Book Review: The Lovely Reckless
By: Kami Garcia
Published By: Imprint
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Page Count: 384
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary
Frankie Devereux hasn't had the easiest summer. After watching her boyfriend being beaten to death in the parking lot of a trendy new club, she hasn't been able to put the past behind her and get life back on track. To make matters worse, Frankie also can't remember all the details from the night Noah died which makes identifying his killer impossible. She knows she has to remember in order to move on from that tragic night.
Things go from bad to worse for Frankie when her first day of Senior Year becomes a Noah memorial. She can't stand to see people who weren't even friends with him reading poems and shedding tears. Frankie decides the only way to cope is to drink, but then she compounds her bad decision by trying to drive home. Her poor choices land in her in a police station where her divorced parents argue over the best course of action. Frankie's mom, a rich social climber, decides its time for Frankie to live with her father for awhile. Frankie's dad is an undercover police officer who investigates car theft rings. He lives in a poorer section of town which is a world away from Frankie's lavish home and posh private school even if it's only a few miles down the road.
Frankie must learn how to leave her old life in The Heights behind and learn to accept how the world works in The Downs. The first moment she arrives on public school soil, she realizes that she is in a very different world. Her introduction to her new educational environment involves a fight which triggers a flashback of the night Noah was killed. This will only be the first time Frankie interacts with the handsome and dangers Marco Leone.
Marco has had a rough life. His mother died of cancer and his father is in prison for car theft. Marco has to do everything he can to put food on the table and pay the rent, so that his younger sister won't be put into the foster care system. His life is one of survival instincts and difficult choices, but meeting Frankie is a bright spot in the darkness. He is instantly drawn to her like a moth to a flame.
There is certainly a Romeo and Juliet like quality to the romance between Frankie and Marco; I am always intrigued by the star-crossed lovers trope. Their socioeconomic statuses place them firmly in different social spheres, but they somehow find common ground. While the relationship developed a bit quickly for my taste, I did enjoy these two together and their level of dedication to one another.
In addition to romance, I loved the emphasis on family and friendship in this novel. Marco's relationship with his sister was one of my favorite aspects of the novel. It truly helped me to see a different side of him than all of the rough, jagged edges he showed the world. It was also interesting watching Frankie navigate her various friendships. I also loved watching Frankie interact at with the kids at the center she works at after school.
All in all, The Lovely Reckless is a slice of Westside Story with a dash of The Outsiders and a heaping side of romance. If you're looking for a dangerous book boyfriend and a tenacious heroine, then this is the perfect read.
One Last Gripe: Frankie makes some pretty dumb choices throughout the novel that irked me.
Favorite Thing About This Book: I enjoyed watching the two parts of Frankie's life mingle until she created a new path for herself.
First Sentence: A police officer shines a blinding light in my eyes.
Favorite Character: Cruz
Least Favorite Character: Deacon
I’ve become an expert at avoiding things that could hurt me—which means I will figure out how to stay away from Marco Leone.
Seventeen-year-old Frankie Devereux would do anything to forget the past. Haunted by 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 a public high school in the Downs, where fistfights 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?