Tuesday, July 26, 2016

the lovely reckless: stardust arc reviews

The Lovely Reckless
Kami Garcia

release date: October 4th



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 received this book from netgalley, and I am so excited that I got to read it a bit early! This book is in the same vein as books by Simone Elkeles or Katie McGarry, and I have enjoyed that genre in the past, so I was definitely excited to get into this one. I was also intrigued by the idea of street racing, and I ended up really liking that aspect of this one! I also got a distinctly west side story-ish vibe from this story, and I absolutely could not put this one down. It was fast paced, and I just kept on going from one exciting event to the next, which I thought was really well done. I had some minor problems with the execution of some of the ideas, but other than that, and overall, this book was a great and quick read, perfect for people who are drawn to misunderstood loner-type bad boys, street racing, girls who take no shit from anyone, moving on from tragedy, and a hint of danger.

The basis for the plot is this: Frankie (short for Francesca) Devereux is seventeen years old, the daughter of wealthy parents, living on the "right" side of the tracks. She's focused, determined, and has her sights set on Stanford when the unthinkable happens. Her boyfriend Noah, whom she has known for her entire life, is beaten to death right in front of her. From that moment on, Frankie begins a downward spiral that goes from self-destructive to downright dangerous the night that she sits behind the wheel drunk. After this DUI incident, Frankie is sent from her private school and her huge house with her exasperated mother and stepfather to live in a neighborhood called The Downs with her undercover cop father. She begins attending the local public school, where people from the Downs and the upscale neighborhood, the Heights, mix. There, Frankie meets Marco Leone, a boy with a bad reputation who is famous in the illegal street racing scene. From the moment they meet, there is an attraction there, but Frankie is cautious. Not only because Marco is known to have a way with girls, and lots of them, but also because she can't quite move on from Noah's death. Because, in suffering from PTSD from the event, Frankie's mind has erased everything about Noah's killer. And she won't rest until she can remember him. 

I really liked Frankie! I thought I wasn't going to at first, because sometimes the girls in this genre get on my nerves for being too sweet, too innocent. But Frankie is anything but. We meet her at a time when her life has gone totally to shit, and this hardens and changes parts of her. But I think she is stronger for these things that happen to her. In the beginning, she is completely falling apart. But through the course of the novel, we see her do things that she didn't think she could, and brick by brick, she rebuilds her life. I loved that aspect of this book, even more than the romance, because it was just so great to see Frankie come into her own, stop caring about what other people think, and do the things that she thinks is right. Of course, the romance is pretty great too! I wish that it had been developed a little more, because I think the book was moving so fast (which I liked) that it didn't get to slow down over some parts that would have made it even better! It felt like Marco and Frankie jumped into the relationship SO super fast, and if the parts where they were together were slowed down a little bit, I think that effect would have been avoided. I also really liked Marco, I thought he was a good version of this misunderstood bad boy that we see a lot in pop culture. Sometimes these characters are just that, bad, so I was happy that I ended up liking Marco and not finding him problematic. He was sweet to Frankie and to his little sister, and determined in everything that he did. He would never let anything come between him and the people he loves, which I think is admirable. Also, let me just say, he's hot. Okay? Really hot.

I loved all of the supporting characters a lot as well. Sophia, Marco's sister, was so sweet and I adored the parts of the book that she was in. Cruz, who is Marco's friend and who comes to be one to Frankie too, might have been my favorite character. She was tough and kickass and tearing down stereotypes left and right! I just loved her, and the fact that she competes in street races, a lot. Liz, Frankie's best friend, was super supportive, even when she gives Frankie the tough love she needs, and I liked that about her, though I felt like she was maybe a little underutilized. All of the parents in this book need to get a grip, none of them were very good at their jobs? (seriously I was like... what is wrong with all of these parents) 

The plot, like I said, is really great. It moves quickly, but not so quickly that you're confused, and there is a ton of action that relates to the plot (as opposed to action for action's sake). There is a clear mystery (Noah's killer) that we are trying to solve, and everything comes to a head nicely in the end. I really wish there were about 30 more pages, because I looked down at the end and had like five pages left and there were things that were still unresolved, so I feel like the ending might have benefited from a few more pages, but other than that I really loved it! Definitely would recommend reading this when it comes out in October! (except... I should mention: if domestic abuse or violence triggers you, I wouldn't read this one! It isn't pervasive, but it is there, and it could bother you!) 


No comments:

Post a Comment

80% Read the Printed Word!