Actual Rating: 4.5 stars
Since this is an ARC, Luxa and I decided to get away from the lengthy interview review approach. Thus, consider yourself lucky for being spared of Luxa’s err~ cheesy jokes. Right. So if someone asked me right now to describe Crash Into You in one sentence, then it would be this: Crash Into You’s the bookish and more dramatic version of The Fast and The Furious. Oh how I love the said movie series and Crash Into You really had me swooning. The best part is that it is Isaiah’s love story. Cool eh?
Even from the start (Pushing the Limits), I had my eyes on Isaiah. For some reason, he really jumped out on me. Even with his tattoos, he was Noah and Beth’s guide and pillar in times of need. He’s the type who does not judge immediately and would see the two sides of the coin first. So you can say that I was hyping and jumping after I finished Dare You To (TBH, I finished the Pushing the Limits Trilogy in 2 successive days). I was excited to dive into this immediately. I mean, Isaiah + fast cars= WIN!
As what the summary said, Crash Into You is Isaiah’s story. In this sequel, he’s already living with Noah, a struggling college student now. While Isaiah is still mending his broken heart, a new set of problems has come his way which involved going back to his foster parent’s house, reuniting with his dark past and a new girl.
Just like the previous two books (Pushing the Limits and Dare You To), one of the greatest strengths of Crash Into You is its characters and their relationships. As I’ve mentioned, Isaiah’s my favourite among the f**ked up three. Beneath the tattoos and the earrings is a gentle and broken soul. And his loyalty and protectiveness to the people he loves had me crushing all over him. I mean, he really makes an amazing boyfriend because despite his flaws, he always managed to come through for the people depending on him. For some reason, I despise Rachel because of this. I have a love and hate relationship with her. At some point, I admired her boldness, her unconditional love for Isaiah and her family (even if it means getting really sick). BUT her insecurities and her sometimes lack of self-preservation makes me want to cringe. There was this scene in the book where she accused Isaiah of being a control freak and undermining her capability when in fact the latter is just desperate to protect her. That scene got me so worked up that I have to knock off a 0.5 star from this review. I understand her need to prove but it doesn’t mean that she has to be brainless about it. To make the story short, I prefer to see the bold Rachel, the one who doesn’t hesitate to tell Isaiah that she wanted to kiss him back.
Even the antagonist, Eric, has made an impression on me. He is subtle and cunning. I love how his mind worked and how he greatly reminded me of a snake ready to strike out any given moment.
Moving on, Crash Into You’s complex familial relationships felt real that I can already taste them. It reeked of rawness and all the painful stuff in the world. There’s the Young family which gave me a happy and scary feeling. Rachel’s relationship with her dad and mom seriously freaked me out but her relationship with Ethan and West was one of the best. And then, there’s also Isaiah’s issue with his long lost mother. I adored and loathed the woman at the same time. But I wouldn’t tell what happened to her for fear of spoiling you.
Plot-wise, Crash Into You is clearly driven by its romance, the cast and their complicated relationships, and drag racing. Kudos to Katie for adding the latter as a twist to the whole story. It’s definitely conceivable and made me love fast cars more.
And that ending, so neatly wrapped and a perfect happy ever after. I mean not the fairy tale kind but you know, very realistic. My only regret is that Eric didn’t get his comeuppance. Le sigh.
To sum it up, Crash Into You packed a lot of punch despite its predictability. It thoroughly maintained the gritty tone of Pushing The Limits series whilst adding its own flourish. This is another book that deserves a permanent home in my All-Time-Favorites bookshelf.
Note: This review first appeared on http://thoughtsandpens.com. A free ARC was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.