“Crash Into You” by Katie McGarry
5 out of 5 stars.
Eleven years have passed since Isaiah Walker has seen his mother, and now he finally has the chance to reconcile with her. Some people might call it a Christmas miracle that his mother is out of jail and that she wants to see him after so many years, but how can she expect him to forgive and forget after all that time? How can all those years of being picked on, of feeling abandoned and alone, just go away with a simple, “Hi, Mom”? Feelings like that don’t just disappear upon request, at least not for Isaiah. He wishes it was that way, that the past would just drop off of his shoulders so he could move on, and forget the pain of his past and finally be able to live. Isaiah wants to be free and to be given a second chance at life, to not be judged for who he was and what he’s done. But how can the world, strangers to him, forget what Isaiah’s done when he won’t even forgive his own mother?
Rachel Young has always tried to be perfect. It’s what her family wants from her, what they expect, but she has never even come close to giving them what they want. She has accepted the fact that she won’t ever be able to compare to her late sister, Colleen, but it’s her parents who now need to accept that fact. She could prove to them just how unlike Colleen she is, but what good would that accomplish? It would only make matters worse for Rachel and the rest of her family; it is better to keep what she feels bottled up inside of herself than to release it. But Rachel doesn’t know how much more she can take of pretending to be strong, and the ever mounting lies are taking their toll on her mind and her body. Can Rachel figure out how to handle her fears and the lies that are starting to strangle her, or is the pressure she’s been put under going to make her implode?
These two teens are polar opposites in everything except for their love of cars, and after participating in a drag-race gone sour, Rachel and Isaiah find out that they need each other, and that their lives are depending on just how well they can work together. Can these two unlikely allies get the money they need before it’s to late? And can their growing feelings for each other end well, or was their relationship doomed to fail from the start?
I have this issue with reading a book and then writing a review without thinking about it for long enough. I always end up having to going back and revise it. Usually it is because I realize just how much I LOVED the book, and I have to go back and fix the review so it does the story justice. And then there are the other kinds of books that piss me off the more I think about them. *Cough*. “Opal” by Jennifer L. Armentrout. *Cough*.
More times than not, I go back to rewrite the posts of the books I love, but there are exceptions. Anyway, one of my more recent reviews that I did this with was for “Deception” by C.J. Redwine. I loved the book and then I wrote a review, and that was supposed to be the end of it. The more I mulled over the story in my head, the more I loved it, and so I had to go back and fix a few things that I had originally written. The point, I guess, I am trying to make is that I jump the gun a little early when it comes to reviewing. That is why I waited so long to write a review for “Crash Into You” (also some writer’s block), and I am hoping that “Crash Into You” will be the first book review that I don’t feel the need to go back to and revise! Here’s to hoping…
“Crash Into You” was a large book, and it holds a lot of information; it was almost five hundred paged book, so hunker down, drink some coffee, and enjoy it. For me it was not the kind of book that you can just pick up and read three or four pages of and then go your merry way. It was an fabulous read, but it was not a light one by any means. “Crash Into You” dealt with a LOT of heavy issues, and to really get attached and involved with the characters, I personally had to put some things on the back burner and just read it. “Crash Into You” needs to be enjoyed, admired, and even savored. It was a fantastic and amazing book, but I can see it being a bit disjointed if you only read a little here and there because you can’t get the whole effect if you are putting it down every ten minutes. I never had that problem, though, because it was waaaaay too addictive to put down.
My sister and I have a “Fast and Furious” obsession. We both share a love of fast (gorgeous) cars and Paul Walker, and the movies are just too fun not to enjoy! So when we read the summary for “Crash Into You” we knew that we had to pre-order this baby right away. I hadn’t yet read anything by Katie McGarry, but I really wanted to read this book, so I went for it anyway. Just so you know, I’ve been preparing for this book for months. I have it on goodreads, I’ve got a special board on pinterest dedicated to it, and I even reserved a spot on my crowded bookshelf so it would fit perfectly. Yeah, excited is the understatement of the year in describing how much I was looking forward to “Crash Into You.” You can imagine my glee when it came in the mail.
