Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Review: Adrenaline Crush

ADRENALINE CRUSH
Laurie Boyle Crompton
Contemporary Young Adult
192 pages
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Available Now
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Seventeen-year-old Dyna comes from a family of risk takers and is an avid thrill-seeker herself, until the day she splinters her ankle in a terrible fall. Her whole life goes from mountain biking and rock climbing to sitting at home and attending group sessions at the bizarre alternative healing center that her hippie mother found. The boy who witnessed Dyna’s accident believes her injury is a wakeup call and he encourages her mild new lifestyle, but a young Afghanistan War veteran she meets at the healing center pushes her to start taking chances again. Forced to face the consequences of her daredevil impulses, Dyna finds herself in danger of risking the one thing she’s always treated with caution—her heart.

MY THOUGHTS
Coming in at under two hundred pages, Adrenaline Crush is a quick read, granting us a few short months in Dyna’s life before we reach the back cover and return to our reality. Shorter novels and novellas can sometimes be trickier reads simply from the standpoint that our time with characters and story is more limited, preventing us from connecting as thoroughly as we might like. Though that is certainly not the case across the board, it is unfortunately the case with Adrenaline Crush, Dyna’s journey toward physical and mental healing after her injury one we can’t help but want to explore in more detail, peeling back layers we instead gloss right over in favor of keeping forward plot momentum.

Dyna herself is a character who will perhaps go over better with a crowd closer to her age, her desire to show off in front of a cute boy driving her to make a decision that ultimately lands her in the hospital something that will likely cause older readers like myself to shake their heads in dismay. Her internal commentary in the opening chapter is slightly off putting as well, her bike ride that fateful afternoon consisting mainly of a search for a “fling” with a  “plaything” to save her from boredom. Said commentary also includes a fairy healthy appreciation for herself and her adrenaline-fueled talents, causing her to come across as immature and creating a greater character/reader gap than we had hoped for when cracking the spine.

It’s important to note that Dyna is not a terrible character in any way though, and it’s clear that the Dyna of the opening chapters is meant to leave room for growth over the course of our time with her. She continues to read a bit younger throughout however, and those who abhor cheating in any way, shape or form, should know to expect it as the bond between Dyna and Pierce starts to show her what’s missing from her relationship with boyfriend Jay. Overall, Adrenaline Crush has a great deal of potential in terms of message, Dyna’s attempts to rediscover who she is after her accident something of import, we simply aren’t given the opportunity to dig deeply into her life and fully invest in her road to recovery.

Rating: 3/5
 

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

35 comments:

  1. I always have trouble getting emotionally invest in novellas and shorter books, and it sounds like I'd have some trouble connecting with Dyna in such a short span of pages. I also have a feeling I'll be shaking my head along with you at Dyna's daredevil behavior (though I'm probably secretly jealous and unwilling to admit it :D). I'm still on the fence about reading this one. I appreciate your thoughtful review!

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    1. I would have liked some more time with Dyna I think, she underwent some pretty significant changes and I just wanted to be a touch more invested in that journey:)

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  2. Books this short can really go either way. I like that she's a daredevil. This sounds interesting, but I'm not sure. I've been really picky with what YA I read lately.

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    1. It was definitely a quick, one-sit read, I just wished for a stronger connection to Dyna:)

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  3. Sorry it was a bit difficult to connect with Dyna but it sounds like an ok story. Plus, it's always interesting to have a short story like that from time to time.

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    1. Agreed! Sometimes you need those books you can just breeze right through in a single afternoon:)

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  4. I'm sorry you couldn't enjoy reading Adrenaline Crush more, but I think that I would have same response to this book like you. I, generally, do not prefer shorter novels (especially if the premise of the story needs more pages to be "complete"), because in most times they turn out as mediocre reads.
    Great review, Jenny!

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    1. I think this one could have benefited from a little more length so we could have delved deeper into her character growth and her various relationships, but it was an enjoyable read nonetheless.

