Monday, November 25, 2013

Review: Crash Into You

CRASH INTO YOU
Pushing the Limits #3
Katie McGarry
Contemporary Young Adult
474 pages
HarlequinTEEN
Available November 26th
Source: ARC from author for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.


MY THOUGHTS 
Crash Into You is yet another painfully fascinating exploration of family dynamics, the word family dissected in sometimes brutal detail as we see how those tied to us by blood can in fact draw it quicker and easier than anyone else. We're given the pleasure though of bearing witness as family is then redefined as it's put back together after being torn apart, perhaps stronger in the honesty of its new scars than in the previous beauty of its seeming perfection. We can't help but approach Isaiah's story with a small sense of dread, our love for him fully cemented after Noah and Beth's stories, and while we know Ms. McGarry would not be so cruel as to tear him down without building him back up, we know watching him fall even as he finds new strength in Rachel will be a special brand of punishment, one we'll feel keenly until that final page gives us his hope and happiness.

Isaiah is someone nearly impossible not to like, his fierce protectiveness of both Noah and Beth something that brought a tremulous smile to our faces as the two of them fought their battles in books one and two, a warmth spreading through us thanks to his love for them, but searing pain followed swiftly behind with the knowledge that even with them in his life he was still so very alone. His loneliness is never more apparent than in Crash Into You, a feeling beautifully echoed in Rachel despite the drastic differences in their home lives, and we want nothing more than for him to find someone for whom he will finally come first. First in thought when sharing good news, first to need when seeking comfort after receiving bad, and first to hear words of love that extend beyond mere friendship.

Rachel is a young woman who could have easily been frustrating, her relatively low opinion of herself thanks to her family something that seems as though it might difficult to get past as we read, but Ms. McGarry does a stunning job of dragging her out into the light for us to truly see, any potential irritation over her brief moments of (understandable) self-pity washed away in a flood of affection. Her strength is quickly clear to us no matter how many times her overprotective brothers remind her she is weak, the determination and fortitude it takes to not only push through her debilitating panic attacks but to also shoulder the knowledge that her parents consider her a mere replacement for the beloved daughter they lost causing us to root for her and Isaiah in the hope they find every bit of peace and joy they so deserve.

The only minor drawback to an otherwise emotionally exhausting yet exhilarating tale is the lack of complete resolution between Rachel and her family, the issues between all of them so deep and complex ten books with them as the focus likely wouldn't see the trauma of Colleen's death entirely healed. Given the next book features Rachel's brother West as a protagonist though, we can overlook some of our remaining questions about the Young family knowing we haven't yet seen the last of them. Rachel and Isaiah together are a striking pair, rough edges met by smooth lines as they each find relief in being the shelter the other so desperately needs, able to admit weakness and know the other's strength will hold them up until the storm passes. They are partners in every sense of the word, and we close the back cover of this book with hearts considerably lighter than when we started, grateful to Ms. McGarry for bring these two into our lives.

Rating: 4.5/5

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This book was sent to me by the author  free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

38 comments:

  1. Isaiah's overwhelming loneliness got to me too (I'd have to be made of stone for it not to touch me), even though I didn't like the book nearly as much as you did.
    Rachel's character, on the other hand, didn't work for me at all, maybe because I expected something else entirely.
    McGarry isn't an author for me, that much is clear by now, but I certainly understand the appeal and I love to see my friends so affected by her books.
    Lovely review, Jenny!

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    1. That's okay Maja, we all have authors that simply don't work for us no matter how much we might want them to:) How boring book blogging would be if we all liked the exact same things!

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  2. I totally agree with you. This was such an emotional story and it's really hard not to enjoy it fully and especially feel for them both. I loved their romance and the first kiss :) Also you're right about her parents but I think that it'll continue in West's story. Great review, Jenny :)

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    1. Yes, I'm really excited for West's story because I want to see how everything is going to play out with Rachel's family. There's just so much going on there!

