Crash into You – Katie McGarry

CrashIntoYou
Crash into You – Katie McGarry
(Pushing the Limits #3)
Published: 11-26-2013 by Harlequin Teen
Get the book: Amazon,The Book Depository

The girl with straight A’s and the perfect life—that’s who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy family…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 after the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can’t get him out of her mind.

The last thing Isaiah needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks. But when their shared love of street racing puts their lives in jeopardy, Isaiah and Rachel will have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they’ll go to save each other.

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Design – ?     

I’m not usually a fan of covers that show exactly what the characters look like, but I do really like this photograph. The rich red of the car is so eye-catching, and the couple look comfortable not only together, but in a small backseat. I really like the angle of the title because it makes the cover dynamic.

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Crash into You is my second Katie McGarry book, and she is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors for contemporary YA. She has a real talent for writing bad boys with hearts of gold, heroines with complex emotions, and couples who are so different from one another. Isaiah and Rachel are so fun to read about. Their connection is almost instantaneous, their struggles are compelling, and their chemistry is insane. If you haven’t read any of the books in the Pushing the Limits collection, I highly recommend them.

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  • Isaiah – Isaiah’s tough exterior comes from growing up in a series of bad foster homes and a lot of practice pushing people away. Yet Isaiah can’t stop his urge to protect Rachel despite her insistence that she can handle things on her own. As Isaiah tries to keep Rachel safe, he fights his own need to be near her and finally let someone in. Although he screws up sometimes, Isaiah is a truly good guy.
  • Rachel – I really admire Rachel’s drive to watch out for herself, especially with four overprotective older brothers. Her struggle with panic attacks makes her feel weak, but dealing with her overly concerned brothers makes her feel weaker. At home, Rachel is insecure and always feels like a faulty replacement for her deceased sister. When Rachel is with Isaiah she comes to life, challenging him and flirting with him, just generally having more fun even though she’s in unfamiliar territory.
  • twists – I enjoyed all of the plot twists in this story. Each one is realistic, unexpected, and challenging. I also like that the twists are from external sources and not Rachel or Isaiah being stubborn or emotionally distant. Most of the twists had me completely surprised and I was definitely emotionally invested.
  • cars – Isaiah’s life is built around his love of cars. He works in a garage, loves restoring cars, and does some street racing. Rachel also adores cars but feels like her family discourages this interest. I really like how Rachel and Isaiah connect and bond over this mutual love for classic cars. I also appreciate that Rachel never brings up not being friends with girls because her interests are soooo different – that is a horrible and annoying cliche. Rachel’s protectiveness over her car, which is her most treasured possession, is important to the story just like Isaiah’s protectiveness of Rachel.

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  • Isaiah’s mom – Isaiah’s struggle with his mother and being in the foster care system is part of what makes him tough. His mom is selfish and immature, even though she claims that foster care was the best choice at the time. A decision that she made later on about Isaiah changed his life more than she can even imagine, and I was a bit proud of Isaiah for using her need to see him to his advantage.
  • Eric/stakes – High stakes situations are usually more compelling, but I struggled to understand exactly what would happen if Isaiah and Rachel failed to pay Eric. I get that it involved violence and owing Eric, but I’m not sure how one guy could wield so much power. The consequences had to be dire enough for guarded Isaiah to immediately get involved to protect Rachel, but I was left feeling like Isaiah knew the score but I didn’t.

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“This is where you fill in the blank with your year in high school.”

“Senior,” he finishes. “And I don’t go to Worthington Private.”

“You don’t say.” I let the sarcasm flow. “I thought for sure you had run for student body president last year.”

He scratches the stubble on his jaw and I swear he’s covering a grin. “You’re too brave for your own good.”

– Rachel + Isaiah  pg. 71

Mom stares at the night sky, searching for something. “I often wondered what would have happened if I stayed and did as Daddy asked or if I had agreed to let them take you or if I let that one couple adopt you when you were ten.”

My head jerks to glare at her. “They wanted me?”

