by Jenny Martin
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 and up
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Dial Books (May 5, 2015)
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The Fast and the Furious gets a futuristic twist in this action-packed debut!I feel like this is one of those times where I have to say, I am an adult, and that may have some weight on how much I enjoyed this book. I do think younger readers might like it better than I did? Obviously I love young adult books, but there are times when I feel like a teenager may feel differently about a book then me (and some adults too, I'm sure).
On corporately controlled Castra, rally racing is a high-stakes game that seventeen-year-old Phoebe Van Zant knows all too well. Phee’s legendary racer father disappeared mysteriously, but that hasn't stopped her from speeding headlong into trouble. When she and her best friend, Bear, attract the attention of Charles Benroyal, they are blackmailed into racing for Benroyal Corp, a company that represents everything Phee detests. Worse, Phee risks losing Bear as she falls for Cash, her charming new teammate. But when she discovers that Benroyal is controlling more than a corporation, Phee realizes she has a much bigger role in Castra’s future than she could ever have imagined. It's up to Phee to take Benroyal down. But even with the help of her team, can a street-rat destroy an empire?
I did enjoy the book, but it was, for me, too much like so many other futuristic novels. This had the opportunity to stand out, being set on another planet. But there just wasn't enough about the setting to make that distinction. That was one of the things I was most excited about, but just didn't feel like I got enough out of it. To me it just felt like it was set on earth a couple of years in the future.
The racing was an exciting addition, but it ended up being basically normal NASCAR type racing. I was hoping for something a little more Tron-like or Anakin racing on Tatooine. Something to make it seem more futuristic than just racing around a racetrack. The last race had a little bit of that, but again, not enough description of the track or scenery to make me feel like it was on another planet.
The storyline was pretty good, the characters were interesting, but nothing that stood out from other stories of its kind. It was very similar to The Hunger Games, The Selection, and really any other dystopian YA novel (only not as compelling, in my opinion). Phee was exceptionally childish at times, throwing little temper tantrums when she didn't get her way. It was kind of annoying, but I did like her resilience and determination to get what she wanted.
Bear was kind of an annoying character who I found almost Neanderthal like. His dialogue was very childish, and he just didn't have very much depth. I know you were supposed to feel like he was this great BFF guy who she could possibly fall in love with, but I kept picturing him pulling her around by her hair saying, "ME. LOVE. YOU."
Cash, on the other hand, was awesome. I absolutely loved him. I love his character, his personality, his banter with Phee, just everything. I would have liked to have seen even more banter between the two of them. Yeah, so hard choosing between Bear and Cash! Right.
Overall, I would say this was a good book, but not a great book. I do think it has potential in the following books to get better, and I will be looking forward to seeing what people think about book 2 to see if I should keep reading this series.
The Hunger Games, Legend, The Ward
- Language: Minor (some made up curse words)
- Sexual Content: some kissing and an on-it's-way-to-sex-but-stopped scene.