Oh, angsty teens with troubled lives, I can’t quit you ever. Katie McGarry is some sort of dysfunctional genius the way she messes with her characters’s lives so much that I believe nothing could be worse than what they’ve got. It’s brilliant.
Take Isaiah. His mother went to prison when he was six and he grew up in group homes and foster homes. He had one good experience in all those years, but mostly learned that he didn’t want anyone to think he was small and weak. He lives in a scary apartment with his best friend Noah, and works in a garage. Isaiah loves cars, loves fast cars even more, and loves to race them. He has tattoos, earrings, and a shaved head. How much more bad boy could he possibly be?!
Rachel is a rich girl, but she has troubles of her own. I mock with love when I say that her family dysfunction is epic and awesome. Her parents had two sons and a daughter, but the daughter tragically died of leukemia. Her mother was so sad, and so she wanted another daughter, and in the attempt she had another son and then boy/girl twins. Rachel was born to be a replacement for the dead sister she never knew, and spends her life trying to please her mother by acting like the dead sister! Talk about emotional baggage. Mom volunteers for the Leukemia Society and drags Rachel around to give public speeches about how much Rachel misses the sister that she never knew but was born to replace. So twisted! Plus, Rachel gets panic attacks and vomits before every speech, but she hides it so her mom will think she’s perfect. So troubled! For some reason, Rachel is really into cars, and her rich parents bought her a Mustang, and she’s only free and happy when she drives fast.
The story moves from crisis to escalating crisis. Rachel and Isaiah meet at an illegal drag race, and when they run from the cops together, they talk cars and get the feels for each other. Rachel has spent her entire life feeling weak and being sheltered by her four older brothers, so she’s never really talked with a guy before, much less a guy who likes cars, too. They share a special moment, then go back to their lives.
But! Trouble went down at the drag race, and suddenly they owe a bad guy money, so Rachel and Isaiah are forced to spend time together while Rachel hides the relationship from her family (and hides her panic attacks from Isaiah). Isaiah wants to protect Rachel and take on everything himself, but she’s sick of being protected all the time! Then more bad things happen, but they manage to fall in love and vow to be together despite everything pulling them apart. The climax manages to be surprising and the ending is realistically happy.
This book is the third in a series about troubled teens in Louisville. You don’t need to read the previous books (I’ve only read one), but if you like this sort of YA drama then you’ll want to read them all. The heat level is low, kissing and talk of hands, and there might have been sex but I don’t think they took their clothes off and it was definitely not spelled out, so probably not.
*ARC Provided by Harlequin Teen
Click to purchase: Amazon
Crash Into You
by Katie McGarry
Release Date: November 26, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen