Blog Review: Crash into You: Katie McGarry

CRASH INTO YOU (Pushing the Limits#3)
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From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane. 

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.

One girl who longs to be herself and break free. 
One boy who has lived a hard life. 
One night they cross paths and have to save each other. 
They found a connection, but trouble is following them. 

I've loved Isaiah since we met him in Pushing the Limits. He was always so protective and loyal to his friends Noah and Beth. He watched his best friend Noah fall hard for Echo. He went through heartbreak when Beth rejected his love and fell for Ryan in Dare to You. But now Isaiah has found a new girl who has intrigued him and needs his protection. He finds himself entranced by a girl who is not from his world. But she accepts him as he is. And even though she lives in a wealthy neighborhood and has a large family and stable home it is not all sunshine and rainbows for her either. 

My entire life is one long thick rope full of knots and kinks where people have twisted me inside and out. Nothing about me is solid or study. I'm frayed and tattered. "I'm no good, Rachel."

Isaiah is at a crossroads in his life. He is trying to find his way out of his tragic past and the life he was forced to lead. He is trying to be a good person and help someone in need. But it just keeps spiraling out of control and becoming more serious and dangerous. But Isaiah has such a protective, loving, loyal nature. He feels deeply, although he puts on a tough macho front. His relationship with Rachel was tender and sweet. He did not think he was good enough, but she never made him feel unworthy. Rachel does what everyone expects of her even to her detriment. Until Isaiah shows her she can be her true self. But she has secrets, feels weak, and misunderstood by many of those close to her. But Isaiah and Rachel could really see each other and the person under the public facades. They complimented each other so well even though they seemed like they should be opposites. They also both shared a passion for cars, speed, and racing that tied them together even more. And got them into trouble. 

"When I'm with you, even my past seems like a bad dream."

"I don't know what love is or how it should feel, but I know that when I'm with you I like who I am, and that's never happened to me before. "

But as their lives are out of control, they fight to regain it...to stand up for themselves, for each other, and for their future. They support each other against terrible odds and their friends are there for them as well. The tension and danger kept building and it all came down to a pulse pounding climax. 

This story was tense, tragic, emotional, heartbreaking and inspiring. The connection between Rachel and Isaiah was profound and life changing for them both. And the love that Isaiah and his friends have for each other was deep and unyielding. Their lives were all intricately linked. They  protect each other and stand by each other. I love this series because the characters have flaws, issues, and imperfections, but they are very likable and endearing. They are well developed, their relationships are complex, and they all have obstacles to face. I loved getting both points of view. My heart broke at times for both Isaiah and Rachel. The story flowed well and had me invested in them from the start. I have to admit that somewhere towards the middle the story was getting a little tired with all of the car stuff, angst, and street stuff, but then it started to pick up again and she really brought it home. There were some plot twists and surprises. There were times I was clutching my kindle hard and holding my breath and a few times I wanted to smack someone over the head. The story lines in all of these books are raw, gritty, and desperate. Katie does not pull punches when it comes to the tragedies and difficult situations that these characters face. 

We got to see more of old friends like Noah, Echo, Beth, Ryan, Logan and met some new characters like Abby, Eric (the bad guy), Zach, and Rachel's brothers. Even though her family drove me crazy (like seriously annoyed the crap out of me and I wanted Rachel to just let them have it), I still liked her brothers West and Ethan. They were terribly overprotective, a little obnoxious, and pretty clueless about Rachel. But I still think they would make good male leads (West will be the lead in the next book Take Me On) and  I would like to see more with Abby, Ethan, and Logan as well. I am looking forward to more from this series and Katie McGarry.

Thanks to Katie McGarry, Harlequin Teen, and Netgalley for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review. Quotes are from arc copy and subject to change in the final draft.

Have you ever walked away from a book thinking hmm? Crash into You was one of those rare reads for me. Usually I am decisive about whether or not a book worked for me. In this instance, I’m not quite sure exactly when or where it fell apart. Rachel and Isaiah’s journey started out great, their ending was wicked emotional, and there were definite swoon worthy moments sprinkled throughout their story. All the ingredients one needs for an amazing book. Nevertheless, when compared to the other two books it falls a bit flat, in my opinion. There were parts I loved (like a lot), and then there were the parts I wasn't so fond of. If I had to break everything down and rate from there, I would say the characters completely cinched its four star review, and if I had based it on the plot alone it wouldn't have made it past a three star rating. This makes me sad; Crash into You was one of my highly anticipated books for 2013. I absolutely adore Katie McGarry as well as this series.

