Crash Into You by Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits #3
Published by Harlequin Teen, MIRA
Genres: Contemporary YA, Young Adult
Source: Received for review from publishers
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Also in this series: Dare You To
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.
Thoughts: Despite my adoration of Dare You To (review), I was once again skeptical about Crash Into You. I hadn’t been much of a fan of Isaiah’s based off of his (what seemed to me) possessive, bordering-on-stalker behaviour in Dare You To. I just really couldn’t imagine liking any story he had to tell.
Of course, as seems to be the case with Katie McGarry’s books, I was to be proved wrong.
Crash Into You tipped this series from 4.5 star arena into the 5 star Hall of Fame. I don’t give out too many 5 stars (I gave out exactly zero last year), as a book not only needs to be brilliant while I am reading it, it also needs to be a book I think about once I’ve put it down. Looking back on my other 5 star books, that’s what really sets them apart: emotion. Crash Into You had me dreaming about its characters; it had me savoring every word for fear the book might end; it had me wanting to shout and swear through the pages. It isn’t just intellectually good; it’s emotionally satisfying as well.
On to the specifics: as it turns out, Isaiah isn’t the controlling jerkface I thought he was. OK, so maybe he’s a wee bit controlling… but only in that “I am trying not to get you killed” sort of way. Fortunately, Rachel was there to tell him when enough was enough. While she’s not the in-your-face badass that Beth was, she has a quiet strength to her and she hates having people push her around. In short: she’s exactly what that boy needs.
But while she is strong in a way, Rachel is suffocating. Under the thumb of a stifling family and victim of a crippling panic disorder, she can’t be herself. Isaiah provides support that allows Rachel to flourish – in a healthy, not-co-dependent, “this is exactly what a relationship is supposed to be” sort of way.
Crash into You also featured some fantastic background characters. Namely: drug-dealer/best-BFF-ever Abby, Rachel’s twin brother Ethan, and I-have-a-need-for-speed Logan. I’d read any of their books in a heartbeat (hence my disappointment upon finding out that the next in the series will be about Rachel’s asshole brother West… though I am sure I’ll learn to love him by the end).
I also have to raise my hat to this book’s plot. While novels that require the characters to deal with “inner demons” are great reads (Dare You To was one of them), I love it when there’s a real Big Bad in play. Perhaps that’s my genre fiction side showing, but I think it makes for a better novel. Crash Into You’s Big Bad was deliciously menacing; his threats added a lovely extra dimension of tension to the book.
In my Dare You To review, I went on for quite a while about it being an “issue” book. Let me just confirm: Crash Into You is just as much of an “issue” book as its predecessor. It addresses child abandonment, panic disorders, the effect of sibling death on a family, the psychosis of rich people, etc. etc. Just as in Dare You To, this book is a flawless combination of romance and issues. Only this time, the characterization is even stronger.
Bottom line? I am in love with this series. Completely and utterly in love. This book just goes to show that reading outside of your comfort zone can be a very, very good thing.
Feed my Reader is my excuse to highlight my latest e-book additions a-la Showcase Sunday/Stacking the Shelves/Mailbox Monday. This week I’ve got a tonne of gorgeous YA novels… and a cookbook!
Scorched (Scorched #1) by Mari Mancusi – Goodreads
I really, really, really wanted a copy of this when I went to BEA – but tragically they were out by the time I got round to meet the publishers! I cannot wait to get to this one! … DRAGONS!
Starling (Starling #1) by Lesley Livingston – Goodreads
I haven’t read any of Lesley’s books, though I have quite a few. This one stars a FENCER so, yeah, I had to have it.
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis – Goodreads
I’ve been lusting after this book for a while! Love that this is a standalone YA dystopia.
Inhuman (Fetch #1) by Kat Falls – Goodreads
I had this in a Waiting on Wednesday quite a while ago as I loved Kat Falls’ Dark Life. Still not a big fan of the cover, even though they’ve changed it from the ARC.
Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits #1) by Katie McGarry – Goodreads
I read both Dare You To and Crash Into You – and loved them to bits. I had to get the first book to complete the set!
Make It Vegan with Isa Chandra Moskowitz – free download here
I love Isa’s cookbooks, so nabbed this immediately when I saw it was available for free!
That’s all for now – let me know if you have any of these and what you think!
Dare You To by Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits #2
Published by Harlequin Teen, MIRA on May 28th 2013
Genres: Contemporary YA, Young Adult
Source: Received for review from publishers
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Also in this series: Crash Into You
If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....
Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.
But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all...
Thoughts: I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Dare You To. At first, I thought it would be too New Adult-y. 60 pages in, I thought it would be too misogynistic. But 100 pages in? I was completely sold. Dare You To pushed all my buttons and established – in a single book – a solid, believable relationship I could root for.
Simone Elkeles’ disastrous Chain Reaction (review) and her glorious Rules of Attraction (review) both lacked one thing: believability. They featured a heightened version of reality, in which even the worst scenarios were picture perfect. I bring this up because Dare You To was the exact opposite. It is gritty and dark and as close to reality as a romantic book can get. Thank goodness for that because the subjects it deals with – homophobia, parental abuse, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, sexual abuse – they are all deserving of a realistic setting. These aren’t subjects you can just brush off.
But while Dare You To is a coming of age novel and an issue novel, it still manages to remain a romance. Surprising, since most authors end up having to make a choice. Either you are Elizabeth Scott and Sarah Dessen, or you are Simone Elkeles and Stephanie Perkins. Katie McGarry somehow manages to merge both those worlds.
That’s not to say Dare You To is the perfect book: I wasn’t the biggest fan of the heroine Beth, though I did understand where she was coming from. To my surprise, I did grow rather attached to Ryan – and I could get 1000000% behind a book about his gay, jock brother – but I didn’t get those overwhelming I-am-thinking-about-them-on-the-bus feelings for him that I get for some characters.
Fortunately, this lack of extra connection didn’t stop me for adoring what Dare You To was: a romance that covers real teen issues without glossing over the harsh realities of life. I loved that and I loved it.
Bottom line? I was surprised by Dare You To, and I hope you will be to. Give it a go if you are looking to be swallowed into a world of well-handled teen angst.
My Goodreads updates for your amusement:
Feed my Reader is my excuse to highlight the latest e-book additions (a-la Showcase Sunday/Stacking the Shelves/Mailbox Monday). Ever since I made the executive decision to expand my e-book collection (and save space) I’ve gone a bit e-book mad.
ARC: Crash into You (Pushing the Limits #3) by Katie McGarry – Goodreads
I was surprised by my love for Dare You To and was super, super happy to get a copy of Crash into You! (Though – for the record – I much prefer the US covers.)
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan – Goodreads
I just had to support this book. Serious kudos to the publisher for going all out with the cover!
Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles #1) by Lauren DeStefano – Goodreads
I’ll admit it: I’ve never read Lauren’s Chemical Garden series and… I probably never will. The premise just never really appealed to me. But Perfect Ruin drew me in with the words “floating island”. I just have to see what they are talking about!
Unchained (Nephilim Rising #1) by J. Lynn (aka Jennifer L. Armentrout) – Goodreads
No idea what to expect from this book, I just knew that I had to have it. I’d never before seen a nephlim as the hero/heroine of an urban fantasy novel. I know Armentrout has a lot of fans, so I really need to try out her work.
That’s all! I’m most excited about Crash into You – I will probably be starting that next. 🙂
Tomorrow is Dewey’s Readathon – whoot! I absolutely adore the 24 hour readathon. It is The Best Way to Get Out of a Reading Funk TM. If you haven’t signed up… why not?!
But choosing the books to tackle during your readathon? That’s kinda tough. As a general rule, I look for YA novels (as they are shorter), Graphic Novels and books from authors I know I love. But, to be honest, you won’t know what you should be reading until you pick up the book you shouldn’t.
That said, here are a couple of books I think are perfect for a readathon. They are addictive, mind-blowingly good and should certainly keep you up all night. Usually, that latter point is one you might want to avoid… but not during a 24 hour readathon!
Dare You To by Katie McGarry (Goodreads)
I just finished this book a couple of weeks ago and was completely in love. I read this sucker in a single sitting; I was 1000% addicted. It takes a few chapters to get into it, but it is completely worth it.
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong (Goodreads)
This one won’t be a surprise to my long-time readers! I ADORE this series. It was what got me into the YA genre and resulted my first read-it-in-one-sitting reading experience since Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It was that good. And since this book came out quite a few years ago, it might be new to some of you…?
Temeraire by Naomi Novik (Goodreads)
This is my rare adult novel choice: despite being rather wordy – you might not finish it during the readathon – it is fantastically addictive. While reading it, I wanted (and still do) to move immediately to the universe Naomi created.
So, I hope this gave you a few ideas! Comment or tweet me if you have any suggestions for books I should pick up tomorrow!