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  1. Books with a similar title
  2. Crash Into You by Katie McGarry - book review
  3. Spotlight on The Root Of Magic (Kathleen Benner Duble), Excerpt, Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
  4. Katie McGarry: "There Is Always Hope."
  5. Crash into You

It seemed like the obvious choice from book 1, but after reading Beth's and Isaiah's individual stories it's clear that a romantic relationship between these two would have been a disaster. They need someone to balance their bold personalities out; they would have likely crashed and burned. In contrast, the romance between Isaiah and Rachel is full of sparks and raging chemistry. Not having been a fan of the hot and cold nature of Ryan and Beth's relationship, it was with relief that I found this one drama free in comparison.

Don't get me wrong, they do have their share of bumps in the road, and although some of it could have been avoided had they communicated better, it was much easier to emotionally immerse myself in this relationship. One thing about Eric, the "villain" of this story, is that I didn't completely feel the fear that he was rubbing off on everybody. Sure he has "friends with bats" but this is a 19year old kid that people treat like a mob boss! This was obviously not even enough to steer my rating, but I wouldn't have minded more show of the power he wields.

After all is said and done, what may be the best part of the book is finding out it's not over! For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads View all 25 comments. Sep 24, Lady Vigilante Feifei rated it it was ok Shelves: read-to-review , bad-boys , netgalley-edelweiss , love-hate-swingaroo , therapy-can-t-save-your-ass , oops-let-s-do-it-again-romance , young-adult-ness , contemporary-duckie , arc.

After reading about his god-awfulness in this book, not sure if I'm interested in the next one. Virginal, really innocent heroines — they tend to whine a lot 3. Unnecessary angst — I need blood pressure pills for this And guess what? This book had ALL three of the above, and then some. Too bad. I loved the alternate POVs between Isaiah and Rachel; it really helped me get a full grasp of their family dynamic and issues they both struggled with.

This is what I mean: Good writing style? One of the reasons why I read Ms. So attention-grabbing and intense at the same time! Good character interaction? Very humorous and sweet at the same time. Then I come across three of the biggest issues I have with this book. Part 1: YA Not criticizing the genre , per say, just the characters since they definitely fall under YA. Why do I not like reading YA? On top of which they are incredibly ignorant! She was always so obsessed with you and your attacks that we got nothing. When you claimed to be better, she was still up your butt, but at least we got something.

What kind of effed up, dysfunctional family is this?! Oh this one just about blew the cap to my atomic bomb self!!!!! I mean, who else is going to take your money? Chill the fuck out. Fuck Gavin. Fuck Ethan for being a wimp and not doing anything about it. Fuck this entire messed up, therapy-cannot-save-you family. That is exactly what happened to me. My tastes have evolved so far from liking the virginal, innocent, angel-like girl that Rachel made me sick.

But really now, is she that sheltered from the world? With me? Just a paragraph ago she said how dangerous it was to be in this part of town and she knows how dangerous Eric is so why the fuck can she not figure out that Isaiah was referring to HER!!!!!!! My frustration with ignorant, oblivious, pea-brained heroines knows no bounds. Oh wait! Beth makes several appearances in this book, and Isaiah is still uncomfortable and brokenhearted over her. Yup you guessed it!

Jealousy is great and all, but the jealousy I despise? Beth never had a change to explain anything to Rachel, because Rachel ran her fucking ass away!!! And even when Isaiah view spoiler [landed himself in the hospital after his car got totaled, hide spoiler ] Rachel lets her jealousy which was unwarranted since Beth's with Ryan get the best of her when she visits him and LEAVES. You read that right. Car angst. Like, what happened to the middle?? Before this, Isaiah lands in the hospital and I could understand that.

But Rachel too?!?!?! Like what the ever living fuck was Ms. McGarry thinking? I think not. Wow, what a long ass review-rant.

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I did like certain parts of the book, particularly the scenes where Noah, Echo, and Ryan showed up. Other than that, yeah, the story just self-bombed. ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Please note that all quotes are from an advanced copy and may be subject to change in the final edition. View all 65 comments. I want more of Isaiah!!! One book isn't enough!! And we get to see deeper into who Isaiah is!

How he became a foster child and why he lets so few people into his life It is heartbreaking The storry begins with Isaiah who meets Rachel at an illegal race, randomly and a sweet romance starts between them Watching them meet and bond over cars and their illegal racing trouble was so much fun!

