SYNOPSIS: 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 public school in the Downs, where fistfights in the halls 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?
GENRE: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
RATING: ★★★☆☆ / 3 Dramatic Stars
REVIEW: For the longest time I saw this book all over social media. Everyone seemed to be reading it or owning it because they are lucky ducks and planning on reading it soon. Well I'm susceptible to the power of suggestion because before too long I was dying to read this book and I hadn't even read the synopsis! However, even though I'm easily influenced by the power of suggestion, I have a very even case of easily distracted... so I never bought the book. And then one day like magic, the publisher sent me a copy for the new paperback release and cover redesign (and I love the new design so much more than the original cover, just saying). Now I got to be one of those lucky ducks that owned a copy!
Sometimes all I want is a little bit (okay, usually a lot) of teenage love drama. I don't think of it as a guilty pleasure, it's just a whole lot of fun that soothes my brain and keeps me sane. Some people like a glass of wine but I'll take YA drama most days...and luckily THE LOVELY RECKLESS is filled with over the top teenage drama. The first half of this book kept me glued to my couch, I couldn't stop reading. I loved it. It had all the makings of a grade A amazing story and the writing was perfect.
Frankie is the perfect recent personality transplant and haunted character. Her mother makes no sense and that's okay because it's totally necessary to the storyline. Frankie enters a new school, but luckily she has a couple friends that already go there, plus she meets new ones. This is critical in my YA romance world. I don't like stories where it's nothing but the two leads thinking around in circles. Having secondary characters with real personalities and problems of their own creates a much more dynamic book...so kudos to Kami Garcia for that!
Of course Frankie has to meet Marco rather quickly and then keep colliding with him, because duh! He's the misunderstood bad boy and we readers just can't help but love the bad boy, so check another great thing off the list. Add in street racing and a slew of secrets and I was totally hooked for the first half of the book.
Then came part 2 and I didn't love it so much. Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate it, but I was suddenly reminded that I was an adult reading Young Adult because I definitely sided more with the adults. The teenage reasoning was getting a little ridiculous. You know that moment in The Little Mermaid when Ariel screams "I'm 16 years old, I'm not a child anymore!" and you think, ummmm, yes you are young lady! That's kind of how I felt on occasion, while reading towards the end of this book, that Frankie should definitely listen to the adults. ... but then we wouldn't have a book, so, nevermind I guess. I just wish a couple things had been executed differently.
The second half wasn't all bad, I still had fun reading it, but for some reason it just didn't have the same magic and energy and reason that the first half did. I still loved indulging in the drama. It was a quick and easy read and I'd definitely be interested in checking out some more YA Romances from Kami Garcia.
Review by The Literary Llama