Thursday, December 20, 2012

Review: Crash by Lisa McMann

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Lisa McMann
Publication date: January 8th 2013
by Simon Pulse


Jules lives with her family above their restaurant, which means she smells like pizza most of the time and drives their double-meatball-shaped food truck to school. It’s not a recipe for popularity, but she can handle that.

What she can’t handle is the recurring vision that haunts her. Over and over, Jules sees a careening truck hit a building and explode…and nine body bags in the snow.

The vision is everywhere—on billboards, television screens, windows—and she’s the only one who sees it. And the more she sees it, the more she sees. The vision is giving her clues, and soon Jules knows what she has to do. Because now she can see the face in one of the body bags, and it’s someone she knows. Someone she has been in love with for as long as she can remember.

 *A copy was provided by Simon & Schuster Canada for review purposes*
I’m weary of books sometimes, but more often than not I surprise myself by loving them. So this is why I still gave Crash a try knowing it’s written by the same author who wrote one of my least favorite books of all time. It’s unfortunate, but this is a sign that me and Ms McMann simply aren’t meant to be. I have to learn to move on, regardless of the temptations that may come about.

Jules Jules Jules, you had such potential! You see visions! And there are body bags in your visions! I wanted to like this plot, and Jules, so much, but I just couldn’t. The way she speaks, the obsession towards pizza boy, her superficial personality and lack of development, it all adds up quickly and unforgivably. Let’s get a quick example shall we?

“I mean, I watch him, though. Like, all the time, but I’m not a creep or anything. And I eavesdrop.”
-Quoted from the uncorrected proof 

Yes, Jules, those are, in fact, signs of a creep. Like, don’t kid yourself! This quote that we come upon early in the game was a very good sign that Jules and I wouldn’t get along. Throughout most of the book, she’s either dwelling on this old family grudge that keeps her and Sawyer apart *le sigh*, or she’s complaining about her visions, on which she eventually acts for no other reason than her own selfishness. This leads to even more stalkerish behavior; for instance, hiding out in his parking lot and frantically running home when his mother sees her.

After all this creepy, you would think–or hope–that Sawyer would run screaming… *shakes head disappointedly*! Is Sawyer any more likeable than Jules? Maybe if he had enough personality to even be liked or disliked. He’s the lesser of two evils, sure, but nothing more than a name on a page. As you can guess, this leads to a romance that is, at once, extremely predictable and plain. I couldn’t have cared less if the vision came true. It would certainly have made it more exciting.

The only thing I liked in this novel was the family aspect. This is a family who lives, works, and breathes together. They’re around each other every minute of every day, turning siblings into the best of friends. Again, we would have needed more character development for me to truly care about these people. In the end, they were more or less there for filler and plot conveniences.

Characters were clearly the fall of this book. This plot could have been extremely engaging if it had something to give it life. Instead, in addition to its predictability, it quickly became tiresome–the same vision over and over with no progression, suspense, or hint of tension. I did garner a trace of curiosity on how it would play out when she tells someone about them. Though this may be because I was hoping they would lock her in a cage and I could be done with this book.

Alas, this is where my disastrous relationship with McMann comes to an end. It was short lived with very little chemistry, but you know what they say: One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure. Or something.

2 Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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31 Responses to “Review: Crash by Lisa McMann”

  1. lisseth Torres

    See this is y I was a bit warry about this book. I wasn’t sure how this story would play out with Lisa’s writing style. Jules does kinds sound like a creep.And the character fail was in the other series I read by her too 🙁

    The book looked so good & I was keeping hope but I guess it wasn’t going to be as great as I was anticipating. GTEAT REVIEW Giselle 🙂

  2. Rebecca

    Aw, sorry you didn’t like this, Giselle! Not all books and authors are for everyone and the bright side? You gave her a second chance and though it didn’t work out yet again, at least you now know most definitely that you and Lisa just aren’t MTB. I had my eye on this and thought it sounded good so I’ll definitely be lowering my expectations. I’ve never read anything by this author before and with so many other books to read, new and old, will be lowering this on my to-read list and not be in a rush to read it. Thanks for yet another honest yet lovely review! I can always count on you to give it to me straight. In the words of well, YOU, you rock my face!

  3. Giselle

    @Rhiannon: The writing was much better. Wake was written in verse, right? This one is not in verse. And really I had no problems with the writing at all it was all character problems in this one.

  4. Giselle

    @Lisseth: If you weren’t a fan of her other work I’d be wary of this one as well. It was better than Wake for sure, but still needed lots of work for character building.

    @Rebecca: Thanks, muffin! I will learn to move on!! *sniff* Her Cryer’s Cross novel looks so good! And I even have it here! Must. Resist. Temptation.

  5. Erin W.

    I’ve read a couple of books from Lisa McMann but like you I don’t think her books and I are meant to be. So I’m sorry to hear this one was a disappointing book. Don’t think I’ll read it either. :/

  6. Aylee

    Aw, yeah I can think of one other blogger who has never got along with McMann’s books either and has sworn off, which is too bad, but I’m sure she probably has plenty other fans to fill the gap! I have never read a book by her, myself, and I can’t say I am terribly interested in it after hearing what you and the other blogger have to say… I don’t know, maybe I will give it a go sometime and hopefully fall in the camp who likes her books? Could happen…

  7. Nick

    I know what you mean about those authors who just aren’t for you. I have that kind of relationship with Abbi Glines. I don’t like her books at all, but whenever she releases one I always purchase a copy. -_- I don’t know why I waste my money like that.
    I can’t really say that I was interested in this one because I just wasn’t. Nothing about it captivated me. I’m convinced that I’m not going to give it a shot. It’s really too bad that this book didn’t work out for you because it seems to have a lot of potential. From that quote itself, I’m sure I won’t like her. She seems very strange.
    Hope your next read is better!
    Great review, Giselle! 🙂

  8. Jesse Burgoyne

    Haha! Awesome review! I haven’t read any of McMann’s books, mostly because I feared this exact reaction to them. I have a similar reaction to any and all Alyson Noel books. They always look so good! And then they drag you down into the bottomless pit of dissapointment.

