I’ve been a fan of Kami Garcia ever since the first Beautiful Creatures book came out. Her newest book, THE LOVELY RECKLESS, is more than just a head-over-heels romance. It shows how we can thread together our lives anew, even when we’re forced to start over.

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?

Book Review:  Frankie Devereaux is forced to face a new normal after she witnesses her boyfriend’s death. In redefining her sense of self, she goes on a destructive spiral–until a DWI lands her with community service, a new school in the Downs, and a stint living with her dad. While she’s glad to be outside her mother’s all too insistent pushes toward ivy league colleges, something the old Frankie would have embraced, she now has to answer to her undercover cop Dad, who seems to scrutinize her every move to make sure her bout into destruction isn’t permanent. But when she gets to know the equally troubled Marco Leone, she discovers that being a bit broken doesn’t mean you have to break, and that it’s possible to redefine yourself into new and unexpected shapes. She’s finally able to explore what she truly wants without her parents telling her what she needs to be–especially when she gets a chance to help those she cares about–even if it means taking a few more risks. While this is praised for being a romance novel, and the palpable tension between Frankie and Marco captures what the genre requires, this story explicates so much more than a physical attraction between two teenagers. Even the title is symbolic–a warning about the dangers of letting the scars of your past define the future, and finding ways to turn wrong into right. I’m really glad they updated the cover too–it does a better job of reflecting the poignancy of the story within. This is a great selection for teens 16 and up, especially those experiencing bereavement.

Buy: BookPassage ~ Barnes & Noble ~  IndieBound