Saturday, October 25, 2014

ARC Review: Adrenaline Crush by Laurie Boyle Crompton

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
192 Pages

When a daredevil teen pushes herself too far, she must choose between two boys: the one who wants to keep her safe, and the one who dares her to return to her old self.

Seventeen-year-old Dyna comes from a family of risk takers and is an avid thrill-seeker herself, until the day she splinters her ankle in a terrible fall. Her whole life goes from mountain biking and rock climbing to sitting at home and attending group sessions at the bizarre alternative healing center that her hippie mother found. The boy who witnessed Dyna’s accident believes her injury is a wakeup call and he encourages her mild new lifestyle, but a young Afghanistan War veteran she meets at the healing center pushes her to start taking chances again. Forced to face the consequences of her daredevil impulses, Dyna finds herself in danger of risking the one thing she’s always treated with caution—her heart.

Adrenaline Crush was a short, authentic story about staying true to yourself even when faced with the most difficult of challenges. This is the first book I've read by this author, and based on my experience, I would not be hesitant to pick up another. It was quite charming, and my interest never strayed from the story once I started it.

Dyna is an adventurous young woman who never backs down from a challenge. She has goals and plans and confidence, until a horrible fall that leaves her with an injury that may keep her from all that she loves to do. When her spirit declines, her parents send her to a new aging healing center and she meets people who are suffering through traumas much like herself. With the help of her new friends, and family, she must remember how to be the person she has always known herself to be.

I really liked the author's writing style. Once I picked it up, I read it to the very end. The book is pretty short, but it makes up for its length by being entertaining. I generally enjoyed the narrator's point-of-view, with just a few issues here and there. Adrenaline Crush isn't a heavy story. It does deal with some tough subjects, but ultimately, the focus is lighthearted in that it is really about a young girl coming into herself and taking pride in who she really is.

For being as short as the novel is (under two-hundred pages), it does deal with some serious issues like heartbreak, and war, and mental illness. I liked the way the author handles the subjects--it's easy to misconstrue these subjects, but the author seemed to really have a good grasp on the basic ideals. It's nice to read a story that deface human struggle, or make it seem like a completely negative thing. Reading about these characters facing their problems head on was interesting, and true to the nitty-gritty of real life. 

It was great to see how large of a part the story Dyna's family was. Stories with close families, or families that become close after an ordeal are more enjoyable to me. Familial relationships always seem to be downplayed, and that makes me sad. I adored the personalities of Dyna's parents. They are sweet, but have a bit of a wild, thrill-seeking side (that their children definitely inherited) which can be seen through their tattoos, motorcycles, and behaviors. The characters in this story were pretty assorted in that sense, and that was nice to see. I think it's sad that parents in fiction so rarely have diverse appearances because in this day and age it's quite common.

Is this the best book ever written? No. It definitely had it's faults. Dyna was not the easiest character to root for. She could be selfish, and sometimes it was a bit difficult for me to understand her perspective. Partially because I am not adventurous/outdoorsy/etc, but also because she was often too immature for my tastes. Her insecurities could drive me insane, as did her romantic relationships. This book is also quite predictable in regards to Dyna's love life. The "love triangle" and Dyna's final choice were obvious to me just from the summary. While I am satisfied with her choice, it would be nice for a more realistic romance. That being said, I am fond of Adrenaline Crush. It was a unique story with a familiar lesson. I think those who give this book a shot will find something in it they can appreciate!
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher for my honest opinion and review.

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