Book Review of “The Lovely Reckless” by Kami Garcia
Review By: April Hughes
Review of The Lovely Reckless: The Lovely Reckless is a standalone novel by author Kami Garcia. The story follows Frankie Devereaux, a high school senior from the Heights- a neighborhood of the rich and privileged. In the beginning of the story, Frankie’s mental and emotional battle over the murder of her boyfriend comes to a head when her reckless behavior lands her in jail with a DUI. This behavior is apparently unusual for Frankie, as she describes herself previously as a happy, law-abiding student who is not prone to impulsive or reckless behavior. This naturally changes after she witnesses her boyfriend’s murder. Unfortunately, the killer is never caught because Frankie is unable to describe him to the police, as her mind has apparently blocked the memory out.
Frankie’s mother, the epitome of a spoiled and selfish wife of a wealthy man, is unable to handle the self-destructive aspects of her grieving daughter. Frankie is subsequently sent to live with her father, an undercover cop whose primary job is to nab car thieves, in a far less glamorous neighborhood dubbed “The Downs”. It is at the Downs public high school that Frankie meets Cruz, a girl who reminds me a lot of Letty from the Fast and the Furious, and Marco Leone, a boy well-known in the Downs as an illegal street racer and car thief.
The characters in the novel truly made the story. The Lovely Reckless was not your typical “boy meet girl, they both fall in love, there is some drama, then they live happily-ever-after” story. There was a lot more to it than that. First, there was Frankie’s quest to unlock the memory of her boyfriend’s death by frequently writing in her journal about that fateful night. Then, there was her struggle over who she was prior to her boyfriend Noah’s murder, and becoming familiar with who she became after his death. Marco had to battle his own demons. He was not merely a criminal from the Downs. Both characters internal struggles, coupled with their burgeoning interest in one another, made for an interesting read.
I will also say this, I enjoyed watching Frankie’s relationship with the father she barely knows unfold. The author did a great job staying true to the dynamic of a typical father and daughter relationship and all the trials that it entails. I was also mentally fist-bumping the author whenever Cruz demonstrated that there are girls out there who know their way around a vehicle (hell yeah!). Finally, I loved that tingle of ice sliding through my veins the moment Frankie found out who killed Noah (you’ll have to read the book to find that one out).
I loved the location, I loved the star-crossed lovers, I loved the characters, I loved the illegal street races (though I wished Frankie had more kick-ass race scenes), and the loved watching the murder-mystery unfold.
Heck. I loved everything about this book.
This was my review of The Lovely Reckless, Also, See my REVIEW OF PAPER PRINCESS BY ERIN WATT