Seventeen-year-old Frankie Devereux would do anything to forget the past. Haunted but 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?
After reading Kami Garcia’s other contemporary novel, Broken Beautiful Hearts, I knew I needed to read The Lovely Reckless. A friend of mine recommended that I pick this one up because she really enjoyed it. I’m a little sad to say that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped I would. The overall story was good. It was interesting, fast paced, and kept my attention. There were just a few things I didn’t like. The romance was okay, but it was definitely insta-lovey and that’s one of my least favorite tropes. It can be done well, but I don’t think it was here.
“Sometimes scars make people stronger”
Our main character, Frankie, is dealing with watching her boyfriend get murdered and having PTSD and memory loss from that night. The last thing she really needs it a new boy. Though, I didn’t hate it totally, I just think it shouldn’t have been the main focus of the story. I think this book would have been much better had the focus been more on Frankie dealing with her grief and accepting the things she’s learned in this difficult time as well as trying to remember what happened the night her boyfriend was murdered.
“Ignoring it is the same as giving them permission. Never give anyone permission to disrepect you.”
Despite this, I liked Frankie. She was grieving, but she was fierce and just trying to feel anything really. I liked her friendship with Cruz, a classmate at her new school. I also liked her friendship with her best friend. They had their ups and downs, but managed to work through their problems and still be there for one another. Then there’s Marco. I could appreciate his character, especially because I love an interestingly written bad boy that has soft boy motivations. He does some shady things, but he does it for his family.
The book was also a bit predictable. There were a few smaller twists that I predicted way in the beginning of the story. This isn’t totally a bad thing, but I’m usually really bad at predicting things like that.
“Every once in a while, the universe gives us what we ask for, so just make sure you’re asking for the right things.”
I enjoyed reading this book, but it wasn’t anything that blew me out of the water. Garcia’s writing has definitely improved from this to her newest novel. This story was fun and fast paced. The characters were interesting and relatable. I appreciated the overall messages within the story. There were characters from all sorts of backgrounds with all sorts of motivations. I will definitely continue buying and reading Garcia’s books without a doubt.
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.