Crash Into You (Pushing the Limits #3) by Katie McGarry
Publication Date: November 26th 2013 by Harlequin Teen
Rating: 4 Stars
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance.
Find: Goodreads | Amazon
The girl with straight A’s and the perfect life—that’s who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy family…and she’s just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker—a guy she has no business even talking to. But after the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can’t get him out of her mind.
The last thing Isaiah needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks. But when their shared love of street racing puts their lives in jeopardy, Isaiah and Rachel will have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they’ll go to save each other.
Crash Into You is the third book in the Pushing the Limits series. This book belongs to Isaiah, a much loved character and someone that deserves to find his happy ending. His journey leads him to Rachel, a beacon of light to his darkness. Their story introduces us to the world of drag racing, a search for ones self and a romance that will leave you breathless.
You could very easily argue that there’s a case of insta-love in this book but given the circumstances Rachel and Isaiah face, it’s understandable to see why their emotions are heightened. This doesn’t make their feelings lesser or forced. In fact, the romance between them was one of the highlights of this book. One of Katie McGarry’s strengths lie in her romances. You can typically predict how the romance unfolds but it doesn’t make them any less endearing. You always find yourself rooting for these characters, willing them to find their happy ending. No one deserves this more than Isaiah and Rachel. On the surface these two seem like and unlikely pair. With his bad boy attitude, people see Isaiah as this tough guy no one should mess with. What they don’t see is the guy beneath the tattoo’s. Yes, Isaiah has that rough around the edges vibe but he’s also incredibly vulnerable but is also very smart. Being a child raised in foster care, Isaiah has learned to rely on himself. He’s not one to let people into his life but when Rachel comes crashing into it we get to see just how lonely he is. His longing for companionship has him pushing himself to his very limits for her.
Rachel seems to be Isaiah’s complete opposite. She has an innocence to her and coming from a big wealthy family you’d think that her life was perfect. However, as we all know, beyond the facade there are cracks. To her parents, Rachel is the replacement for her dead sister. She’s expected to look the part and play the part of a doting daughter who loves a sister she never met. Her purpose in the family is to ensure her mother’s happiness and to do that she has to encompass everything her sister was. With that pressure and expectation as the replacement, her family fail to see Rachel for who she is. Rachel would rather spend her days fixing cars than shopping. She also suffers from panic attacks but hides them from her family so they don’t view her a weak. Her family’s suffocation and expectations leads her to the drag race. Being in her car is her haven and when the chance comes to indulge in her passion for speed, she is more than willing to follow. It is that choice that leads her Isaiah.
Isaiah and Rachel seem like opposites. However, once they come to know each other they see that they’re more similar than they think. Beyond their love for cars, Rachel and Isaiah long to find someone that sees them for who they are. The connection between them is palpable and together they learn to embrace themselves. Their journey sees Rachel discover her own strength as Isaiah realises that there are some things beyond his control. Rachel demands to be seen as an equal instead of a damsel in distress and Isaiah has to learn to trust in her. They bring out the best in each other and the love between them is undeniable.
While the romance remains to be at the heart of the book, it is not the sole focus. Rachel and Isaiah find themselves in the middle of a tricky situation. When the head of a street gang places a target on their backs, they are forced to race in order to pay off their debt. Isaiah is also forced to face the woman who abandoned him as a child, his mother, while Rachel faces the pressure and expectations of her family and overprotective brothers. It’s a lot to take in but Katie McGarry takes the time to explore all these different plot lines and in the end see how all of these challenges help shape Rachel and Isaiah to be the person they want to be.