Drop Down MenusCSS Drop Down MenuPure CSS Dropdown Menu

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garci

Synopsis from Goodreads
I’ve become an expert at avoiding things that could hurt me—which means I will figure out how to stay away from Marco Leone.

Seventeen-year-old Frankie Devereux would do anything to forget the past. Haunted by the memory of her boyfriend’s death, she lives her life by one dangerous rule: Nothing matters. At least, that’s what Frankie tells herself after a reckless mistake forces her to leave her privileged life in the Heights to move in with her dad—an undercover cop. She transfers to a public high school in the Downs, where fistfights don’t faze anyone and illegal street racing is more popular than football.

Marco Leone is the fastest street racer in the Downs. Tough, sexy, and hypnotic, he makes it impossible for Frankie to ignore him—and how he makes her feel. But the risks Marco takes for his family could have devastating consequences for them both. When Frankie discovers his secret, she has to make a choice. Will she let the pain of the past determine her future? Or will she risk what little she has left to follow her heart?
Published October 4th 2016 by Imprint
ISBN13: 9781250079190
Source: Bought
Review (5 Stars)

This book completely surprised me, I am not a regular YA contemporary romance reader, I generally find them a bit unengaging and un-relatable. I was drawn to this book because of the PTSD aspect of the plot, especially in  a 'normal' life (all the other PTSD suffering characters I have read about have been in either fantasy worlds and/or war veterans i.e ACOMAF), and I was even more intrigued when I realized she was from a upper class family.

From the first chapter I was hooked and if I had had the time I would have read this book in one sitting. Immediately you get the sense of the main character directionless-ness and her 'I don't care what happens to me' attitude. It was fascinating watching Frankie, deal with her tangle of emotions as she deals with her memory loss, the change in her surroundings, dealing with new situations and a different 'class' of people.

As well as a great main character we also get a great core group of minor characters. Firstly her very intense parents, a mother who is the 'typical' (or at least the media's typical) rich mother who is too busy living her own life for 99% of the time and then suddenly has to take control of her daughters life; and her undercover cop father who is a over the top protective.
Secondly, Chief, he is such a great character and although he doesn't get much 'screen time' and there aren't many scenes which him in, he is such a fully fleshed out character. He has a deep personality and a well thought out backstory which add to the development of the community that Kami Garci has created in this book.

I can't believe how attached I became to these characters and how emotionally invested I became in the relationships, not only the romantic ones but also the ones of friendship. The friendships in this book - in my opinion - felt real, in that as Frankie has changed as a person she has made new friends yet, she feels loyal to her old ones who of course are jealous of her new friendships. Her new friend Cruz is such a awesome hard-ass teen street racer and I jut loved her.

I think one of the main aspects of the book is the idea of -what I would call -grey characters, so people who do things which would be deemed 'good' and 'bad'. This is a theme that (recently?) has been featured quite a bit in the YA fantasy genre, but it was good to see this in a 'real life' situations (particularly with Frankie's dad  being a cop).  

"Sometimes you have to do the wrong thing for the right reason. The trick is knowing when the reason is right. It's a lot like the bite point. You know it when you feel it." (Page 359)    
I can't express how much this book surprised me in the way that it hooked me, and kept me turning the pages as fast I could manage. It is  fast paced novel full of romance, drama and suspense, it has some great friendships but it is also set in a gritty and realistic world which throws these damaged characters into situations where they have to make hard decisions - making this a emotional, thought-provoking YA suspense romance. Alyson Noel's and Carrie Ryan's thoughts of this book (blurbed on the back cover) sum up my experience of this book: "An insanely addictive, sexy, rush of a read." "The Fast and The Furious meets Romeo and Juliet".