They find themselves in a huge situation and they race against the time to fix everything so it doesn't cost them their lives at the end But with bad luck,foolish brothers and bad guys the things become complicated Rachel suffers from severe panic attacks.. She lives in a house with four overprotective brothers who also expect her to be the one who will make their mother be happy again after a big tragedy..

She tries to be a perfect daughter She sacrifices everything to make her family happy Isaiah is broken.. He bounces from foster home to home his entire life. Everyone he loved leaves him. He knows those type of feelings make you vulnerable and others are able to use that to their advantage.. What I love more about Isaiah is that he appears to be a tough guy,but in this book we can see that he also is sensitive and has such a good heart. With Rachel he slowly shows himself to her and reveals things about his past that no one else know Each tattoo represents the only happy memories I've had.

And you, Rachel, you're the happiest. So this will work. No matter what or who stands in our way. The romance is so sweet!! Katie manage as always to create a fantastic set of characters that will draw you in and hold you there until the end! If you are a fan of YA romance books with suspense,action,and intense this is what you need!! I highly recommend it!! ARC provided by edelweiss for an honest review View all 83 comments. Jul 07, Sandra rated it really liked it Shelves: are-you-fucking-kidding-me , omfg , beautifully-written , awesome-characters , liked-the-characters-some-or-all , melting-inside-awwww , reviewed-books , new-adult , young-adult , continuing-series.

It's a YA Romace. It features a tatooed, pierced and dangerous 17 year old boy called Isaiah a protagonist who's name i can't even pronounce, much less spell. Trapped in foster care Isaiah finally got his own place with his best friend, Noah - Pushing the Limits only to discover the struggles in supporting th "I can't give you the world, Rachel, but i will give you all i got. Trapped in foster care Isaiah finally got his own place with his best friend, Noah - Pushing the Limits only to discover the struggles in supporting themselves whilst still in school. His passion are cars, and the only thing he knows he's good at - and that can make him some much needed money to keep a roof over his and his friend's head - is car racing, preferably the illegal kind.

God does exist and he send me an angel in a white Mustang to prove it. A girl of his dreams. But the last thing he needs on his plate is getting tangled up with a girl, one who makes him want to rat out all the secrets and truths he keeps hidden. Rachel is the girl with straigh A's and good manners. The girl who makes everyone in her family proud. The girl who hates to disappoint. The girl who hides her true self behind a shell of a perfect being. But like Isaiah, she has secrets. One of them? The love for adrenaline and racing cars. When she meets Isaiah their shared love of speed puts their lives in jeopardy.

Now they have six weeks to come with a way out - and to discover just how far they'll go to save each other. Crash Into You was one of the cutest and heart-warming books i have read. I was melting inside every time Isaiah said something beautiful to Rachel view spoiler [The scene when he rubbed her temples and held her when she had a massive headache?

I knew i was a goner. So i was pleased the author took that path. Rachel; is an independent teenage girl who wants to be the real her and stop having to be what other people want her to be. She wants others to accept her. When i read about her family i felt like punching each one of them in the faces and shoving them off a cliff.

For her not to loose her wits and try to stay strong really earned my respect. But at time i was begging Rachel, and didn't understand why the girl didn't speak her mind more, and just do this Isaiah; is the boy who had his heart torn out a million times, and learned from a very young age that hope and caring gets you disappointed and hurt. Moving to one bad foster care, to an ever worse one, he doesn't count on anyone except himself. There are very few people who he considers friends I thought he was a very awesome, strong and thoughtful protagonist. At times i thought he was a little bit of an asshole, especially towards his mother, but i understood his reasoning.

Katie McGarry is one of those very few authors who can make you easily visualize things, and feel emotions. Her writing is simple yet really effective for the reader and the story. As a result, i could get into the book with ease and it kept me turning the pages. The reason for my 4 stars is the ending. I feel like it was all over the place. I couldn't catch up to what was happening and it was confusing.

Why this author has a thing with ending her books in near-death accidents and destroying one of the character's lives in the process, i will never know. I really do not know what was the point of that and it was stupid. Can't i have a one normal happy ending? Moreover, the books are quickly loosing originality , and i feel like at time it's the same thing, with the same flaws that stop me from giving the books 5 stars and perhaps even putting them on my 'favorites' shelf. Can we just pause here for a second and look at the UK paperback cover, which looks like this The cover is the worst cover i have ever seen in the book world of shitty covers.

