Crash (by Lisa McMann: Teen Fiction) © 2013

Book JacketRating: 4/5

Summary: 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.

Review: Crash is a mash-up between Romeo and Juliet and the horror movie series Final Destination. Julie Demarco keeps seeing on vision of an out-of-control snowplow crash into a restaurant, causing an explosion and killing several people inside on nearly every flat surface–billboards, televisions and road signs. With a depressed grandfather who committed suicide and a moody, hoarder father, she’s almost certain that her visions is a sign of some mental illness. She keeps the terrifying images to herself, certain her Italian family will commit her if they find out about her visions. In addition to the puzzling and horrific images, the restaurant in jeopardy belongs to no one other than their rival pizza parlor, and one of the dead is Sawyer Angotti, Julie’s one time good friend and her secret, lifelong crush and son of the adversarial restaurateur.

McMann succeeds in creating another unput-downable supernatural thriller. With quick pacing, realistic dialogue, and the right amount of romance (which thankfully isn’t insta-love), the story takes flight and I kept turning the pages to find out what would happen next. Julie is a strong female protagonist, who is aware of her shortcomings but her determination to thwart a disaster regardless of who is involved is admirable. Instead of impulsively plunging head first like most of the heroines we encounter, Julie uses clues from her ever more frequent visions to try to figure out the exact time of the crash in an attempt to prevent it from happening, risking her already shaky standing with Sawyer, her parents and her classmates. Her relationship with Sawyer and her siblings are natural. McMann fleshes out Sawyer’s character as he becomes his own person as he and Julie discover some dark family secrets. My only complaint about Crash is the lack of explanation of how the vision works and I’m hoping this will become clearer as the four book series continues. While the book doesn’t end in a cliffhanger per se, there are many questions left unanswered and I’m eagerly awaiting the release of the second book told from Sawyer’s point of view called Bang, which is set to release later this fall.

Read-a-likes: Wake trilogy by Lisa McMann, and The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Availability: This book is available from the Lake Bluff Public Library’s Teen Fiction collection.

Reviewed by: Rummanah

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