Friday, October 1, 2021

ARC Review: Crashing in Love by Jennifer Richard Jacobson (10/12/21)

At the start of summer vacation, Peyton is riding her bicycle when she notices someone lying in the road, unconscious. It turns out to be a boy her age, Gray, who has been the victim of a hit-and-run. Already a bit boy-crazy and determined to find a boyfriend, Peyton begins to romanticize what is going to happen when (and if) Gray wakes up. Since her mother is a journalist, and Gray's mother is grateful to her for finding her son, Peyton is able to manipulate things so that she gets to spend time with Gray in his hospital room, and she imagines that, one day, he will wake up and realize they are meant for each other. When she's not at the hospital, she's around town trying to find out who was driving the car that hit Gray, and dealing with tensions between her divorced parents and her paternal grandmother, who has very different ideas about how Peyton ought to spend her summer vacation.

This book has a little bit of everything: some romance, some family drama, and a real-life mystery to be solved. As an adult, it was hard not to feel frustrated with Peyton, but I definitely think girls in the tween age range will understand her motivations and even entertain their own hopes for Peyton and Gray's future together. Similarly, while I guessed who the hit-and-run driver was, I'm not sure that tween readers would figure it out quite so early on, especially if they are invested in other aspects of the book. I was definitely reading the book with the goal of figuring it out, and I think that probably colored my reading experience.

The relationships throughout this book feel very true-to-life. Though it was upsetting to read the scenes in which Grana gave Peyton a hard time, her grandmother felt like a believable human being, and Peyton's strained connection with her best friend, Mari, also perfectly captures the tumultuous changes friendships often undergo during middle school summers. 

I read this book for my own enjoyment because it's not the kind of thing my kids will be ready for or interested in for a long time. It was a pleasant read for me, and though summer is over, I think it's still worth picking up for girls who like romance but want a story of a bit more substance with some higher stakes. 

Candlewick Press provided me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

No comments:

Post a Comment