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 the third book I’ve read by Katie McGarry and I have to say: she does NOT disappoint. While the boy-meets-girl-and-they-fall-in-love storyline is one that appears in almost all young adult books nowadays, Katie McGarry knows how to make her readers fall in love with the characters. There’s depth, real-life problems, a budding romance, and the bad boy who’s not really a such a bad boy–or in Dare You To‘s case, the bad girl who’s not so bad after all. Her characters are so real that you can’t help but to sympathize with them and learn to love them, faults and all.
Crash Into You is Rachel’s and Isaiah’s story, told in dual POVs–which I love. Ever since Pushing the Limits, I’ve been dying to get inside Isaiah’s head. And now I got to. And it was great. Because there’s so much more to Isaiah than meets the eye, and his story was one that was just begging to be told. But I’ll get back to that. Rachel is your typical goody-too-shoes with the straight As, who fallows every rule her parents set, or so it seems. Having such a complex character in a book is so much better than having a straight-faced one. Just like Isaiah, Rachel has more going on than it first appears. She loves cars and she knows A LOT about them. And lets be honest, most girls don’t know this from that when it comes to cars–myself included. So to have a protagonist be so passionate about something that completely boggles me was such a breath of fresh air. Still, as awesome as Rachel may be, she still has her fair share of problems, mostly dealing with her family. And who doesn’t? Family can be very messy and complicated. Nevertheless, that didn’t take away from who Rachel was. On the contrary, it made her that much more real and relatable.
I mentioned before how I was dying to know more about Isaiah, so I was ecstatic to hear that Crash Into You was his story. I was taken with him ever since reading Pushing the Limits. Come on–sexy bad boy with tattoos? As overused as it may be, if done right, that makes for a very interesting read. Isaiah’s been through shit in the foster care and he carries a lot of resentment towards his mother because of that. He’s a 17 year-old boy who hasn’t been shown much love or friendship, really. He has Noah (who’s one of the protagonists in Pushing the Limits) and he, until recently, had Beth (she’s the not-so-bad girl from Dare You To). But after everything that went south with Beth, Isaiah has mainly only been able to rely on Noah–and Noah has his own issues to deal with. I’m not sure if rely is the right word I’d use, but Noah is his best friend, roommate, brother, and one of the best people he’s ever known.
Until he meets Rachel. And from that moment on is when we really see Isaiah grow. They grow together, to be honest. With Rachel’s love and encouragement, Isaiah starts realizing that there’s more to life than being a nobody with a dead-end job. Like Rachel, Isaiah loves cars, works on them, races them–you name it. After all, their love of cars and speed are what bring these two unlikely souls together–and gets them in trouble. I loved Rachel and Isaiah’s relationship. It begins with intense attraction and perhaps some infatuation on Rachel’s part, but it soon starts to grow to something more meaningful. Rachel’s innocent, so at times she doubts Isaiah’s intentions, but he’s always right there to convince her he wants her for who she is–not the facade she portrays to everyone else.
Isaiah, in all honesty, is completely swoon-worthy. There were complete scenes where I spent reading them with a big ass shit-eating grin on my face. Yes, Isaiah might somewhat fit into the typical bad-boy stereotype, but he has a charm of his own. And the shirtless scenes? Well, my makeshift fan was put to great use for this book! Still, it’s not his ruggedly good looks that made me fall in love with him, nor his commandeering demeanor, but his heart. Isaiah may be a total badass on the outside, but if he loves you, then you are set for life. And he sure knows how to show his love for Rachel. Not only that, but their mutual love for each other helped them grow. Especially Rachel. She’s finally able to stand up for herself in the end.
One of the most interesting secondary characters for me to read was Abby. She is definitely not your typical best-friend/sidekick. Abby is originally Isaiah’s friend, but soon becomes Rachel’s best friend–a friend Rachel very desperately needed. Abby is rough around the edges and possibly demented (in the best possible way!) but like Isaiah, if she loves you, she has your back. No matter what. Unlikely as it may seem, she demonstrates loyalty and friendship towards Rachel and Isaiah, and for that, she has my heart. So much so that I’m hoping and praying for Abby to have her own book, preferably one with Ethan, Rachel’s twin.
Rachel’s family was one that was hard to digest. The shit they’ve put her through her whole life is tough. No wonder she was getting sick! We don’t see much of Rachel’s two eldest brothers, Gavin and Jack, but what we see of West and Ethan is enough to hook me in. Still, having a death in the family is a devastating thing, especially for a mother. But that was no excuse to have Rachel as a replacement. That’s a burden no child should cary, and it leaves a mark. Her whole family walks on eggshells around her mother and living in a house like that can be suffocating. The scenes between Rachel and her family were ones that broke my heart. We expect unconditional love from our family and acceptance, but that’s not what either Rachel nor Isaiah find. Isaiah has an absentee mother, who only until recently tried to get in touch with him. And Rachel has a family that expects too much from her. It isn’t until tragedy strikes that her family realizes how bad messed up they are and they’re finally able to change.
This is a book I’d recommend to anyone–I’d recommend the whole series, in fact! The next book, Take Me On, will be West’s story and I’m hoping that Ethan’s story is not too far behind!