Laurie Boyle Crompton
Contemporary Young Adult
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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.
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.
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.