Contemporary Young Adult
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
I’ve become an expert at avoiding things that could hurt me—which means I will figure out how to stay away from Marco Leone.
Seventeen-year-old Frankie Devereux would do anything to forget the past. Haunted by the memory of her boyfriend’s death, she lives her life by one dangerous rule: Nothing matters. At least, that’s what Frankie tells herself after a reckless mistake forces her to leave her privileged life in the Heights to move in with her dad—an undercover cop. She transfers to a public high school in the Downs, where fistfights don’t faze anyone and illegal street racing is more popular than football.
Marco Leone is the fastest street racer in the Downs. Tough, sexy, and hypnotic, he makes it impossible for Frankie to ignore him—and how he makes her feel. But the risks Marco takes for his family could have devastating consequences for them both. When Frankie discovers his secret, she has to make a choice. Will she let the pain of the past determine her future? Or will she risk what little she has left to follow her heart?
The Lovely Reckless is a fairly straightforward bad-boy-with-a-heart-of-gold meets good-girl-going-through-a-difficult-time tale, but though the romance between Frankie and Marco sings a familiar tune, their story is still compulsively readable, and we find ourselves turning the last page before it feels as though any time has passed.
Frankie is a young woman reeling from the brutal murder of her boyfriend, flashbacks sweeping her feet out from under her with increasing frequency as she starts at a new school, and we can't help but feel for her as she struggles to once again find her footing. Though she's unsteady emotionally, she doesn't wallow or despair of the poor choices she's made, and while she wants desperately to remember specifics from the night Noah died (as she was a witness), she doesn't berate herself for developing feelings for Marco or engage in a push/pull type of relationship when guilt for moving on kicks in. Instead she lets herself have moments of happiness, and when things go sideways on her, she speaks her mind and spares us as readers unnecessary drama.
The romance with Marco does happen fairly quickly, and though the fact that the best looking guy in school complete with womanizing reputation, ripped body and inked skin falls head over heels for the new girl does require us to suspend disbelief a bit, Ms. Garcia's fluid writing style and storytelling quickly squash our reservations, whispering in our ear to keep reading even when bed and sleep are calling our name.
Overall, The Lovely Reckless is a super quick read, perfect for those who want to pick up a book and just be entertained, with a sweet romance highlighted by a young woman who doesn't play games and does her best to fight not just for those around her, but for herself as well.
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.