Publication Date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 180 (ARC)
Source: From Publisher for Review
When a daredevil teen pushes herself too far, she must choose between two boys: the one who wants to keep her safe, and the one who dares her to return to her old self.
Seventeen-year-old Dyna comes from a family of risk takers and is an avid thrill-seeker herself, until the day she splinters her ankle in a terrible fall. Her whole life goes from mountain biking and rock climbing to sitting at home and attending group sessions at the bizarre alternative healing center that her hippie mother found. The boy who witnessed Dyna’s accident believes her injury is a wakeup call and he encourages her mild new lifestyle, but a young Afghanistan War veteran she meets at the healing center pushes her to start taking chances again. Forced to face the consequences of her daredevil impulses, Dyna finds herself in danger of risking the one thing she’s always treated with caution—her heart.
I saw the synopsis of this book and I knew I had to have it. However, I have to admit, I had my reservations. I mean...the official page count of this book is 192 pages. I scratched my head at that. How can you tell a full story without leaving any questions in a mere 192 pages? Well, I don't know how she did it, but Laurie Boyle Crompton definitely made that happen. Despite its short length, ADRENALINE CRUSH is one of the most powerful books I have ever read, though admittedly slightly underdeveloped. I will definitely be checking out Crompton's other works when I have the time.
Our main character, Dyna, is very easy to love. She's confident in herself and her abilities and risk-taking runs in her blood. She's a take-charge kind of gal and I love that. However, after her accident and her subsequent dating of Jay, she learns to melt into him and look to him for guidance. His careful attitude plus her healing ankle changed her. She learned to be fearful and allow her fear to control her. But then she went to her support group/physical therapy group and met Pierce. He re-awakened the fire within her which scared her even more than any new-found fear of falling could, and re-awoke the dynamite within her. Pierce is perhaps one of my favorite love interests ever. I love how his character signifies the struggles of war so simply despite his young age. He's a man who simply did what was right, not for the sake of heroics. He's passionate and strong, he doesn't allow his lost leg to control him. He is perfect for Dyna and very easy to love. But Dyna has Jay...careful, smart, clean, non-risky Jay who saved her life and loves her instead of scaring her because of his intensity. What is a girl to do?
I know which team I'm on!
Honestly, I can't complain about anyone in this book. All characters were very strong, memorable, fleshed out, and unique. The support group was perhaps my favorite. I don't want to give away any surprises, but they certainly are a patchwork quilt of abnormality that makes up the best group of people one could ever encounter. Crompton hit their characteristics right on the money.
I also liked the "unconventional" family in this one. Her parents are covered in tattoos. Her mother has purple hair, her father runs the most successful tattoo parlor north of New York City and has very long hair. Also, they both ride Harley's, though they have a van when they go on family trips. Her older brother, Harley, is very intelligent, but has decided to waste his life away by smoking pot and jumping out of planes as a skydiving instructor. And then there's Dyna, just as much of a thrill-seeker, but full of surprises. I love how the fact that her parents, outwardly, don't look like loving people was addressed. Crompton definitely made it clear that a family is a family no matter what they look like. Outer appearances do not change one's capacity to love. I support this wholeheartedly. They're passionate people and well...Crompton describes it best:
"Mom has always said we come from a long line of passionate people and passionate people do not sit around discussing things calmly. They scream and holler at their loved ones and sometimes throw endearingly small objects in their general direction. Harley and I quickly head out of the kitchen before Mom starts lobbing the plastic spice shakers again." - Page 98 of my ARC
This family is one of my favorite family's ever. I will definitely not forget them. Plus, I love that quote and was dying to somehow get it into this review. This book is full of unexpected laughs at the weirdest moments, which perfectly lightens up the sometimes serious tone of it.
Crompton's writing is beautiful, her character arcs are superb, and her storytelling skills really shine in this one. The ability to weave such a powerful tale with unforgettable characters--I literally cannot stop thinking about them--is no easy feat in so few pages, but this just serves to display her amazing literary abilities.t,
If you enjoy characters with haunted pasts, a love triangle done right, incredibly strong heroines, and a family dynamic that is absolutely to die for, I highly recommend this book. It completely surprised me in the best way possible and I am so, so glad it did.
FTC Disclaimer: I received no compensation of any kind in exchange for this honest review.
The lovely folks at Macmillan have provided a copy of this book for a giveaway! Use the rafflecopter below to enter. It ends on midnight on the last day of the month and is US only. If you cheat, you will be disqualified from any and all giveaways that I host in the future.