Hello everyone!

I am back with another review of a book I loved, The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia. Thanks so much to Raincoast Books for sending an eARC of this book my way for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.

This book was so much more than I was expecting, but then, I wasn't really sure what to expect. It was my first Kami Garcia book, but certainly not my last, and the storyline sounded basic enough. But what I got was a fantastic book that I couldn't put down, and read in the span of less than two hours.

In terms of plot, this book is very simple. "Good" girl experiences tragedy, gets kicked out of private school and rebels by falling for "bad" boy. But there was so much more to the story.

Frankie is dealing with the loss of her boyfriend, he was recently murdered, and while she is the sole witness who can put his killer behind bars, she doesn't remember who it is. Through her PTSD, her brain is blocking out those memories that are too traumatic for her to handle, including the face of Noah's murderer. Living in a world where nothing matters, not even her own life, she gets caught drinking-and-driving and is booted from her private, Stanford feeder school, to a public school on the other side of town where kids don't play outside because the playgrounds are littered in more needles than dirt. Her elitist mother, appalled by Frankie's behaviour, sends her to live with her father, an undercover cop who is trying to bust a ring of car thieves.

On her first day at her new school, Frankie meets Marco. He's your typical bad boy from the other side of the tracks, don't mess with him unless you mean business kind of thing. While Frankie finds herself attracted to him, she can't let herself act on it, he's too dangerous and is definitely hiding something.

I absolutely loved this book. Even though the storyline is basic, and you can pretty much predict what is going to happen, I still loved it. It was the cliche without being cliche. The story has been done, but combined with Garcia's depictions of the illegal street racing, insight to Frankie's dad's undercover police work, and the way Garcia wrote the female characters.

The way females were depicted in this book was really refreshing. Besides Frankie, her friends Lex and Cruz are well-shown. Frankie knows what she doesn't want, and she is strong enough to go for what she does. Some of the situations she gets herself into are crazy, but she always pulls herself out. Lex has had a thing for their male-best friend Abel for a while now, but she knows with his recent gambling problem and his secrets, he will just break her heart. She is not naive enough to think that everything will just go away. Cruz is probably the strongest of the three, she has grown up in the wrong part of town, her abusive father is all she and her sisters have left but she stands up to him time and time again to protect them. She doesn't let anything anyone says get to her, and she can stand up to the rude comments from her classmates like no other.

I feel like this book could have had so many problems, but because of Garcia's writing style and the way she wove the story, I loved it. The romance was a little insta-lovey, but because of the way she wrote it, I kinda insta-loved Marco too *swoon.* Frankie also mentions later that while she loved Noah, deep down, they both knew they weren't "it" for each other. At least, she did. And I can totally understand that, the person you have a relationship with at 16 probably isn't going to be the person you marry and settle down with.

The themes in this book were great too, family over everything else, sometimes even law. There are so many touching scenes in this book, the love Marco has for his little sister Sofia. That first day, when he gets in a fight, someone brings her up and he loses it. You can't help but admire that love. He has given up more than any 17 year old should have to give up to help save Sofia from a future where he wouldn't be able to help her.

There were a couple of times where things went a little too far, Frankie was willing to sacrifice a lot for a guys she *just* met, but I get it. She thought she was doing what was best for everyone, excluding herself. One of the major character traits she has is her selflessness, and that really shined through time and time again, but sometimes I thought it might be too much.

I can't quite put my finger on why things worked out how they did in terms of plot, this had all the makings of being a cliche nightmare, but maybe that's why it worked. I went in thinking it would be predictable and cliched, but it blew me away.

Overall, I highly recommend this book if you are looking for some electric romance and a great, touching story.