I know. Everyone has been waiting for this book with Isaiah’s story, me included. There was a lot of hype around this book from the bloggers, flinging out 5’s like candy. Of course this just made me want to be even more critical. This has been a challenging review to write. I had to re-read before I could even begin to put my thoughts together.
This series has always been about family to me, with Katie McGarry pairing the family of foster kids with the seemingly have-it-all ‘normal’ families that underneath are incredibly dysfunctional in some very serious ways. It’s always been somehow easy and natural for these young adults to pair up, in spite of their socio-economic differences.
In Crash Into You, Isaiah meets Rachel, a car-loving, slightly rebellious and very naive seventeen-year old with secrets of her own. Her family is fairly messed up too, with a mother that’s still grieving for a lost child, a father who will do anything to appease the mother, and brothers that are frankly just awful to Rachel under the guise of protecting her. Oh, and she has a health problem she’s hiding from everyone, although her twin brother is catching onto her.
Rachel and Isaiah get into a bit of trouble with the local gangster, Eric, and their initial attraction turns into a real relationship as they navigate the dangerous situation they find themselves in. There were some really sweet moments between these two, including their first kiss and a scene at Lover’s Leap that epitomizes what young, first love is all about.
Much of the hype surrounding this book came from wanting to know more about Isaiah and we do get his story. Even though the scenes with his mom are emotionally charged, the brief scenes where he finally opens up to his case worker are a window into his fears, and these packed a powerful punch for me. These were the moments that I look for in this series, and I wasn’t disappointed.
I was disappointed that Isaiah’s partying seemed to have been a big fabrication, and that seemed odd since a lot was made of his smoking in previous books. It seemed a little too convenient to write away his drug use in that way. It sounds odd to say that this bothered me, but it did. Another disappointment was Rachel never taking on her brothers for what they did to her. She left them off the hook much too easy.
But in spite of these little things that itched me, this was still a good read for me, and a perfect wrap-up of the three main characters from this series.
I absolutely loved the scenes where the gang was all together, and Beth Risk remains my all time forever favorite character in this series. I loved the scenes between her and Isaiah as they resolve the tensions in their relationship. The scenes where everyone was together, even though the circumstances were less than ideal were some of the favorite parts of the book for me. I love how this ‘family’ of teenagers come together to help each other. Makes me feel hopeful for the future.
Honorable mentions go to Logan and Abby for providing great supporting characters.
Crash Into You did a nice job of telling Isaiah’s story in the same style as the previous two books in the series and with the same emotional impact. Recommended.