Frankie Deveraux is dealing with the trauma of her boyfriend’s murder. The emotional upheaval leads to her making some not-so-great decisions, and one mistake has her leaving her life of privilege and moving in with her father… who happens to be an undercover cop investigating a case in a not-so-great part of town. Frankie has to deal with her new circumstances, navigating the explosive minefield of familial relations, friendships old and new and a budding romance with a boy from the wrong side of the tracks.
Plot? This story reminded me a lot of Katie McGarry’s Pushing the Limits series. In this novel, there was a lot of dramatic encounters and high stakes moments, and it was a touch too cheesy for my personal tastes. However, like most TV dramas that employ the same thing, I couldn’t stop reading. It’s definitely a compelling read, one that will have readers flipping pages just to find out what happens to Frankie and the people in her life. (The author actually added to the compulsion to keep reading by integrating the mystery of Frankie’s boyfriend’s killer, though it’s definitely a typical memory loss mystery plot.) Plus, I think it was great that the author managed to integrate different aspects of Frankie’s life and weave them together.
Characters? Frankie is a spitfire, for sure, and it’s interesting to watch her deal with everything thrown in her path. While I wasn’t always a big fan of the choices she made, I respected the way that she was driven (even in the midst of her grief, guilt and anger), and I liked that she was willing to put herself in uncomfortable situations for the sake of her family, friends or love. Apart from her, I also liked the secondary characters – her father, her mother, her best friends, her new friends. They were all really interesting personalities that added a touch of color to the story. All in all, the characters were good, but sadly, not so memorable after I was done with the book.
Writing? Here’s where I’m a little bit torn! I like that Garcia’s writing is really easy to read, and that it evokes a lot of feelings in the reader. But I didn’t always love the dialogue or the descriptions, and I was especially not a big fan of the nickname thing (which you’ll only understand if you’ve read this book).
Overall? I started out really liking this story. But I quickly developed an aversion to the cheesiness, the drama and the portrayal of the romance, and the latter two thirds of the story wasn’t anything particularly special. If you’re in the mood for a gritty contemporary with a mystery and some crazy drama, then this could be well worth a shot.
What is your dream car?
To be frank, I've never really thought about what kind of car I'd like to own someday. This has a lot to do with the fact that I haven't driven in years, and even when I did drive (in the Philippines), it wasn't a whole lot. That being said, I'm a big fan of road trips, and I've always had the mental image of driving down highways and coastlines in a convertible. I'm going to pick a VW Beetle Convertible (in a fun color) for my answer, just because it fits my imaginary scenario.
The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia
Publisher: Imprint | Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Source: ARC received from the publisher (Thanks!)
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?