ARC Review: The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia

The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia

Title: The Lovely Reckless
Author: Kami Garcia
Series: N/A
Pages: 384
Publisher: Imprint
Release Date: October 4th 2016
**I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, which does not influence my review**

      “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?

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Kami Garcia’s The Lovely Reckless starts off interesting enough, as a story about a girl trying to recover memories from a tragic night, but quickly becomes frustrating with an unlikable protagonist and a romance that moves far too quickly. Frankie Devereux hasn’t been the same since her boyfriend Noah died, she’s isolated herself from her friends and struggles to be the person her parents think she is. After a bad decision, Frankie is forced to move in with her father, who lives in the Downs, the poor side of town. From the get-go, it was hard to like Frankie when she seemed to resent both her parents for punishing her for her own stupid mistakes. She had this mindset that because she said she was sorry for driving while drunk that any consequences for those actions didn’t seem to apply to her.

Frankie’s romance with the bad-boy-from-the-wrong-side-of-the-tracks was part cringe-worthy and also unhealthy. Aside from being very cliché, Marco Leone had some violent tendencies and exhibited bad decision making, which made me question the protagonist’s judgment as well. There is an instant attraction between the two, which in itself wasn’t an issue, but this combined with Marco’s instant “protectiveness” of Frankie (which came across more like possessiveness) and the speed at which their relationship went from “I find you attractive” to “I can’t live without you” had me shaking my head in dismay. Frankie is so focused on Marco’s softer side that she can’t understand why people like her father would ever object to their relationship. To Frankie, her parents are always trying to ruin her life rather than look out for her future. While I would agree that her parents didn’t always go about things the right way, Frankie was so ready to forgive Marco his mistakes, but was never willing to give her own parents the benefit of the doubt.

I wasn’t too fond of the minor characters in this novel. Frankie’s two best friends Lex and Abel did manage to have their own character arcs, but it was hard to sympathize with so many characters who were making bad decisions at every turn. Just like with Marco, we as readers are supposed to be forgiving when the true motives of these characters are revealed. This was a very contrived way to create conflict when the characters could have and should have been honest in the beginning. There is one minor character that I actually did enjoy. Cruz became an unlikely friend to Frankie. She was tough and struggled with some difficult family issues. I really wish we could have learned more about her and several times wished the novel had focused on her instead.

The Lovely Reckless was a hard read to get through. The swoon-worthy moments induced major eye-rolling on my part and the patched-up ending left me unsatisfied.

Rating: 1/5

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13 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia

  1. OH SNAP! I’ve never encountered a 1-star before. When you read as much as you do, it’s bound to happen…eventually. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this one. I don’t think I would either considering the recklessness of the characters and the contrived situation. Love the honesty of this review, Alicia!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah I think the **I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, which does not influence my review** comment was unnecessary hahaha.
    How often do you read Netgalley books, are they often disappointing?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol, I thought the same thing when I added it. Habit now, but yeah, I don’t think anyone is going to believe the free copy influenced this review.

      I read about 10ish NetGalley titles a year. No, they aren’t often one-star reads for me as I try to be pretty selective about what books I request. The problem is when they do kind of suck, I have to power my way through them and when I final finish, I feel pretty fed up. Excuse the curmudgeon in me.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sigh. Insta-love? I was so excited for this book until I saw that…now I’ll probably end up skipping it, honestly. I’m sorry you didn’t like this one much…it had an interesting premise so that’s definitely a bummer! Plus the cover is pretty!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh god, this sounds like the worst. I’m glad I haven’t read it yet! It sounded interesting enough but I’m positive I’d have the same reaction as you to the decision making and relationships.

    Liked by 1 person

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