After some major fangirling, I started reading it. Right off I could tell it was going to be an awesome book (Isaiah drives a Mustang and Mustangs happen my favorite!), and it was really hard to put down despite the fact that I had a fair amount of stuff to do. Pretty much everything went out the window because I wanted to finish this book. Oops!
Rachel was a really good heroine. I think that a lot of people could find her a bit irritating or see her as a weak person because she was shy, and she had a lot of anxiety problems, but I found the opposite to be true about this character. Instead, I found myself to be very interested and involved in her story, and I really wanted to see Rachel overcome her fears. She had such a kind and genuine heart despite her dysfunctional family, and I wanted for her to believe in herself and break free of the mold that her brothers and parents had put her in.
I also thought that Isaiah and her worked well together despite their issues, and I was glad to see them work it out in the end; it was an ongoing process in this book, but in the end it was so rewarding! I also feel that Katie McGarry did a good job of developing Rachel’s relationship with her family, especially the bond she shared with West and Ethan. Her whole family was built out of control freaks who needed everything to be perfect, or at least have the appearance of perfection. All of the kids were raised to do nothing more than play their part in the family, so it was no wonder that they were all royally messed up. Despite their issues, I found myself pitying them all instead of hating them, except for when Rachel’s brothers went and pushed her around (you’ll understand if you decide to read this book). I thought it was so awful that they treated her like that, but I thought it was great when Rachel started to get her voice and not let them make her feel small or like they could push around. Rachel kept her sweetness while growing more confident in herself, and I just loved the growth that she showed in “Crash Into You.” I ended up really liking Rachel in “Crash Into You,” and I feel like she was one of the most relatable characters I have ever read. I loved reading her perspective and seeing her grow into a more independent and confident young woman.
I really loved Isaiah in “Crash Into You.” I had liked him in the previous book despite the fact that he was barely in it, and I wanted to see sooooo much more of him. Katie McGarry totally delivered in “Crash Into You.”
Isaiah Walker had originally been in love with his best friend Beth who was wise enough to know that if they ended up together, their issues would have caused them both to implode. They were great as friends, but romantic notions were a no, no for her, and she was smart enough to get out of the rough life before it swallowed her whole. Isaiah, understandably, did not agree with her and he was still super angry with Beth in “Crash Into You.” Usually that kind of attitude would make me dislike a character, but it didn’t even phase me with Isaiah. There was just something about him that made me really like his character, and this gave me hope that he and Beth would eventually fix their relationship, and all would be right in the world. Eventually.
One of the many things I loved about Isaiah was that he had a really great heart. In just seventeen years, Isaiah had seen his mother go to prison, been placed into multiple foster care homes that were quite terrible, and he was always looked down upon by others because of where he came from. He had never been given a second chance by anyone, and yet there was still something good and kind and descent left inside his heart. I also loved the fact that Isaiah was so respectful towards the women (whoot!, whoot!) in this book, especially Rachel. He totally saved her from getting killed at the drag race, but he never thought of her as incapable of taking care herself. He was a swoon worthy character, and then there was the plus of the whole mechanic thing, him seeing Rachel’s inner strength, and believing in her when no one else did. *sighs* I love him so much!
The side characters were great in “Crash Into You”, but the thing that made this book for me was the cars. I don’t know what it is, but I LOVE cars despite the fact that I don’t know much about them. Maybe it is because of the “Fast and Furious” series and Psych’s episode (Shawn and Gus in Drag),
but all I know is that I love how Katie McGarry pulled the car deal off in this book.
This is a fantastic Chick Lit book, yet it wasn’t a light read. Katie resolved everything very well, but it was a rough journey up to that point for these characters. Rachel and Isaiah had to overcome a lot in their personal lives as well as in their relationship, but I loved every minute of their story! This was a truly beautiful and redemptive story.