rachel's dad when he discovers what she's been hiding being that the father is a very rich and therefore powerful man who likely has many connections to law enforcement that he can call upon.

My biggest problem with this book (as I think it was for the previous two) is just the lack of communication between people. Rachel could have shared with her family on multiple occasions about her anxiety and her feelings as a stand-in for Colleen. It would have been hard, so hard but also so worth it to perhaps face her anxiety attacks and give her some piece. Similarly I wish they had felt comfortable turning to more of the people around them to fulfill their debt to Eric as they do have people in their corner. I feel like that's one of the conditions for melodrama though-people can't share what's going on or problems are headed off before they even occur. I also think I'm a pretty blunt and honest person so this whole "not sharing things that really bother you" thing is kind of foreign to me.

Overall: I don't think I will ever be completely won over by this category of melodrama but I remain committed to the series and look forward to more of the cheeky Abby.

Other Opinions:
A Belle's Tales
Alison Can Read
Belle's Bookshelf
I'm a reader; what about you?
Jen Ryland/YA Romantics-review day twins!
Love is not a triangle
The Reader Bee

26 comments:

  1. I was a bit torn about Eric too. I mean he is so young but from the book it sounds like he is a god on the streets on something. It's hard to imagine someone so young having such control. Anyhow I'm glad you enjoyed this one overall. Great review :)
    Thanks for stopping by :)

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    1. Maybe it's only because the other kids are actually even younger? I don't really know how to explain and I've seen other reviews comment on this as well.

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  2. Abby better be book five! The only question is whether she should go with Logan or with Ethan, since she flirted with both. I totally ship either outcome.

    Also, I was sort of annoyed that Rachel didn't just tell her parents everything. Her dad could have given her 5K out of petty cash. She would have rather been raped by street thugs than tell her parents anything?

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    1. Everyone seems to agree about Abby-how could McGarry not listen to us :)

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  3. Lack of communication in books often kills me too. Although I am intrigued by the anxiety angle.

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    1. Probably my least favorite barrier between YA couples-I love to talk things out and it drives me crazy how often that is relied upon!

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  4. Very true about the lack of communication!

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    1. They have so many other problems-at least they could talk about everything.

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  5. Very good point about the lack of communication. And I agree with Christina -- a girl as rich as Rachel could certainly have found a way to get the money. And I love what you said at the beginning of the review. These kinds of books can get melodramatic -- I need to be in the mood for them!

    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. I could not handle reading this kind of book all the time but since I know what to expect with McGarry, I can mentally prep.

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  6. Oh, I just read this one and Pawn and I saw both are 3 stars for you... I adored them, but when I read your reviews I notice all the things I ignored while I was reading them :D
    You'll probably make me change my rating some of this days!
    Great review!
    Happy reading!

    Lis @ The reader lines

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    1. I did like this more than Pawn-it's just that sometimes there are little things that are actually big pet peeves to the reader and this book happened to hit on quite a few of mine.

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  7. I liked Isaiah a lot in the previous book. I have this one, and I hope to start it soon. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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    1. I bet this book is just perfect for Isaiah fans; I'm just not really one.

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  8. While I liked this book, it wasn't my favorite in the series. I definitely agree with you about Abby and I wish the next book was about her instead of West whom I didn't really care for in this one.

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    1. I'm assuming she'll be fifth? She has to get her own book!

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  9. I agree with you about the melodrama-- but also like you I just can't stop reading--it's SO ADDICTIVE. I love Isaiah so much--he's by far my favorite mc of these three books. I'm kinda meh about Rachel--but I did enjoy reading about her overbearing brothers (even if they frustrated me to no end at times). And YES to hoping Abby gets her own book and soon! I'm also looking forward to West's story next. Great review:)

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    1. Yay for the Abby support! I'd love to point McGarry this way so she knows we're waiting for it :)

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  10. Great review sweetie :) I'm glad you mostly enjoyed it. Ah, yeah, I wouldn't be okay with that whole not-sharing thing. I too enjoy sharing everything, lol :) Thank you for sharing. <3

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    1. Glad we're both sharers-I'm not online lol ;)

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  11. Very interesting review. I also have this one for review and am very curious about the anxiety, as it is something I am very familiar with. You are right, I also wish the characters would sometimes communicate and seek help more.

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    1. I will need to seek out if you ever reviewed this so you can share more about the anxiety angle if you can.

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  12. Sometimes the angst gets too much for me lol. I skimmed your review as I haven't finished reading it but looks like you mostly enjoyed it.

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    1. Definitely found a bit to enjoy-it's just not quite my type of book.

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  13. I'm so mad at myself for not mentioning Abby in my review. You're right... she was definitely a highlight. I remember her more than the subject of Katie's next book. Still a sucker for Katie's writing even if this one wasn't my favorite of the series. Glad you are latched on too! ;)

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    1. How could you forget Abby??? I'll read the next book but if the fifth isn't Abby, McGarry is going to have some 'splaining to do!

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