ARC Review: The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia

4.5/5 Stars
Published by Imprint
Published October 4th, 2016

Synopsis: 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 don't know if you guys have noticed yet or not, but I'm a complete sucker for books with a steamy romance. Kami Garcia delivered, yet again, another excellent book with phenomenal writing, an engaging plot line, and a sizzling red-hot romance. The Lovely Reckless is a book that will take you on an emotional roller coaster ride. It's about learning to redevelop the trust within yourself and with those around you, discovering that not everything is as it seems, and to never judge a book by its cover. This story is more than just a romance.

The Lovely Reckless is so addicting. It was so difficult to get myself to put it down. Right off the bat, we're thrown into the heart of the story. The writing is so intriguing and wonderfully written, the storyline has elements that are complex and weighty, but also heartfelt and passionate. When I first read the synopsis and found out it was dubbed as a combo of fast and furious meets Romeo and Juliet, I thought to myself "there is no way that's how this book will play out." But lo and behold, Kami Garcia is wonderful at her craft and that was exactly how this book turned out. The Heights meets the Downs, and there are super fast cars and alluring bad boys - how much better could it get?

I really enjoyed all the characters in this book. Usually there will be at least two characters in a book with a complex background, but pretty much every character touched on in this book came with a well thought out past. Our main protagonist Frankie, is going through a hell of a lot. Her situation is extremely emotionally taxing, and you can see that in the way she tackles her days. Frankie is strong willed, which keeps her tough as nails against her father and the downs. I really like her voice in this book. She's angry, confused, upset, which adds all the more character to her point of view. Frankie is reckless, a complete 180 to the prodigy she was, but the change isn't stopping her - it's propelling her.  Marco Leone, resident hot bad boy in the Downs, is not all that much of a bad boy. He's thoughtful, caring, and much more multiplex than you'd expect. His background is messy and interesting to get into, making the story even juicier. Together, their love is spicy and sweet at the same time.

To be honest, I was not expecting to love this book so much. I picked it up because I was in need of something a lil fiery, but I did not foresee this. I will be throwing this book in the face of a lot of people in the future. There was a bit of instalove that I know a lot of you don't really like, but honestly it wasn't that in your face or forced into the plot. Besides, Kami makes it work with the bad boy trope.  I liked the addition of a Fast and Furious theme, I thought it was interesting in a ya novel. Those racing scenes were probably my favorites out this entire book, because it felt real, reckless, and spontaneous. It was also pretty nice to see the involvement of both parents to some extent. Though that familial trust and dependence was not there and as developed, you could still feel that a parents' presence was there. If you need a fast read, this is the book for you. It'll get you out of your slump, trust me. Stay lovely and reckless.