Garcia switches gears smoothly from paranormal into contemporary teen fiction in this fast-paced story of trauma, loss, new love, and high-speed cars.
Frankie Devereux cannot remember the details of her boyfriend's murder, though she witnessed the brutal event firsthand. She suffers from memory loss, flashbacks, and insomnia due to PTSD, and she no longer feels like the straight-A, high-achieving, privileged white girl she used to be. When a drunk-driving incident gets her expelled from her private school, she is forced to move in with her father, an undercover cop, and attend public school in the Downs, a rough neighborhood adjacent to her mother's wealthy suburb outside of Washington, D.C. On her first day at her new school, whose student body includes an ethnically diverse mix of rich and poor kids from the surrounding neighborhoods, she has an intense chance encounter with Marco Leone, a tough, gorgeous, tattooed street racer, possibly Latino. The connection between them is instantaneous and palpable, though Frankie tries to deny the attraction out of fear of getting too close to somebody again. Narrator Frankie's vulnerabilities are not the only ones on display, however, as Marco proves himself to be just as sensitive beneath his tough exterior. Though Frankie’s character arc is pretty predictable—she learns that the poor are just as complex as the rich—it’s still satisfying, and the romantic scenes sizzle.
A wild and enjoyable ride. (Romance. 14-18)