McGarry continues her absorbing series about a group of street kids and their romances (Dare You To, 2013, etc.).
Here, the romance follows tough-on-the-surface Isaiah and Rachel, a rich girl so shy panic attacks put her in the hospital. Despite her private school background, Rachel is every bit as addicted to cars as Isaiah, and they meet at an illegal street race. When the cops arrive, she and Isaiah flee together, sparking their unlikely romance. Rachel sees no problem in hoping for a romance with this tattooed foster-care refugee, only worrying that he’s still in love with his former girlfriend, Beth, who left him in the previous book. Plenty of suspense arises from that first illegal drag race, when Eric, the hoodlum who runs the races, demands $5,000 from Isaiah and Rachel. The two decide to earn the money through legal drag races, but unlikely events continually thwart their progress. The author ties all of her books together by focusing on the same group of characters and introducing new romances. She displays a deft touch, devoting much space on the teens’ feelings and physical encounters but balancing it with naturally arising tension and the difficulties each faces in his or her family situation. While this book’s circumstances are not as realistic as in earlier offerings, McGarry’s skill makes it all seem plausible.
Although it’s a bit overlong, McGarry’s fans as well as those fond of realistic romances will greet it eagerly. (Fiction. 12 & up)