I have been dying to get my hands on Isaiah's story since the moment I met him in Pushing the Limits. Katie, finally, brought this "bad boy" to larger than life status with his very own story. The anticipation surrounding his character totally lived up to the hype. Her development nailed everything I imagined when it came to Isaiah and the depth he carried. I was nowhere close to dissatisfied with him. He rivaled Noah for his top spot on my YA list. I was equal parts intrigued and captivated. Not to mention charmed into complete adoration for him. 

I simply adored the heroine, Rachel. Their love story is a classic case of boy from the “wrong” side of the tracks meets and falls in love with the girl from the “right” side of the tracks. And even though these two lived on such opposite ends of the social spectrum, they shared a variety of similar interests, insecurities as well as hopes and dreams. I loved Katie’s choice for Isaiah’s soul mate, Rachel matched him perfectly. Talk about opposites attract, although in the grand scheme of things they really weren't that different. She was the yin to his yang. 

No judgments. No pretending to be someone you aren't. No lies or secrets to hide. In my opinion, this is the most beautiful aspect of this couple. Acceptance at all costs was their key.

Yay!! Noah and Echo are back for some more fun, and they rocked as always! I mean how in the world could I not love seeing more of them. I ate up every second I got to spend with one of my favorite bad boys of YA. It’s always nice to visit with “friends” from past books and it's even better when an author knows how to include them without taking over the story with their updates. And while I LOVED 95% of the secondary characters, I must give a special shout out to Abby, as she is hands down the BEST book bestie, like EVER!! I adored her quirky personality, as well as her own personal sense of loyalty. She definitely needs her own book and I am thinking she may just end up with one of the Young boys. Oh, oh, I almost forget, Logan also rocked my socks! How in the hell could I almost forget Logan? I really loved the added dimension his character added to Isaiah's close group of friends. Those two weren't a duo I was expecting to ever see.

So, it's safe to say that the lead and most of the secondary characters were not my issue.

What I didn't come close to loving was RACHEL'S FAMILY (not sorry for the shouty letters, as this is one of those shouty type moments). I have never ever met such self-indulged people (I have but none as wretched as them come to mind at the moment)!! I mean, seriously, this family takes the cake. My heart broke for Rachel, repeatedly. They feed into her insecurities often making her feel invisible, unloved, and without a doubt unwanted. Each one of them used her for their own purposes and it was sickening. Truthfully, it was also a bit unbelieving. The whole family situation was a bit hard to swallow, especially the behavior of her twin. The vileness of insensitive words and actions along with their “over protectiveness” pushed so many damn boundaries and buttons for me. I saw absolutely no growth with this family until the “big” moment at the end, by then it was too late for them to redeem themselves in my eyes.

The other issue I experienced was the fact that I wanted a bit more growth and focus on Isaiah and Rachel as a couple. There were just too many multiple story lines; it sometimes made my head spin. Katie gave us way too much to focus on. We had Rachel's vile family, Isaiah and his mother’s attempts at reconciliation, Eric’s bad guy crap; Isaiah’s living arrangements, along with the issues of Beth and Isaiah's friendship. Hold on there’s more…now mix all that together with the complications and getting to know you stuff that comes with all new relationships. 

With all that said, Crash into You isn't a bad book by any means, it just wasn't my favorite of the series. I would say my issues in this book dealt more with my own personal preferences and likes than anything to do with the author’s actual writing style. Katie is one of my all-time favorite YA authors. I would recommend Crash into You without a second thought, and although I am obviously not a fan of Rachel’s family, I am still anxious and looking forward to the continuation of this series with Rachel’s brother West. 

Thanks to Katie McGarry, Harlequin Teen, and Netgalley for providing me with an arc in exchange honest review.

Katie McGarry  


KATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie would love to hear from her readers. Contact her via her website, katielmcgarry.com, follow her on Twitter @KatieMcGarry, or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.


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