The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia
Do you guys and girls ever read cheesy books that you know are stereotypical as can be and totally full of issues, but it’s just so bad that it actually turns good? Maybe? Sort of? Not really?
Well, occasionally, I do. One of these super cheesy and totally problematic series that I’ve read and enjoyed was the Perfect Chemistry series by Simone Elkeles. It was horribly stereotypical and cliche, but this Book Princess actually…enjoyed it.
*internal cringes for herself*
I’m not sure what it was, but this book just entertained me. Okay, maybe some of the entertainment factor totally came from the insane book trailer that was made for it that has me crying every time I see it even though I clearly know what’s coming. Seriously, if you like awkwardly hilarious things, this is the video to watch:
Seriously, I have no words…other than, it’s a book.
Anyway, by now, you should be asking, are you reviewing Perfect Chemistry or The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia? The reason I gave you this most likely unnecessary backstory is because The Lovely Reckless reminded me so much of Perfect Chemistry when I read the summary that it was one of the main reasons why I picked up this book.
Let’s start off with the basics: this book is about Frankie, a girl who witnessed her boyfriend being beaten to death a few months ago. The issue besides the obvious devastating loss? While she saw him being killed, she actually can’t remember the face of his killer. Due to her downhill spiral, she is sent to live with her absentee father who works for the undercover car theft part of the police department. In her new school, it’s the Heights kids vs. the Downs, and since Frankie is a Heights girl, she automatically gets cast as a rich snob. Although this doesn’t stop an attraction growing with Marco, a boy from the wrong side of the tracks and the boy that everyone warns Frankie against. Will Frankie ever remember what really happened with her boyfriend? And just how much further can she spiral?
So, clearly the similarities between Perfect Chemistry and The Lovely Reckless reside in the rich vs. poor, rich girl falling in love with poor guy, and the clear gang/outside the law influences. It was even with the nicknames and just how quickly they fell in love. I got so many Perfect Chemistry feels that I started to worry…because I was getting so many feels. I had felt like I had read this same exact story before – yes, there was some major differences like there wasn’t as much of a gang influence, there was car racing, and Frankie’s boyfriend had died – but it still felt like generally the same spirit without feeling like anything new.
I did like the characters for the most part. Frankie wasn’t particularly likable to me, but she was a spoiled, damaged teenage girl. She had the authentic voice and did stupid things any teenager would do. I did like Marco and Sofia (or was it Sophia – oh shoot), Lex and Abel, and the parents. However, I felt they lacked a certain level of characterization. The mom switched thoughts on Frankie’s life super randomly by the end and she was a good mom now? And I really enjoyed the dad’s Critical Life Skills, but he lost a lot of the charm by the end of the book.
Also, there were some major issues with the romance. This might have been the most problematic romance I’ve read this year. Don’t get me wrong – I totally felt the attraction between Marco and Frankie and I did want to see them get together. Each time they met for the first few instances, they were fighting. Literally yelling at each other. Then they somehow fell in love? I’m not even joking. She saw him maybe a total of seven times in the book and then was professing her love for him.
I was also upset with the characterization of Noah throughout the book. At first, she was in love with Noah – he was the perfect boyfriend, etc, etc. Then as her relationship progressed with Marco, Noah and her relationship changed. She loved him…she would never forget him…okay, maybe she actually had more friend love with him…okay, she knows he will never be a love-love with him. It started to feel like the author was making excuses for why Frankie was falling in love with Marco when her boyfriend had only died two months ago.
I didn’t completely hate this book, though. There were some good parts. I enjoyed the incorporation of auto racing and there was such a good flow to it. It is such an easy and fast read – which was so different than Beautiful Creatures, for me. Garcia has always much improved her writing style, and I enjoyed it.
So, while I enjoyed this book for a good portion of it, I still had some major, major problems with it. It was problematic, and by the end of the book, I was so turned off that I literally didn’t even read the epilogue part. I was so done. I did enjoy the first part, though, and I felt that the second part just didn’t live up to it. I had a hard time coming up with the end rating, but I finally ended up giving it a solid three crown rating and a visit from Belle!
Now, good luck getting that Perfect Chemistry trailer song out of your head, because it’s seriously still stuck in mine. Ugh.
Check it out:
Are there cheesy and totally terrible books that you love? Did you indulge your curiosity and click on that horrible trailer? Your thoughts? What were your thoughts on The Lovely Reckless? Tell me what you think!
Also, Happy Hanukkah to those that celebrate it and Merry Christmas Eve! 🙂