– Isaiah + his mom  pg. 417

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4 Robots

Acquired: bought

Pushing the Limits

PushingTheLimitsPushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Published: 6-1-12 by Harlequin Teen
Get the book: Amazon, The Book Depository

So wrong for each other…and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

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Design – ?      Rating – 3/5

Definitely not my favorite. I’m not a fan of people almost kissing on book covers. I do like the sideways picture and the way the title is written all the way to the left. That alone earned this cover a 3rd star for me. I like the title treatment, with “the” sideways in between the words. The overall colors are nice as well – the mild harshness of the light and the focus of the photo work well.

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Pushing the Limits is an intensely emotional read packed with drama. I enjoyed every minute of this book. It’s fun to read, despite the serious subject matter. Noah is sexy, Echo is brave, and their chemistry explodes off the page. Even though Echo can’t remember exactly how she got her scars, she knows that her life with them is anything but normal. Fortunately, Noah’s got personal experience in less than normal, and one slightly nosey counselor is about to push these two together.

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  • Noah – Noah is the ultimate bad boy with a heart of gold. He’s sexy and sweet, kind and caring, despite his reputation. Noah understands Echo’s secrets and her hesitance to form true connections. He has his own problems, but he truly cares for Echo. Noah is admirable in his pursuit to gain custody of his little brothers, however misguided it may be. Noah is strong and mysterious to most, but once he opens up it’s clear how deeply he loves the people in his life.
  • Mrs. Collins – At first, Mrs. Collins is not someone who Noah or Echo trusts. However, the counselor manages to become more than a scheduled annoyance for each of them when she insists that Echo tutor Noah. I didn’t quite know what to think of her at first, since both Echo and Noah were meeting her for the first time and she was very direct with them. I decided I liked her sometime around the altercation at the dance, when she talked to Noah about the “jacket girl” and didn’t get them in trouble.
  • Echo – Echo, although she has a traumatic past, is a kick-ass young woman. She tells Luke exactly where he can shove it, she’s smart, and she knows what she wants. Echo has a lot to deal with, but Noah brings out a different side of her and she learns how to open herself up enough to let people in again.
  • issues – This book is full of issues, yet it manages to not read like an “issue book.” It’s a book with a complete story, instead of a story that exists just to provide a place for someone to explore the issues. Echo deals with trauma, repressed memory, bipolar disorder, and a young pregnant stepmother. Noah deals with guilt and trauma, the foster care system, abuse, and legal issues. Although each of these characters faces so much negativity, both Echo and Noah are complete characters. They are not their issues.

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  • names – I understand wanting to give your heroine a distinctive name, but Echo is not a name. Echo is a name for a dolphin or a sci-fi heroine. It bothered me that Echo was her real, actual name – and it bothered me that no one questioned or commented on this. And her brother’s name is Ares. I just found it strange.
  • Echo’s “friends” – Echo’s friends are intensely annoying. They only care about their social standing, and push Echo to get back with Luke despite the fact that they never so much as consider asking Echo how she feels about their plan. Or how she feels about anything for that matter. Even Lila, Echo’s closest thing to a real friend, spends her time telling Echo that she loves Luke and not Noah. How on earth does Lila think she knows anything about who Echo loves, when she’s been busy telling rather than asking her friend how she really feels? Echo deserves better than fake friends who value their popularity over Echo’s mental health, sanity, and comfort.
  • Luke – Luke is the poster boy for guys to avoid like the plague. He doesn’t respect Echo at all. He thinks her desire to restore her dead brother’s car is stupid. He wants all the physical benefits of a relationship without having to actually care about Echo’s feelings and mental health. he’s ridiculously self-absorbed. Luke makes me want to kick him in the balls. he actually tell Echo that he “deserves an award for keeping his hands off of her” and that he’s “got plenty of girls who’d sleep with him.” I can’t see why on earth Echo was ever with him in the first place. Luckily, Echo is too smart to put up with that shit.

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His gaze shifted to my covered arms. “You didn’t do that, did you? It was done to you?”

No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked. My entire world collapsed around me as I answered, “Yes.”               – Noah + Echo   pg. 96

 

For Lila, Grace and Natalie life was finally back to normal.

For me, “normal” felt worse. Sure, people talked to me now, but dating Luke and having Grace back as a public friend didn’t stop the stares or the whispers. That big gaping wound inside of me hadn’t filled like I had expected. In fact, the hole grew wider and deeper.     – pg. 182

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4 Robots

Acquired: bought (ebook)