Crash Into You by Katie McGarry 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.
Series: Pushing the Limits #3
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publication date: November 26, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: eARC, 489 pages
How I got it: Edelweiss
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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.
Here’s one absolute truth: Katie McGarry writes amazing characters. Beautifully broken characters that I can’t help but fall in love with. Both Isaiah and Rachel are damaged, but for different reasons. I want to hug them both and make them realize they are wanted. (Isaiah especially… ) They grew up in two completely different worlds, but they’re more alike than they may think at first.
“Speed. It’s what I crave. I can race the emotions away.”
People abandon Isaiah. No one except his best friend Noah, and Noah’s girlfriend Echo, have cared enough to stick around. Now, there’s a chance he’s going to lose them, too. A foster system kid, the last thing he wants to do is go back into a group home. Isaiah thinks he’s filled with darkness, but underneath it all, he’s a caring and protective guy. He’s not at the top of the food chain on the streets, but he’s definitely someone no one messes with.
“I like cars. I like the feel of them. The sound of them. My mind clears when I’m behind the wheel and there’s something about the sound of an engine dropping into gear as I press on the gas that makes me feel… powerful.”
Rachel is a replacement child. Her sister Colleen died of Leukemia before she was born and her mother has been grooming her to be perfect Colleen since her birth. No one sees the real Rachel. The car-loving girl is hidden underneath a perfectly polished exterior. She speaks at Leukemia fundraisers and does what her mom, dad and overly-protective brothers tell her. She has anxiety and has panic attacks that cause her to vomit blood. Everyone thinks she’s fragile and in need of protection, but she’s stronger than any of them give her credit for. Driving is her escape. Behind the wheel of a car is the only place she feels in control.
“Fuck me. God does exist and he sent an angel in a white Mustang to prove it.”
Isaiah and Rachel first meet at a shady street race. It was her first time there and she looked so innocent that he had to protect her. Instead of allowing her to race one of the other guys there, which would have likely won him the money he needed to secure his home with Noah, he offers to race her. When things head south pretty quickly at the conclusion of the race, they save each other and make an immediate connection.
“Because I want to, I keep my hand against her face. Rachel’s cheek is warm and smooth. I like touching her and, even more, I like her touching me. This angel has blown away my every idea of what a rich, private school girl should be. No drinking, no boyfriend, likes fast cars – hell, knows fast cars – and is concerned over me.”
“He’s observant. Overly so. I think he could tell me more about my actions than I could. A huge part of me doesn’t like it. In order for me to fit in at home, people can’t notice me. It’s harder to pull off being someone else when you’re the center of attention. But I’m not home. I’m miles from there. And here, in this room, I like how Isaiah looks at me as if I’m the only girl in the world. Or like an antelope he’s going to pounce on.”
Rachel is innocent and naive. Isaiah is anything but. The first night they spend together, ends with little more than a kiss. Rachel’s first kiss. But what is made more than apparent that night is the strength of the connection they made. Their chemistry is off the charts, but more than that, they just connect in a very real way. It scares both of them.
“Rachel can’t like me because she doesn’t know me. The real me. For Rachel, life is still sunshine, rainbows and pink fucking fuzzy unicorns. I’m nothing but darkness, clouds and rats.”
“Tell her it’s over, asshole. Tell her that you come from different worlds and that it would never work. Tell her that kiss meant more to you than she could ever imagine. Tell her that you’ll dream about her and think about her, but that’s where it ends.”
After their first meeting, Isaiah has every intention of giving Rachel up, despite the feelings he has for her. Their connection was immediate and powerful, but he doesn’t see any way they can be together. They may both like and know cars, but that’s where the similarities end. Or so he thinks. He sees himself as no good and doesn’t want to drag her down with him. He says goodbye and tells her he’ll call, but he has no intention of doing so. He has to let her go. It’s for the best.
“I’m still no good enough for a girl like her, but she’s back in my life and she needs someone to protect her. I’ll fill the role and absorb as much of her light as I can before she leaves me behind in the darkness.”
When Isaiah gets word that creepy Eric from the street race sets his sights on Rachel as a means to recover the money that was stolen from him, he decides to seek her out to protect her. They’re in one big mess together. But they have each other, so that has to count for something, right? As time goes on, Isaiah realizes it’s impossible for him to hide his feelings for Rachel. She’s hurt by the way he disappeared after the first night, but she can’t deny the feelings she has for him. They have six weeks to come up with the money they now owe Eric. Oh-so-much happens during those six weeks. I wouldn’t even tell you if you asked. You have to experience the roller coaster ride for yourself. They have a lot of obstacles to overcome along the way. Also, along the way, they find themselves falling for each other.
“Tingles and shock waves and earthquakes and hurricanes. All of it takes place at the same time as our mouths move not nearly fast enough.”
I absolutely loved Rachel and Isaiah together. There’s something about when two broken souls find each other, bring out the best in each other, that just warms my heart. Their chemistry was so immediate, so real. They were stronger together and I loved reading them like that. They grew together. It was easy to see how strongly they felt for each other. And while there were some passionate moments, they were done in that tasteful young adult way that was sheer perfection. These two gave me such warm, fuzzy feelings. <3
“You’re the first person to ever see me.”
Once again, I found myself absolutely blown away by a Katie McGarry book. This book hooked me from page one. I fell for the characters immediately. I wanted to protect them and keep them from danger. I wanted to yell at them for making stupid decisions. I cheered and smiled, got angry and cried. Crash Into You was utterly unputdownable. I raced (see what I did there) towards the end of the book, desperate to know how it would all turn out, but never wanting it to end because I liked these characters so much. The writing was beautiful and real, the dialogue absolute perfection. I can’t even begin to tell you how many passages I highlighted as I read. I just want to hug this book and never let it go.
Crash Into You was a wild ride filled with wonderful, complex characters, angst, action, obstacles and emotion. I couldn’t have asked for more.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. All quotes come from the review copy and may differ from the final version.