Friday, November 22, 2013

Review: Crash Into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)


Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)Author: Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits, #3
Released: November 26th 2013
Publisher: Mira INK
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes the 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 A's, 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.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Well then, methinks I’m batshit crazy because I just never learn.

Even though I’m fully aware that she has many, many fans, Katie McGarry’s books never quite worked for me. I often found her approach to certain subjects too shallow, her characters just a tiny bit plastic and her writing awfully clichéd. They are, for me, the type of books I can finish in one sitting, and then promptly forget they exist.

The same stands true for Crash Into You, albeit somewhat amplified. Despite my lukewarm feelings towards the previous two books, I found myself looking forward to Isaiah’s story. Of all McGarry’s characters, he’s the one I felt had the most potential. But instead of building upon the promising foundations, McGarry turned him into one of those bad-on-the-outside-decent-on-the-inside archetypal romance heroes, thus effectively ruining his character and the overall story for me. Where was the expected depth? Mommy issues and a few false rumors do not a hero make.

Back when Isaiah thought himself in love with Beth, I wholeheartedly agreed that they weren’t right for each other. Two severely damaged individuals would always drag each other down, no matter their intentions. But who he got instead wasn’t much better for him, and she was a disappointment for me as a reader as well. I was promised a street racer, and instead I got a skittish, never-been-kissed girl with no backbone and more issues than I could count. So even though Isaiah ended up being as stereotypical as they come, the real letdown was Rachel.

With her personality and her will practically smothered by her family, Rachel grew up into a weak, strange girl prone to panic attacks. Her small rebellion, the street race where she met Isaiah, was a once-in-a-lifetime deal, not a common occurrence like the book description led me to believe. There were so many times I wanted to shake some sense into Rachel, make her stand up to her family instead of cowering and throwing up until her throat was raw and bleeding. Their relationship was at times exaggerated to the point of being ridiculous, which is exactly what McGarry usually does and why her books rarely work for me.

As always, secondary characters were far more interesting, probably because they haven’t been turned into clichés just yet. Abby has a great story to tell, McGarry has hinted at a horrible past that I would normally be excited to explore. My problem is that I don’t trust this author to do it properly, without turning Abby into a textbook teen martyr, a troubled girl only waiting for the right boy to solve all her problems. The next book isn’t Abby’s, however, that dubious honor belongs to Rachel’s brother West.

I’ve decided to part ways with McGarry so many times, only to pick up the newest title as soon as it becomes available. This time, I know better than to make such statements. I don’t feel particularly drawn to West’s story, but once it comes out… who knows?

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.


19 comments:

  1. I had a hard time warming up to Rachel too! She was such a pushover and I didn't like that how less she cared about herself. We see in her dialect how much she wants to change, but she doesn't work towards it. But I do have to say that once Isaiah started falling in love with Rachel, I stopped seeing her as a weak character. Oh, I want a book for Abby too! She has a hell of a story to tell! I'm not interested in West's story either, but I guess with a few teasers and excerpts, I'll be hooked. Great review, Maja! Atleast you gave it a try.

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  2. I get where you're coming from. Katie does tend to have characters that are badass but are actually softies on the inside. I didn't expect myself to enjoy her books but I still somehow managed to.

    I hope your next read is better! <33

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  3. So sorry this didn't work out for you Maja. I didn't have the best reading experience with McGarry's debut novel, and so haven't picked up anymore of her books since. But I can understand you wanting to give her books a try and hoping that she will wow you with them. I hope that if you do give West's story a go it works out for you. Thanks for your honest review hun! :)

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  4. I know exactly what you mean, Maja. I really enjoyed McGarry's debut, but I soon realized that her novels were forgettable, but they still remain guilty-pleasures in many ways. I wasn't a fan of this installment, though, primarily because of Isaiah. I think Rachel's growth helped me to enjoy her character, but Isaiah was a total let-down. :/ It looks like we're both in the "maybe" category when it comes to West's story...we'll have to see!

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  5. If I were you, I'd be done with them. Hey, you gave it a go, right? I do enjoy her books but I think it's because I teach high schoolers and these angsty, flailing characters are so...high school. Plus, I get excited because, as I'm reading, I'm thinking about who to pass these books along to. They're kind of all the same but I like them nonetheless.

