Review: Crash Into You by Katie McGarry00:00
Author: Katie McGarry
Date of publication: 26 Nov 2013
Genre/Themes: Young adult, Romance, Realistic fiction
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My rating: 5 Stars
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.
This is definitely my favourtie book of this series so far. I loved Noah and Echo's story and liked Beth and Ryan's but Rachel and Isaiah totally blew me away. I generally like one the main character more than the other and I have to admit it usually is the male lead, but in this case I loved them both equally.
Isaiah has been a great character ever since he was first introduced in book 1. Things were really difficult for him in book 2 with Beth leaving and ultimately rejecting him, so I was very much eager to see him happy in book 3.
Ms McGarry has kept the realistic writing style of this series creating believable and complex characters involved in intensive relationships. Nothing about Isaiah and Rachel is simple, one-dimensional. On the surface they are complete opposites but as they story unfolds and their relationship grows they turn out to have much more things in common (besides their crazy love of fast retro cars) than anyone can expect.
Their story is told in alternating POVs thus giving us insights in the minds of both Isaiah and Rachel. He is rough around the edges, forced by the circumstances to be tough and seemingly uncaring. She is gentle, straight-laced girl who is expected to be the perfect daughter and sister. For both of them this is just a facade. Deep down they are just teenager on bring of adulthood - insecure, full of dreams and hopes and fears and secrets they are unwilling to share with anyone.
It is a perfect romance coupled with realistic treatment of serious issues - foster care, family obligations/expectations, survival on your own on the streets, fighting for your own future.
I liked how the relationship between Isaiah and Rachel developed. It had its ups and downs, yet there was no unnecessary drama. Similar to Noah and 'his siren' Echo, Isaiah repeated refers to Rachel as his angel. It may seem a bit cheesy but for me it was endearing and just gave this dreamy, fantasy element I so like in romance. What bothered me a bit was Isaiah' over-protectiveness and possessiveness of Rachel. Being responsible beyond his age is understandable given his situation, yet I felt it was taken a bit over the top. He acted like real badass alpha male in the making and even though I like strong men, I felt like underestimated and even smouldered Rachel at times.
Rachel was also an amazing character. Her family situation seemed perfect on the outside but in reality was even more messed up than Isaiah's. The author exploits a fairly common theme in YA fiction - really bad parenting causing terrible suffering to the children but he does it without taking it to any extremes, thus making it all the more powerful and convincing.
The story is very captivating, giving you all the thrills and anxieties of the first (true) love and at the same time keeping you grounded in the reality of imperfect/broken families and life on the streets. The issue of aging out of the foster care system was treated in depth and with the corresponding seriousness.
The author manages to make all the character realistic and to keep their stories authentic. Noah and Echo are featured prominently in this book and their friendship plays a rather important role in Isaiah's life. We see some of Beth as well, thankfully working out things with Isaiah (I really hated the way she treated him in book 2). Logan, Ryan's friend, is also quite a lot and I even thought that the next book will be about him and Abbey, a very special friend of Isaiah's (hint, hint, Ms McGarry).
Well, as it turned out, there will be a next book in the series and it will focus on West (one of Rachel's four brothers). It is coming out in May 2014 and I can't wait to read it.