It's so obvious it's photo-shopped and they have done such a poor job of it i can promise you kids at the age of 12 could have achieved a better design. Every time i look at it on my shelf i feel like throwing it into the fire. Just one look Great characters, and we meet many new ones. Would i recommend it? Hell yes. Would i re-read it? Maybe some bits.

View all 42 comments. Oct 06, Stacia the club rated it it was ok Shelves: contemporary-romance , frustrating , young-adult. I smell something fishy If I'd read Crash Into You first in the series, I probably would have considered it the best of all 3 books so far. Isaiah is the hero I'm most drawn to, and the drag racing plot device has a certain throwback appeal.

Unfortunately, when you get to book 3 of a series and find yourself getting frustrated over the same things which frustrated you in the first couple of books, it's hard to overlook that.

Crash Into You by Katie McGarry - book review

Frankly, I was bored when I wa I smell something fishy Frankly, I was bored when I wasn't frustrated. I'm over the poor-bad-boy-meets-uppity-and-or-inexperienced-rich-girl angle. Rachel's issues had me doing a "who the hell cares" reaction. I could honestly give a shit about her panic attacks and how she couldn't take care of herself. And she was the youngest sibling of several older, hot brothers who were very overprotective?

This fantasy of being the helpless female who everyone wants to protect is also old beyond belief. Let's talk about Rachel , the girl who chose to be who everyone else wanted her to be in order not to further hurt her damaged loved ones. I say : she reaps what she sows. If you aren't going to tell the truth to people out of fear, then you can deal with the fallout and expect me not to care.

Maybe he already knows I'm weak.

Spotlight on The Root Of Magic (Kathleen Benner Duble), Excerpt, Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)

Unrelated side note : who notes about themselves that they "lazily glanced" at someone from under their eyelashes? Isn't that something you'd notice another person doing, not yourself?

Let's talk about Isaiah , the bad boy who would slip into thoughts and language which seemed to contradict his rebellious image. Examples : She has skin so soft that I worry about damaging her with a gentle touch. The sound of her voice creates a contact high. I've seen roses the color of her lips. Let's also talk about things that I don't like.

Eyes softening to liquid silver makes me feel like I'm witnessing a bad channeling of Jennifer Armentrout. What was wrong with the normal gray Isaiah had before? The continuation of scent cataloging rolls on - in a painfully embarrassing way. I suck in a breath through my mouth to avoid her scent and step back. The scent of the ocean enters my nose and my jeans tighten. The demonization of weed smoking continues. Can someone please have a chat with this author and tell her that this isn't abnormal behavior only limited to kids in trouble? How do you write books about kids coming from a sketchy upbringing and not know that a decent portion of the teenage population partakes, even the "good" kids?

It's not all that different from social drinking anymore. We're three books in and the repetitiveness has me unsure whether I'll continue with the series. West is up next with his book and he already strikes me as the stereotypical bad boy character. I don't know if I want to go there or not. This book provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All quotes taken from the pre-published copy and may be altered or omitted from the final copy.

View all 15 comments. Jan 12, Shambhawi P. This is going to be a really short review - especially given the fact that how long I took to actually get on with writing it after reading the book itself. I've still not completely made up my mind yet. The source of my confusion?

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It's simple: I loved Isaiah. He was undoubtedly the best hero in the Pushing the Limits series so far. Sweet, strong and damaged - all at the same time. I loved him. I hated Rachel. She was undoubtedly the worst heroine in the Pushing the limits series so far. Shallow, st This is going to be a really short review - especially given the fact that how long I took to actually get on with writing it after reading the book itself.

Shallow, stupid and dependent - all at the same time. I hated her. And the plot was fine. Nothing new, nothing exceptional. It was intriguing while reading but nothing really memorable afterwards. Except for Isaiah. Nothing too squeal-worthy or hate-worthy. Except maybe the insta-ish love for the latter point.

But Isaiah was amazing enough for me to forgive all the other shortcomings this book may have. I never claimed to be anything other than a hormonal teenage girl. The short side of 3. Not bad, but not so good. Redeemable only because of the insanely hot hero. Just look at that guy on the cover!! He sent her as a sacrifice Reread the first two chapters for the millionth time because I have, like, zero self control View all 11 comments. May 12, Duchess Nicole rated it really liked it Shelves: arc-for-review , genre-contemp-romance , self-contained , arc-net-galley , read-in , genre-ya.