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  3. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Rachel! Isaiah's story wound up disappointing me, primarily because I felt as if a little too much was involved in this tale from his mother to Rachel's complex family. Still, I'll likely be reading West's story next, which I'm definitely looking forward to!(:

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    1. Glad you're excited about West, ME TOO!

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  4. "Isaiah is someone nearly impossible not to like" -- agreed! I kind of dig the way Isaiah and Rachel are from totally different worlds and I can't wait to meet Rachel. Finally. I really ought to start Dare You To soon, right? ;) My gorgeous hardcover is waiting for me. lols. I love a girl with determination so I think she and I will do just fine. I'm actually surprised that you loved the story so much since a lot of people really took their ratings down since it was apparently unbelievable. I can't wait to get to know Isaiah more closely :)

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    1. You do need to start Dare You To Siiri! I'm such a huge fan of Katie, both as an author and as a person, so her books will just always work for me.

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  5. I was a little (sometimes a lot) frustrated with Rachel but her family drove me insane. How could they not notice what was going on? Why was it all about the mother? But my love for Isaiah surpassed any frustration I had. Isaiah, FTW!

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    1. Don't even get me started on Rachel's mother Mary. *growls* I wanted to give that woman a dressing down the likes of which she'd never seen before so many times! Isaiah for the win for sure though:)

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  6. Oh, YAY! I'm glad to see you enjoyed this one, Jenny! I've seen a lot of people disappointed in the story, but I thought it was solid, despite a few minor flaws (all of which you so articulately mentioned). I really, really, really cannot wait for West's story though! I think we might get some of the answers we want. Great review :)

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    1. Yeah, this one seems to be inspiring widely varying opinions, but I love Katie McGarry and I know I will always love her books. She's just one of those rare authors for me who never disappoints:)

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  7. I go back and forth on reading these books so much because on the one hand, they're really not my kind of read, but on the other hand, Katie McGarry seems to have a true talent for creating likeable and realistic characters and complex family dynamics and I think I would appreciate that. It's fantastic that you loved this one so much as it strengthens the series in my mind and makes me want to try it out all the more! Thanks for the review, Jenny - great job!

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    1. They're really not my kind of reads either Aylee, I'm not a huge contemp YA reader, but I love these books. I think Katie writes really amazing characters, and I just adore all of them. Hope you give Pushing the Limits a try at some point!

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  8. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one! I have been wondering if it is as good as the other books in the series! I love McGarry's writing and I'm glad it didn't disappoint. Isaiah is definitely a character that I enjoyed in the other books. I am glad that you found him "nearly impossible not to like!" Sounds promising! Great review!

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    1. I adore Isaiah. I'm such a sucker for the lonely ones who are strong for everyone else but don't have anyone to be strong for them. I just wanted to hug Isaiah the whole way through:)

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  9. I think you liked this more than I did. I definitely agree with you on Isaiah. He was such a lovely character and I'm glad he finally got his HEA. I liked Rachel too although I wish she had grown a back-bone a bit earlier in the book.
    My biggest issue with this book was that there was too much going on you know, with Isaiah and his mom, the so-called gang members and all of Rachel's issues. It was just too much for me. You know how I get when books have too much drama, so I don't think I enjoyed it as much as I wanted to. Regardless, McGarry has a very addicting writing.
    Lovely review, Jenny.

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    1. There was a lot going on for sure Nick, I agree. I was so in love with Isaiah though, and so wanted him to find happiness with Rachel, that I didn't mind everything else. Like I said, I would have liked more resolution with her family, but I know that will likely be dealt with in West's story:)

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  10. I agree that with West's story I am hoping that some of Rachel's family issues will be more thoroughly addressed. I <3 Isaiah and have since the beginning. Wonderful review Jenny!

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    1. I'm excited to delve deeper into Rachel's family with West!

