Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Title: Adrenaline Crush
Author: Laurie Boyle Crompton
Series: n/a
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication Date: September 23, 2014
Source: ARC from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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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.

I have a feeling that this is going to be one of those divisive books that readers will either really enjoy or entirely loathe. I am on the positive end of that spectrum, luckily, though I can understand why others might have complaints. Adrenaline Crush took a tough subject and put a positive spin on it, but it was a bit predictable.

Okay, more than a little bit. I knew from the moment I met each boy which one would own Dyna's heart in the end. But that was okay because each boy was, in his own way, the impetus she needed to get back on that horse, so to speak. After her accident, Dyna is a shell of her former self, afraid of speed, of putting herself in dangerous situations, of taking risks period. She's hesitant to join the hokey therapy group her mother has signed her up for, but it turns out to be everything she needed to put herself right again.

I loved all the crazies at that new age healing center. They were all responsible for helping each other recover from their traumas, and they became a family in their own right. Maybe not as close-knit as Dyna's own family, though. I loved how present Dyna's family was through all of this, how even though they don't seem like the traditional family, they assume their roles dutifully: the worried mother, the father attempting to scare away the boyfriend, the carefree older brother, all while rocking some serious body art and doing some thrill-seeking of their own.

There are those around her that would coddle her, have her remain the timid thing she's become since nearly losing her ankle. And for awhile, this method works for Dyna. But her family's motto is all about taking risks, and Dyna was raised to be a thrill-seeker. Those efforts to cosset her soon feel like a cage to Dyna, and she realizes that she not only has to take risks in life but with her heart, as well.

The romance wasn't the focal point of the story, at least not to me, but there were aspects of it that I found a little lacking regardless. I preferred one love interest over the other, and ironically, it was the one with the least amount of character development. But I just felt the emotion in their interactions more. It always felt like the other boy was just a filler because he fell for a Dyna who was not herself, and it was obvious that as soon as she was herself again, there would be no room in her life for him, that she'd bust through the careful cage he'd built for her. But I would have liked Dyna a lot less if she had stayed with him just because he was the one to pick up the pieces after the accident, the one who rescued her.

Adrenaline Crush was a quick read, sparse and yet completely fulfilling. It wasn't extremely deep or thought-provoking, but I liked the issues that it did delve into. I liked the narrative as told from Dyna's perspective, interspersed with bits of verse, and I appreciated how the author tied bits of the story back to the tale of the tin soldier. But best of all, this novel didn't feel like the contrived story that I expected it to be, even after factoring in that predictability quotient. I definitely plan to check out the author's other works now.

GIF it to me straight:
 And I'm free, I'm free fallin' 

About the author:

Laurie Boyle Crompton is the YA author of BLAZE (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) and THE REAL PROM QUEENS OF WESTFIELD HIGH (Sourcebooks, 2013 & 2014) as well as the upcoming ADRENALINE CRUSH from Farrar Straus Giroux. Laurie graduated first in her class from St. John’s University with a major in English and minor in Journalism. She’s written for national magazines like ALLURE as well as numerous trade publications and has appeared on Good Day New York several times as a Toy Expert. Yes, that is an actual thing that people sometimes get to be.

When she’s not writing Laurie enjoys hiking, cycling, reading, cross-country skiing, running, going to the movies and drinking tea by the gallon. She lives near NYC, but loves to escape to the mountains in New Paltz, NY where she and her family can often be found climbing over rocks or tromping through the forest. She is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Agency.

Find Laurie:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr


  1. This is definitely outside my typical reading, but it also sounds really interesting and sweet! I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)

  2. I think I would be one the people who would enjoy this one. I don't mind predictable sometimes :)

  3. I definitely want to try this one because of the daredevil stuff, but also the family being a big part! That's toootally what I like to read. Although the obvious love-triangle scares me a little. Particularly if it's predictable. *sigh* Love-triangles aren't bad plot devices, I reckon, I just think (because they've been so overused) they need to be really written right.


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