Oh, boy! I know I'm not the only girl who's been pining after Isaiah since Pushing the Limits first came out. And then after his role in Beth's story and his extremely evident devotion to her I could feel the collective hearts breaking for him, mine included. I was SO looking forward to him getting his happy times. And I'm more than happy with his outcome in Crash Into You. I did have some small issues, but the story itself was gripping and gritty, intense and passionate while retaining an inn Oh, boy! I did have some small issues, but the story itself was gripping and gritty, intense and passionate while retaining an innocence without preachiness that this author is so good at.

He has very few friends in life; actually, just one since Beth left. Noah and he are still living together, barely scraping enough money together to pay for rent, often not scraping enough money together for other necessities. But Isaiah is still in high school, attempting to get a job at a fairly prestigious auto mechanic shop after graduation while Noah takes college courses, trying to give his brothers and Echo a better life. Isaiah meets Rachel at the most unlikely place to find a rich good girl: the back streets street racing circuit.

Some bad people are involved with this gig, and the moment Isaiah sees Rachel there, he knows she's too innocent to race with the big boys. Being who he is, Isaiah saves the day Rachel, because she has some truly bad street thugs after her, and Isaiah because he feels like he owes Rachel his help. In order to get these guys off Rachel's back, they have to work closely together for quite some time, and the attraction between the proverbial bad boy and poor little rich girl comes into play. The Isaiah that he shows the world isn't easy to hide when in close proximity for a long time, and even Rachel's secrets start to come out fairly quickly.

But how in the world can they both overcome not only their current circumstances but their social statuses as well? And all the while, Isaiah's missing parent tries to come back into his life via his social worker He is my favorite hero of this series so far. He's a bad boy with a heart of gold, and it just doesn't get much more sexy or romantic than that. Not to mention that Rachel doesn't want to change him They both love cars and speed, and despite their differences, they both really, really like whatever is happening between them.

Just like McGarry's other two books in this series, I was completely invested in all of the goings on in this book. Rachel's family unit frustrated me to no end, and the way that Rachel was a virtual doormat when it came to them was a big source of frustration for me. I'm wondering how McGarry will make me fall in love with the next up hero, who is Rachel's older brother.

Katie McGarry: "There Is Always Hope."

Not one single person in her family endeared themselves to me. The way they in turns coddled her, protected her to the point of smothering, and held this immovable authority over this young woman was bordering on crazy. And she continued to let them I will add in some quotes after publication, because this is one uber quotable book! Isaiah goes on my favorite heroes shelf I wish there were a real life Isaiah View all 32 comments.

Our hero, bad boy Isaiah who is broken his heart after Beth. If you kiss me we'll blend in" Rachel runs into Isaiah on one of her adventure nights What kind of adventure is this prissy girl into? With her elder brothers protecting her around, you wouldn't believe what this girl likes.

I didn't like Beth much for Book 1, hence her entrance in this book only annoyed me further! So, sit back and enjoy Isaiah!!!! View all 20 comments. Apr 30, Jennifer Kyle rated it it was amazing. All of our favorite characters from the past two books play a role in helping Isaiah and Rachel get out of some seriou 4. All of our favorite characters from the past two books play a role in helping Isaiah and Rachel get out of some serious trouble. But tell me now. She likes bunnies. We totally clicked. Series to date: Books to come View all 33 comments. Jan 11, Aestas Book Blog marked it as to-read Shelves: top-tbr.

Release date: Nov 26, The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind. Isaiah has secrets, too.

About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look. But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Dec 03, Anne rated it liked it Shelves: drama-in-the-burbs , new-adult , nook , read-in , netgalley , romance. I'd seen some really high praise for these books, so I jumped at the chance to read McGarry's newest book in the Pushing the Limits series.

And I liked it, but it didn't blow me out of the water. I'm thinking that either these particular characters just weren't my cuppa, or maybe I need to take a break from the angsty stuff. So Rachel has a weird life. Sure, her family has money, but they're beyond strange. ALL of them. Let's start with her oddly overprotective brothers, ok?

I've never seen a group I believe there's 4 of them of older brothers act like they have nothing better to do than escort their little sister around so that no guy ever speaks to her. A lot of brothers tend to get pissed when guys mess with their sisters. Especially if the guy in question is a douchebag. That's normal. What's not normal is screaming death threats at every male that attempts to talk to her.

You would think at least one of them would be on her side, right? But, no. Protectively eyeballing her date Acting like a psycho over a conversation between her an a random dude at a wedding So I had a problem buying into the over-the-top dynamics with her brothers. Then there's her parents.

