Friday, December 13, 2013

Crash Into You by Katie McGarry

Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)* * * *
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.


Rachel loves to drive fast.  The best nights of her life are at night when she goes out alone and pushes the speedometer on her Mustang.  When a couple pseudo-strangers invite her to tag along to a street race, she jumps at the chance.  But Rachel is shy and sheltered and nothing can prepare her for the kind of people at this race.  Fortunately, for her, there is one person there that is willing to save her from the shady politics that rule the street racing crowd.

Isaiah’s main goal is to never owe anyone, anything.  So when he has to make quick cash to pay his share of the rent, he is sure to tread carefully.  But all his careful plans are foiled when a rich girl arrives in a fast car.  Isaiah recognizes right away that she does not have the street smarts to get through the night in one piece.  So he lays his freedom on the line in order to protect her.  He manages to do that relatively unscathed.

When the cops show up, Rachel and Isaiah take off for safety.  A few hours hiding out together forms a bond that neither could have ever anticipated.  But once Isaiah sends Rachel off, he learns that the current king of the streets holds her partially responsible for the police raid.  Isaiah will do anything to make sure Rachel isn’t found.  Even if that means never seeing her again.

Isaiah is even cooler than he seemed in Pushing the Limits and Dare You To.   It never occurred to me how little we know about Isaiah until reading Crash Into You.  Just like Noah and Beth, Isaiah deals with serious abandonment issues and the feeling that no one really wants him.  It’s heartbreaking to read as he learns about the opportunities he missed out on due to an absent and misguided mother.  And it’s even more heartbreaking to see those issues manifest as he deals with his feelings for a girl that he thinks is totally out of his league.

Then there is Rachel.  At first glance, she is just a rich girl with access to a great education and a fabulous car.  What you don’t see up front is that Rachel is the poster child for the “Wealth doesn’t buy happiness or functional families,” campaign.   Rachel suffers from severe anxiety.  To the extent of being hospitalized a few years back.  Since then, she has hidden her ongoing anxiety from her parents and because they are selfish idiots, they happily believe everything is alright.   On top of all that, Rachel is also the replacement daughter for another daughter that her parents lost years ago to cancer.  The levels her father and oldest brothers go to ensure Rachel plays her oh so important part in maintaining her mother’s happiness is both disturbing and temper-inducing.   Yes, my heart broke for Isaiah.  But I think, in some ways, it broke for Rachel even more.

By chance, these two find each other and bond over their mutual love of cars and driving fast.  Together they just might have the strength to win an unwarranted fight with the king of the streets; deal with an absent mother that is finally looking for a reunion with her son; and stand up to a family so that their only living daughter can have her own identity.

Katie McGarry really is a master of teen romance. I have yet to read one of her books and not be completely swept up and carried away.  This is yet another one that I will be going back to re-read over and over again.


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