Narrator: Allison Ryan
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Source: Audible (purchased by self)
Status: First in Lisa McMann’s newest series.
Genre: YA Paranormal
Other Info: Lisa McMann created one of my dearest book boyfriends, Jacian Obregon, for the delightful Cryer’s Cross.
Description and link from Goodreads):
If what you see is what you get, Jules is in serious trouble. The suspenseful first in a series from the New York Times bestselling author of the Wake trilogy.
Jules lives with her family above their restaurant, which means she smells like pizza most of the time and drives their double-meatball-shaped food truck to school. It’s not a recipe for popularity, but she can handle that.
What she can’t handle is the recurring vision that haunts her. Over and over, Jules sees a careening truck hit a building and explode…and nine body bags in the snow.
The vision is everywhere—on billboards, television screens, windows—and she’s the only one who sees it. And the more she sees it, the more she sees. The vision is giving her clues, and soon Jules knows what she has to do. Because now she can see the face in one of the body bags, and it’s someone she knows. Someone she has been in love with for as long as she can remember.
In this riveting start to a gripping series from New York Times bestselling author Lisa McMann, Jules has to act—and act fast—to keep her vision from becoming reality.
Lisa McMann appears to be one of those authors people either love or hate. People have pretty dichotomous opinions of the Wake Trilogy, for example, and that’s one of the major reasons that I haven’t tried it, despite owning book one. However, I read (and loved) Cryer’s Cross, so I’ve been eager to try some more of McMann’s work. Crash seemed like the perfect compromise–a brand new slate–a book I hadn’t spoiled for myself by reading conflicting reviews.
Crash tells the story of Jules–middle child, loner and, most recently, seer of visions. Her parents own the second-best pizza place in town, so most of her free time is spent working–either in the restaurant or in the giant meatball truck. She’s close to her older brother and younger sister, but otherwise keeps her head down, socially speaking. Growing up, she was good friends with the son of the absolute pizza place in town; a friendship that ended because of family rivalry. Since 8th Grade, Jules and Sawyer have hardly spoken, but that doesn’t mean Jules has stopped caring.
Which is why, when the visions of the crash show Sawyer in a body bag, Jules knows she has to act. She knows she might be crazy–after all, it runs in the family–but she can’t sit back and do nothing. When warning Sawyer doesn’t work (surprise, surprise), she decides to delve further into the visions and find a way to stop the accident from happening. What follows is Jules skirting the line between sanity and insanity, choosing to look crazy because it’s the right thing to do and, for the first time, deciding not to take the path of least resistance.
One thing this book does really well is explore the thin line between paranormal and crazy. In stories where the MC is introduced to the paranormal for the first time, there always comes a point where the characters are required to suspend disbelief. It’s so easy for authors to get this wrong. To have the MC become a believer too quickly or not quickly enough can make or break a story. McMann nails it; Jules’ feelings and thoughts about her visions are just what I’d imagine my own to be, and that makes them awesomely authentic.
McMann also creates a compelling family dynamic, from the close relationship between Jules and her older brother, Trey, to their dysfunctional parents. Less successful is the romance between Jules and Sawyer. As a love interest, Sawyer definitely has potential (and their star-crossed love is inherently interesting), but the two don’t get enough screen time. Er, page time? At any rate, most of the story is dedicated to questioning Jules’ sanity or her figuring out how to prevent the crash. I’m willing to forgive a little since this is the beginning of the series, but it would be nice to see non-crash related stuff fleshing out future stories.
I’ll definitely be checking out the next book in this series. McMann was able to mix the expected with the unexpected at the end, and what happens next should be interesting. I’m also looking forward to catching up with Jules’ siblings!
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