Years ago they lost their oldest daughter to Leukemia. Very tragic, no? Yes, yes it is. In an effort to make the mother happy again, they kept having children until Rachel was born, so that the mom would have a replacement daughter. Unfortunately, kids aren't replaceable, so Rachael lives in the shadow of her perfect older sister.

Worse, she's expected to speak at charity functions on her dead sister's behalf. Or she was until she started having panic attacks when she was younger. The panic attacks took the form of severe vomiting, and eventually she was hospitalized because she was throwing up blood. Skip to present day, and Rachel is supposedly over her fear of public speaking and panic attacks. Of course, she's not. She's only pretending to feel better about it so that everyone will stop treating her like she's breakable.

And now Dad wants her to start speaking at her mother's fundraising events again Again, I felt the parents were overblown caricatures of people, and not realistic enough for me to sympathize with or even hate. To keep Rachel from seeming like she was made out of some boring jello mold, we find out that she loves cars. Reallyreallyreally loves cars. And that's how she meets Isaiah He protects her when she wanders out of her element and into an illegal street race. Naturally, there's an evil guy who run the race.

And also naturally , they have to find a way to pay him back That whole plotline felt like something out of a 50's movie, and I kept expecting them to break out into some sort of a dance-off to settle the score. Or some such nonsense. As the fear for their lives increased, the obvious answer just sat there staring them in the face. Call the cops who are actively looking for a reason to arrest the guy and report him for threatening to kill you!

But wait. They can't do that. Rachel doesn't want her parents to find out she was involved in illegal street race! That's an awesome reason to get killed by a scummy wannabe mobster. Sorry I questioned your logic, Einstein. Sorry, I'm making it sound like this book is total crap, but in reality it's not. I didn't have a hard time getting through the story, and there are tons of absolutely glowing reviews out there for this one.

New Adult is a genre that thrives on drama and angst, so I'm not going to fault an author for giving readers exactly what they came to the party looking for. My personal opinion is that this one was overly But even I know that my opinion doesn't count for much. It will probably be a great read to someone who isn't burned out on virgin heroines and damaged heroes. I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review. View all 6 comments. For once again, this was a beautiful,well-written and a totally captivating story But i have to admit that in the most part of it, i was soooooo And in the end, it left me heartbroken and really, really sad!!!

Why the things have to reach at this point???? Why, God damn it!!!! I knew that this story had the power to break my heart in small pieces And the funny thing was that all the sadness came not from Isaiah who was the broken one, but from Rachel who was the rich, normal ki For once again, this was a beautiful,well-written and a totally captivating story And the funny thing was that all the sadness came not from Isaiah who was the broken one, but from Rachel who was the rich, normal kid How untrue that statement!!!!

Oh, my dear Lord!!!! I'm really trying but i can't overcome that ending!!! I just can't How unfair that fate!!! I'm boiling inside You haven't understand anything, right???? Let me explain you some things Isaiah was known from the previous books He was the guy with the tatoos and the earings whom everyone with just one look at him thought the worst about this person He was a foster kind, a damaged kid who they thought that he was stealing, lying, doing drugs But they were all wrong!!!!

Isaiah was kind and calm and steady and he was having a really big heart, especially for whoever he loved His heart was crushed because of Beth's denial, but he was trying hard to get over it!!! He and Noah are shared an apartment, but they need money if they want to remain there or else Isaiah have to return in his foster family!!!!

Crash into You

And that fact forced him to cross paths with Rachel Rachel was the good girl She was trying so hard to be the perfect daughter and the perfect sister You see, her family was strucked by a tragedy before even she was born, but that fact guided all her life She is sensitive and everyone around her think that she is weak since the panic attacks But the last two years she is forcing herself to hide the truth from her family and she is trying to be the girl that her parents want But with what cost?????

Her only fun is when she sneak out from the house and drive her car A difficult evening, two preppy assholes, an illegal street race, a dangerous man, a police chasing, some help to each other and an awful depth bound Isaiah and Rachel forever Their love got through many waves and from one look to them, everybody could claim that they were like the day and the night. But first of all, they were bound from a common great love of them They were both love insanely cars Especially fast cars One glance at her slim figure and I erase that thought. Isaiah loved Rachel because he could see the real herself and he was a steady rock that she could count on him And Rachel saw Isaiah beyond the tatoo She saw his kindness The bond between the two of them was so strong Now, about my anger issues I'm still angry with her family I didn't like the fact that they never saw beyond what they wanted to see They didn't see Rachel's struggle and every single one of them forced her to do things that was killing her And all of that, because they want to be calm and their life as easy as possible I hated that more than everything else I wanted to break something for feeling better I wanted to shake them up And at the end, when they found out about Isaiah, her father's action was Oh, God!!!