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  11. I hope I like Rachel much more than Ryan. She's the only one that I seem to be concerned about, but I'm definitely eager to read Isaiah's book. After all that he's been through, he seems some happiness in his life. :)

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    1. There are times when Rachel is frustrating, sort of meekly accepting the absurdity her mother and brothers heap on her, but I could understand why she did it. She'd been shouldering guilt for so long, it's hard to suddenly shake it off. I was definitely rooting for the two of them though, they gave each other strength in different ways:)

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  12. I've only read the first one but I do want to continue reading these books. I've even read some reviews where they said this was their favorite. So I'm anxious to see where things go. So glad you loved this!

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  13. I am so glad you really liked this one Jenny, I have read some pretty tough reviews on it and have seen some low ratings for it. I guess it just goes to show how we can all have different thoughts even when we have liked the same authors and books in the past.

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  14. You enjoyed this slightly more than I did, but I'm glad that ti worked so well for you! I guess I just found a lot of it frustrating and lacking focus, but I am still greatly looking forward to the next book. Perhaps we will get some more answers about the Young family in west's story. :) Great review, Jenny!

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  15. I was so happy with this book because Isaiah finally gets what he deserves, but I'm also looking forward to more resolution with Rachel's family in the next book. Lovely review Jenny! I especially love this --> " Rachel and Isaiah together are a striking pair, rough edges met by smooth lines as they each find relief in being the shelter the other so desperately needs, able to admit weakness and know the other's strength will hold them up until the storm passes." What a beautiful description of their relationship and why it works. :-)

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  16. I really thought Rachel would get on my nerves because she kept talking about how weak she was, but it never really frustrated me. I also thought the non-full resolution with the fam would also bug me, but it didn't. What did, was Isaiah's mom situation. I wanted more on that. Still, did enjoy this book. I want Isaiah's bestie (the girl whose name I forgot right now) story.

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  17. Rachel was a bit hard to like in the beginning, I wasn't a fan of her pushover personality (Thank God for Ethan!), but once we get to know more about her background, especially the one with Colleen, I couldn't help sympathizing with her. Plus, she was the perfect girl for Isaiah. I'm glad that we are not done with the Young family because they certainly have a lot of secrets left to uncover. Great review, Jenny!

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  18. I enjoyed this book although perhaps not as much as you. I kind of liked the lack of resolution of her issues with her family. They're moving forward and I also think it's more realistic that not everything is tied up with a bow. I did think the car accident was a great twist.

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  19. You said it Jenny! This book was SO great! The family dynamics was really something amazing. And I totally agree about your thoughts on Rachel- in theory you would think that she would be an annoying character and that we, as readers, would be screaming for her to grow a pair. But I never felt that way. I am looking forward to seeing more from the Young family. What did you think of Abby? I loved her and I am hoping to see more of her.

    Great review Jenny!

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  20. I heard more mixed reviews about this compared to its companion books so I'm really glad you loved this, Jenny! I like that Rachel and Isaiah seem to have astounding developments in their characters!

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  21. Loved your review Jenny! Chayse just gave me back the book so I can finally read the goodness!!! So excited to read it.

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  22. I love Katie's dysfunctional families! She really writes them well. Great comment about families drawing blood.

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  23. I loved both Isaiah and Rachel and their romance. However this was my least favorite of the three books and I think there was just too much going on for me. I'm still looking forward to the next book especially when the ending events were so major and yet kind of rushed, IMO. I hope we'll get more of Isaiah and Rachel in the next book. Wonderful review, Jenny! :)

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  24. I really loved this book to. Isaiah has held a special place in my heart since I met him in Pushing the Limits. Wonderful review.

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  25. I could not believe Rachel's awful family-the males laid everything on her shoulders for coping with her mother's grief and it was horrifying. The sexism was also appalling even if it was briefly noted by Rachel instead of completely skipped over.

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  26. I like how you point out the yearning loneliness in these two. I think beyond their shared love of cars they seem so different, but actually they both have a lot of similarities in their struggles with their families and feeling alone. I'm so happy they found each other, and I agree, Isaiah just grabbed my heart. But I agree that some of the end seemed rushed and I wanted more!

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