Author: Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits, #3
Released: November 26th 2013
Publisher: Mira INK
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.