I'm still very mad View all 35 comments. When we last left Isaiah he was angry and hurt by Beth. They had been best friends but with Isaiah always hoping for more. Trying to stay afloat he gets embroiled in a street race gone wrong and this is where he meets Rachel and is completely knocked over: God does exist and he sent an angel in a white Mustang to prove it. Rachel comes from privilege and wealth and from all outside appearances she leads a perfect life. She was conceived basically as a replacement for a sister who died of cancer, so she lives in her shadow.

Real Rachel loves cars, working on them and driving them fast. This is how she meets Isaiah. He finds her innocence and honesty refreshing. There are no games when it comes to Rachel. Isaiah is used to everyone having an ulterior motive or only looking out for themselves with the exception of Noah and Echo, so the fact that Rachel worries and cares what happens to him touches him deeply.

The fact that Isaiah sees Rachel how she really is and likes it fills her with joy. However, Ms. McGarry has a talent for writing swoony scenes that make your heart race, and she manages to gift us with these juicy moments often, in between all the drama. On top of all that Rachel and Isaiah have a street racing thug after them for money. Add in their romance, and I just think there were too many issues to do any one of them justice, even with the near page count.

A copy was provided by Harlequin Teen through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! This review and more can be found at The Readers Den. View all 36 comments. Tanja: I have no idea where to start this one, girl. I mean we have been waiting for Isaiah's story for so long. Boy, finally. Glass: I've been waiting for Isaiah's story My heart broke for that sweet, tattooed bad boy in the first book, Pushing the Limits.

Tanja: Yes, also I'm so happy that we finally see him more than just a tattooed bad boy.

He is so more than that. Remember when in Dare You To, Beth broke his heart? I cried so much for him and here I continued to do so. Basically my heart ached for him throughout all three books. Even though deep down you know he'll find his safe heaven, Katie throw some unexpected twists here. But let's introduce Rachel first. What do you think girl? I always wanted to have a huge family and few older brothers, but now I'm not so sure. Glass: Me too, but I think it was more that we were delusional that they would be our big, strong protectors and we'd be little princesses. Well, we know better now.

I'm still not one hundred percent sold on that idea, but I got to understand her. Now I need to see her walk out. With each intake of cold air, the itch to leave grows. So does the itch to meet her. The heater died a half hour ago, and the engine stalled twice. A few more things to fix on the growing list. In need of a new resistor, the heater will be a cheap fix. My cell rings. Without checking the caller ID, I know who it is, yet I answer anyway.

Courtney draws the shades and places a hand on her hip. Fresh out of college, she was assigned my case back in June. What I like about Courtney? She stares back.

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The second one is my best friend. The third Courtney sighs and the ponytail stills. She showed early and brought you presents. My neck tightens and I roll it from side to side to keep from blowing steam at the wrong person. Courtney drops her chin to her throat. She had her reasons, and she wants to talk to you. Give her a chance. Third Street ends at the social services building and my parking spot gives me a straight shot to the clear strip of road. Give Mom a chance? Why should I? When have I been given one? We can work this out.

It can never be worked out. Focusing on the red light, I shift into First as my foot hovers over the gas. I can race the emotions away. The light turns, I release the clutch and my body slams into the seat as my foot crashes down on the gas. Is it possible to outrun memories? The expensive art on the wall becomes a colored blur the faster I go.

My breath comes out in a rush and my dress ruffles and crinkles against itself. My heels dangle in my right hand and I lift the hem of my shimmering blue-gray ball gown with the other. Cinderella ran away because her coach was going to turn back into a pumpkin.

The sound of the crowd laughing and the rhythmic beats of the jazz band become muffled the farther I run. My hair stings my face as it flies forward, then back. One hand-curled spiral strand of blond bounces near my eye when it breaks loose from the jeweled clip holding the sides of my hair. My twin brother turns me to face him. A hint of laughter plays on his lips. Ethan points back toward the long hallway.

My eyes widen and I wonder if I look crazy, because I feel a little crazy. A speech! Do you remember the last time Mom put me on display?