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  5. I agree that it has a lot of potential, but the short length left much to be desired. I think it could have been amazing without the cheating and more details. I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios was pretty much what I wanted out of this book. I'm excited for you to read that one if you haven't! It's SOO good, Jenny!
    Lovely review! :)

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    1. The cheating Nick. The cheating. You and I are both on the same page when it comes to that, so I definitely struggled with that aspect!

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  6. This does sound really interesting and I do love good character growth. I am not sure if this would be for me or not Jenny but your review does have me super curious to try it. :)

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    1. I really love character growth too Ali, and there was a lot here, we just didn't quite get to see enough of it. I would have liked to peel back a few more layers:)

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  7. I was kinda surprised to see how small (thin) this book was when it popped up in my mailbox. But despite looking like a fast read, I just kept passing it over. Still not sure how I feel about it, and if it was just all right for you, maybe I'll pass for now.

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    1. It might be the perfect read for you one day when you're in the mood for a super fast contemporary:)

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  8. Uff. I can tell just by your review that this book and I wouldn't get along. =/

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    1. I struggled in some areas *cough* CHEATING *cough*. It's a deal breaker for me, but it might not bother everyone.

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  9. I find sometimes that novella or short stories can either be a hit or miss. I can see that it can be frustrating not having enough of the story to see such a development in Dyna. Personally I haven't heard of this book, but I think I would give it a try, it seems it may have potential overall. Great review, Jenny!

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    1. I would definitely pick up more by Laurie Emma! I've heard great things about her previous novel:)

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  10. Novellas are so tricky. It is shame as this certainly sounds like a story that could have easily been developed into a full length novel.

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    1. I guess technically it is full length at 200 pages, but I almost wish it was 50+ more so a few more things could have been fleshed out!

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  11. I read her other book and loved it. It was a good mixture of funny and serious. I haven't really been drawn to this one though so I'll skip it for now.

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    1. I've heard really fantastic things about that one Candace, I still have it on my list!

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  12. I hear ya, I struggle with short books/ novellas because I watn that detail and if it is missing it bothers me. I am a bit disappointed to hear that the MC isn't a bit more developed as well. Still I am sure it has an important message.

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    1. I did like the overall message and Dyna's growth from beginning to end, I just wanted to feel the story a bit more, you know?

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  13. Yeah, this one isn't for me, Jenny. Though I'm glad that there is room for the character to grow.

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    1. Character growth is always a good thing:)

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  14. Lots of potential but...oh I do not know. I'd want more

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    1. I did want a bit more by the time I reached the end:)

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  15. Hmmm, I don't think this one is for me at all. I usually don't mind reading novellas or shorter books, because sometimes that's exactly what I'm the mood for but... this one doesn't sound like one for me!
    Thanks for a fantastic review, Jenny! I cannot wait till I catch up with all the posts I've missed during vacation!

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    1. YAY, YOU'RE BACK!!! I hope you had a fantastic vacation!!!

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  16. Sounds like an interesting premise though did it seem realistic the heroine would need "therapy" for being a daredevil? I agree it can be tough to feel close to characters in novellas.

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    1. It was more therapy to deal with the physical and emotional trauma of the accident. It was physical therapy for her leg plus group therapy with a number of other people to help one another cope with their new limitations.

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  17. You're right: I'm shaking my head. I haven't heard of this one at all and doubt it's for me but I'm glad you found some positive qualities in it nevertheless. Wonderful review, Jenny, and thanks for putting this on my radar!

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  18. Very nice review. I have not heard od this book but after reading your thought, I'm interested in it.

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  19. I had been thinking about reading this book because dare devils are always interesting to read about. I can't do spontaneous so I like to read about people who can.

    However I think that I will be passing up this one because I can not stand cheating. It makes my skin crawl and nothing the cheater does will make me even tolerate them.

    Great review!

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