Review: Crash Into You by Katie McGarry

17233800Crash Into You (Pushing The Limits, #3) by Katie McGarry
YA/Romance
E book, 489 pages
November 26, 2013
Harlequin Teen

Reviewed By Tori

Favorite Quote: “I don’t want to be without you. I like who I am with you, and I don’t want to go back to who I was before.”

Trapped in foster care, Isaiah Walker and his best friend Noah have finally gotten a place of their own only to find out that it’s hard to support yourself while still in school. If money problems and trying to stay off his social worker’s radar wasn’t enough he’s also having to deal with his mother’s release from prison. She is pushing hard to see him but Isaiah can’t forget what she did and refuses to to have anything to do with her. Isaiah’s need for cash drives him to make a deal with Eric, a dangerous street thug, to drive one time for him in an illegal drag race. When he finds himself staring down the body of a pristine ‘81 Mustang GT, he’s floored. When he sees the driver, he’s a goner.

Rachel Young seems to have it all. Looks, grades, wealth, and a loving overbearing family. But nothing is what it seems in the Young household and Rachel has secrets. Secrets that lead her to drag race her Mustang straight into the arms of a beautiful gray eyed boy who settles her fears and makes her feel safe. Rachel knows her family will never approve of Isaiah but she can’t and won’t give him up.

Isaiah doesn’t trust Rachel or his feelings for her but their love of racing helps to build a bridge between these two lost souls and soon Isaiah can’t imagine anyone else he’d rather be with. But, when a deal goes bad, Isaiah and Rachel find themselves on the losing end. Now, they have six weeks to find their way out of trouble before trouble finds them.

We’ve all been waiting on sexy bad boy Isaiah’s story since we first met him in book one- Pushing The Limits. Isaiah is painted through out the series as a drug using, tattooed, pierced, authority flaunting young man whose life, in reality, has been a study in tragedy. A rough jagged exterior hides a damaged soul whose loyalty and friendship are worth their weight in diamonds. Though he hasn’t been seen in the best light in here you learn the true story behind his actions and  I’m so glad to see he is finally getting his chance at happiness.

Crash Into You is a mature YA whose premise revolves around two people from opposite sides of the tracks who fall in love. Wonderfully written with a cast of well defined characters whose lives demand you pay attention and acknowledge what they are going through. A fast paced storyline intermingles with various subplots, creating a well rounded entertaining book.Emotionally poignant and abound with romance. McGarry builds a wonderful relationship between our protagonists that focuses on love, hate, grief, hope, and choices. McGarry shows us a young girl struggling with her identity and a young man who’s trying to escape his.

Though the trope is predictable, it’s the journey that is appealing. Heavily character driven, they breathe life into the storyline and elevate it beyond a simple YA romance. Dynamic in development, Ms. McGarry has created real people with real issues. They are easy to relate to. Their joys, fears, wants, and needs are laid bare and we are allowed to share in their journey as they experience the growing pains life hands us. The execution flows smoothly and the dialogue is expertly laid out so that we are never left to guess at the other characters’ feelings and thoughts.

I adored Isaiah and Rachel as individuals and together. Rachel is pure titanium wrapped in vulnerable velvet. She leaves you cheering for her while wanting to protect her at the same time. Her love of racing and knowledge makes her a perfect match for Isaiah. Isaiah is just plain yummy. His background is tragic and at times you wonder how he managed to stay somewhat on the up and up. You can’t fault some of the decisions he makes. Sometimes you have to choose the lesser of the two evils. Both are strong, intelligent characters whose emotions and reactions are realistic. Both struggle with family and the emotional manipulation that often comes with it. Rachel has issues upon issues concerning her placement in her family’s dynamics and your heart breaks for her when you see just how selfish her family can be. There is one scene in here that if I could have leaped through the book and smacked some heads-I would have. My wraith was great after reading that. Isaiah suffers from the same. His mother; wow…what a piece of work. The fact these two are as level headed and as functional as they are is a credit to their inner strength.

The romance builds slowly, amping the sexual tension and chemistry to a near fevered pitch. You never doubt these two are meant to be together. Ms. Elkins doesn’t use tired cliches, mind numbing angst, and emotional manipulation to facilitate their romance. Though it’s a little insta love or maybe lust, the actual relationship is a work in progress. Both have reasons to not get involved with one another yet it’s like stopping an avalanche. It becomes both compelling and comfortable as the story develops. I loved the protectiveness they both have towards one another. Neither try to change the other and both learn that love can come without a price tag.

 

“When I’m with you, even my past seems like a bad dream,” he says. “I’ve sat on this hill a hundred times, and all I used to see were lights that represented places where I wasn’t wanted, where I never belonged. Now, when you aren’t with me, I look east and know one of those lights represents you, and I don’t feel alone anymore.”

 

The secondary characters add much drama and hype to the story though I found Rachel’s family and Isaiah’s mother to be almost over characterized. They were created for us to dislike and McGarry almost did too good of a job. If there is one problem I have with this series (and YAs in general) is the adults are always cast in such an unfavorable light and only through some traumatic event do they finally get their act together and be the adults they needed to be. Abbie was a delight to meet and Eric added just the right amount of terror the story needed.  I love that we got more time with Noah and Echo in here.

The ending is heartfelt and satisfying. Changes are seen that give us hope towards this couple’s future. I understand Rachel’s brother West gets the next book. I can only hope he is a far better person in there then he was in here. I’m looking forward to reading his story. Though this can be read as a stand alone, I don’t recommend as the male lead’s story has been ongoing since the beginning of the series.

Overall rating: B

Recent Reviews:
TBQ’s Book Palace-A
Parajunkie’s Reviews-C

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