Title: The Lovely Reckless
Author: Kami Garcia
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Genre: Contemporary YA Romance
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?
Kami Garcia delivers a heart-stopping story of loss and love with The Lovely Reckless. This book embodies the young adult genre, filled with angst, heartbreak, self-doubt, and a whole lot of growing pains. Frankie and Marco’s story tugged at me, flooding me with a rollercoaster of emotions as I experienced their unexpected journey right alongside them. Kami Garcia’s writing was divine. Her lyrical prose and smart story building easily transported me into Frankie’s world and held me captive as I got to know these star-crossed lovers and the vibrant personalities that rounded out their world. From the tragic beginning to the satisfying end, The Lovely Reckless was colorful, captivating, and absolutely one-of-a-kind.
“I don’t want to fix you, Angel. I just want you.”
Frankie was such a great character to unravel. Kami Garcia created a truly fascinating dichotomy with this heroine, contrasting her privileged upbringing with the raw and gritty nature of life after her boyfriend’s death. Each time Frankie struggled to re-define herself, stand her ground, or own her decisions, I felt pieces of myself throughout the story. She was genuine and relatable – an irreparably altered girl who desperately wanted to find her way back to life. Her relationships with her parents, best friends, new friends, and Marco served to shape this character into a tangible being, and by the end of the novel I felt as if I really knew who Frankie was. Smart, sassy, loyal, and surprisingly daring, Frankie was the kind of character you couldn’t help but root for.
“Something snaps inside me, setting off a chain reaction of emotions. Frustration, anger, sadness, and shame—they fall one by one like dominoes.”
Marco was an enigma from the moment we met him. His tough exterior warned of a man you wouldn’t want to cross, while the tenderness and care he demonstrated towards Frankie, even as a virtual stranger, hinted at something deeper. As Kami Garcia revealed the true depths of this character, I found myself in awe of the intelligence, compassion, and love he constantly fought for. In no time at all I was head over heels, wanting more of this bold and brilliant soul. My heart ached for Marco when his personal history came to light and it was easy to understand why, despite their many differences, Frankie was so drawn to him. Marco’s adorable sister was just icing on the cake and I was officially smitten.
“I’m okay with hurt. It’s losing I can’t handle.”
I must applaud Kami Garcia for the way in which she so expertly balanced the breathtaking emotion and heart-pounding action of this story. The Lovely Reckless is fast-paced and addictive, drawing me in from the very first page and keeping me hooked until the last. This book made me feel in the most surprising ways as I attempted to piece together this memorable couple’s complicated story. Every bit of Frankie and Marco’s devastation, anger, exhilaration, and joy moved through me as I read, connecting me to them and ensuring my total investment in their happily ever after. I sincerely hope that this is the beginning of a new series. I would love to hear from Lex and Abel in the future, their roles in this novel effectively stirring up my curiosity. The Lovely Reckless was sweet, steamy, and so full of feels – a brilliant piece of YA literature and a truly heartfelt story from the phenomenal Kami Garcia.
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