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  6. Aw, so sorry that these don't work for you!

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  7. I definitely get your issues. Though I liked Katie's debut novel and found it strange to not put it down, I thought Beth's book was imploded by issues and Ryan to be so...well, boring. I do plan on reading this one as I liked Isaiah's character but perhaps I'll just have to lower my expectations.

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  8. Oh no! I was kind of looking forward to starting this series but now I am not so sure. I am so done right now with the typical "bad boy" and let down characters. I think I will hold off on starting this for now.

    Great honest review Maja. I am sorry this didn't live up to your expectations. :(

    I hope you have a lovely weekend!

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  9. Great review! I read so many reviews on this book that were amazing that I wanted to see the other side of it. Actually kind of surprising yet refreshing to get a different point of view on this one. My library has book 1 that I think I might give a shot after I finish Delirium.

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  10. Thank for your honest review, Maja!
    I'm not a big fan of romances but I'm quite intrigued about this one so I might just give them a try and see how they read for me!

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  11. I want to hug you right now lol I feel so horrible for not liking (ok hating) this book because my friends were so moved by it.

    I liked PtL in that additive cheestastic can't stop sort of way....Dare You Too less so but it was ok. This one is a break up book for me. I don't think I'll read anymore because I can tell it's a race to see how broken she can make everyone and that's taking over everything. I just can't anymore.

    It's more about my changing reading tastes and over abundance of these stories than her writing but I'm over it.

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  12. HA ha to quote Mr. King... "You are as crazy as a shithouse rat." I am not over the moon over her books either. I have books two and three in the pile and I could care less about them. Everyone is swooning over them but I tend to agree with you. I probably will read them at some point but who knows. My pile is ever growing....

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  13. Yeah I think I will pass on this one

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  14. LOL! I actually liked this one. I do admit, though that as the story played out, I was worried that it wouldn't get herself out of the hole she seemed to have written. However, I do like the cheesy endings so it worked for me. Give me an HEA where I smile and I'm good. LOL I guess I'm easy like that.

    Btw, don't like that cover. First, where are his tats? Second, they need to do better with the photoshop. Her hair is obviously not blonde in the original pic. Yea, I know... too much about the cover. What can I say. LOL

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  15. you're perisitent! I can understand sometimes when I don't like a book I keep hope and I just want the sequel to be really good but well it's not often the case. It's a little sad when everyone like it. I confess I haven't tried the series but I saw some great reviews about it. Maybe one day... But I usually tends to not like that much the books everyone love... LOL I'm a pessimistic.

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  16. I really love the whole theme of your blog especially the rating system!

    I did not have many expectations from this book. The story, the cover- did not really draw me in.

    I have a little book review blog of my own if you'd like to check it out- http://literaturemartini.blogspot.in/

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  17. Katie McGarry's books do usually work for me, but this one was definitely the one that I had the most problems with. I liked the romance overall, but Isaiah and Rachel's overly dramatic thoughts and the lack of communication between Rachel and her family frustrated me far too often. I'm still very curious about West's story though and look forward to giving it a try. Sorry that this wasn't better for you, Maja!

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  18. Hmmm, you've given me so much to think about! These books are SO not my usual kind of read at all, but I had started to become swayed by all the positive rave reviews. People seem to really love McGarry's characters! But yours is not the only review I've read from the point of view of someone who was not in love with the characters, who found them to be a bit cliched. And a part of me thinks I would agree with you... I don't know, I guess I would have to try it out myself to be sure!

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  19. "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Well then, methinks I’m batshit crazy because I just never learn." <---this made me giggle! Don't worry, I make insane reading choices too. Like why the eff did I read The Elite? I KNEW it was going to be garbage, but I did it anyway, hoping against hope it wouldn't suck as hard as The Selection.

    I have had better luck with McGarry's books than you, but I understand your reservations. It always comes off a bit formulaic and the HEA's are a bit too tidy and cheesy, but it's so addictive, I can't stop myself. Wonderful review, Maja!

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