Synopsis: 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.
Thank you to Harlequin Teen and Netgalley for providing me with an advance reader copy of this book!
So…. this is my first McGarry book and I guess I’m going to read them backwards. I passed on buying the first book when it was on sale, but then grabbed the second book when that was on sale and now… idek. Whatever. I’ll just go backwards! So, since this was my first book I didn’t know anything about the other characters. I read the synopsis from the other books so I was a little familiar with them and the relationships, and now I’m super curious to read their stories when I read the other books.
The reason I jumped right into this book was simple: CARS. I love anything to do with cars, fast cars, and street racing. And Rachel drives my dream car… well, a version of it (I want a classic Mustang GT, but I’d def. get a newer one for every-day driving if I could/ when I move back to the USA). So I was hooked from the synopsis alone.
Usually I’m not a fan of alternating first person POV, but I forgave this book because it was just SO GOOD. I loved how intense everything was and that it didn’t fall prey to some of the normal YA cliches that I thought it was going to fall into. After the first 100 pages I was SO worried that it was going to be super insta-love, but it wasn’t! Even thought it totally was set up to be. I loved how Rachel and Isaiah crashed into each others lives and had a super intense beginning that lead to a relatively normal relationship and then things escalated in intensity again.
I know that the other two books deal with themes of physical abuse, so I was expecting that in this but it turns out the abuse was a bit more emotional. Rachel was born to basically replace her dead sister and NOBODY lets her forget it. She’s surrounded by a bunch of bro-ed out brothers who spend all their time trying to protect her, and Rachel spends all her time trying to hid her real self from her family (she loves cars and driving and she’s SUPPOSED to love super girly things like her dead sister did). I thought this was well done and very complex. I also liked how things were resolved.
The relationship between Isaiah and Rachel was so well done too. It was totally believable and sweet and passionate. They did have their issues, which made sense when you see what type of people they are, and I liked the way that they were handled. Yes, there were a lot of communication issues, but what relationship doesn’t have those? And with their different backgrounds… it made sense.
The side-characters were pretty interesting, but I have a feeling that’s because most of them were from the other books. My favorite was Abby, and I was SO hoping the next book would be about her (I am DYING to find out her story!) but unfortunately it’s not. I do hope that she’s in it though, because I really want to know what’s going on with her!
The only reason I didn’t give this a 5 rating is because I had some issues with the writing at times. Overall it was really good, but the repetition of nicknames (awful nicknames) was really annoying. Every time Isaiah called Rachel ‘Angel’ I wanted to punch him. And ‘fuzzy bunny’ was another one. I also felt like sometimes chapters just ended abruptly, or that some of the more fast-paced areas were too fast and lacked details that I would have liked to have seen (especially when it came to the driving scenes).
And why FOR THE LOVE OF SEXY CARS did NONE of the cars have NAMES?! This drove me INSANE! If you have a car and you love it YOU NAME THAT SHIT. I know that Rachel referred to her car as ‘my baby’ (which was just as annoying as Isaiah calling her angel), but come on! I grew up with boys who loved cars and were always going on about Hemis and V8 engines and they named those cars! I named my car! My best friend named her car! If you love your car, it gets a name. If it’s just your transportation and you don’t actually care about it, then that’s understandable, but man.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading the other books!