I received this book for free from BEA16 in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia
Published by Macmillan on 2016-10-04
Genres: Contemporary, Family, Love & Romance, Social Themes, Young Adult
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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?
I was really excited to read this because I’m a huge Katie McGarry fan and she gave the book 5 stars and the synopsis gave me all the same feels as her books, so when I picked it up at BEA, I was really excited. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t everything I had hoped it would be.
I have a kind of love/hate relationship with this book. I love YA romances that are mixed with over-the-top drama. It’s why I love Katie McGarry’s books so much. They’re super addicting, impossible to put down once you’ve started, and just a lot of fun to get lost in. And that’s what I loved about this one. I really couldn’t put it down once I started. I got completely wrapped up in Frankie and Marco’s drama. I also loved the friendships that developed between Frankie, Cruz, and Lex. If you’re a fan of Katie McGarry’s books or Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles, you will probably also love this book. If Pushing the Limits, Crash Into You, and Perfect Chemistry all got together and had a book baby, this would be it.
And that leads directly into the hate part. This book is VERY similar to those books. So very similar. I know books in specific genres are all going to have certain similarities, but this just felt so much like a mashup of those books, it was hard to ignore. And that bothered me through the book. Also, while I really liked Lex, I didn’t really see any reason why her and Abel’s drama was included in this book. It added only enough to distract from Frankie and Marco without adding anything substantial and neither had much character growth at all. And when we finally find out the reasons behind it all, it felt rushed and underdeveloped and asinine. I just wish it hadn’t been included at all and instead let the focus stay on Frankie and Marco and let the best friends characters support the main characters.
In the end, I still liked this book okay because it was a fun distraction from real life. It was entertaining and addicting. But it’s definitely not one that will end up on my favorites shelf nor will it be the first I pull out as a recommendation. I’m glad I read it and I think this is one you’ll have to decide for yourself on. I haven’t read the Beautiful Creatures series so I can’t compare the writing in this one to that at all but I can say that it just wasn’t the best I’ve read and I was slightly disappointed by it. I really wish I had loved this one more.