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction

  9. Mel@Thedailyprophecy.

    Oh, that doesn’t sound good to me. I like that the family aspect is nice, because a lot of YA books seem to lack of a proper family. I haven’t read anything from this author before and now I know that I won’t read this book soon – perhaps I won’t read it at all. What a shame, thanks for the honest review!


  10. Maji Bookshelf

    oh wow, so sad this wasn’t great for you. We are going to review it on the blog soon and all I can say is that i’m glad it isn’t me who will be reading it!
    I can’t stand characters that are as superficial as her and a romance that is predictable and plain. It is a wonder you continued reading it.

    great review, and yes, I love when the family aspect is prominent in YA novels, they are so heartwarming.

    – Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  11. Christina

    Ha, see, this is what I was talking about with negative reviews: even when we’ve been burned before, we still hope we’ll like the next one. But sometimes our optimism and kindness is not met with happy results.

    Thank you for reading this for me, because the pretty cover had me curious, but I’ve read four of her YA novels and the writing made me want to smash things. This one is obviously no different. Can anyone explain to me why McMann writes in full sentences in her middle grade novels, but not in her YA books. WHAT IS THIS? GAHHHHHH.

    “Like, don’t kid yourself.” BAHAHAHA.

    So, basically, this is Twilight or something, only the girl is the creepy one and the dude should go running but doesn’t?

    McMann, we’re done.

  12. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Oh, sadness. You really didn’t like Jules, did you? She sounds like a bit of a pill. It really bites when the characters start out meh and don’t grow or change or improve. Better luck next time!

  13. Candace

    I have loved some of Lisa’s other books but this one I’m definitely wary of if there’s lack of character development. I will probably wait and see the other reviews that come in, but I wont rush out to buy it just yet.
    Sorry it was disappointing!

  14. Ashley

    Wow this is a huge bummer!! 🙁 I was really looking forward to this book. *sulks* I think I’ll be skipping it now. Thanks for the review!

  15. Jessi (Geo)

    Haven’t read any of her books, but I think I’ll pass on this one. Characters are important to me, and with the issues you had, I don’t think I’d like it any more than you did. Plus the quote you included was enough to turn me off…

  16. Henrietta @ Leisure Reads

    I guess we all have our hiccups with books, characters and authors. From the way you described Jules, I wouldn’t think I could connect with her but I must say I was quite intrigued by the plot around the recurring vision when I first read it in the blurb. Hopefully your next read would offer you a more comfortable level of enjoyment. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!

  17. Amy

    Awww it’s too bad that this wasn’t for you. It sounded like it had a lot of potential. The only book I have read of hers was Wake and I actually listened to it. I didn’t like much. It’s a shame that you gave the author a second chance and it still didn’t work out.

  18. Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed

    Wow, Wake is one of your least favorite books?
    I read that one and I might have read the second one too. All I remember is that the concept was brilliant but the writing was weird (for me) and the book was so damn depressing! I felt like I needed some happy pills after reading it.
    Bummer you didn’t like this one. I wasn’t looking forward to this one though…

  19. Jen (A Reading Daydreamer)

    I love this review, Giselle! Thanks for being so upfront about it. I’m sorry you and Lisa aren’t meant to be! Your description of the main character is really interesting, and I totally agree with you–that IS a sign of a creeper. I’m still indecisive about this book, but for now, it’s a most-likely-not… Again, wonderful review! 🙂

  20. Aman

    Oh, No! I was really looking forward to this one. I liked her Wake trilogy and Crash sounded very good, I’m going to give it a try anywho. Maybe it is a sign for you :p

  21. Megan K.

    Ugh, and this had such great potential! I totes agree that Jules sounds like some creepy stalker in that quote of yours. :/ Sorry that this didn’t work out for you. I’m much less inclined to read it now.

    Thanks for the honest review, Giselle!

  22. Sarah (saz101)

    Aw, Giselle, I’m sorry you didn’t love this. You know, Lisa McMann surprises me. She’s the single most polarising author I’ve ever encountered (I mean, Stephanie Meyer and 50 Shades stuff aside, where cultural zeitgeist and popularity is more important than the book or writing or author itself). I’ve never seen an author draw such violently different opinions.

    I read WAKE a few years ago, and instantly fell in love. I don’t believe I’ve ever read a book so fast. I read it and thought ‘WOW!’ and with the unread ignorance I possessed at the time couldn’t fathom anyone ever feeling differently. It was only when I started blogging I started seeing different opinions.

    And… wow. You know, I do actually get it. She has this way of writing which is kind of like Tom Wait or Leonard Cohen or Bob Dylan’s voice: really polarising. And combined with characters you seriously didn’t love, yeah. And… errr… I’m not loving the sound of Jules. She does sound like a creep. And… no personality love interest is 🙁

    So sorry it didn’t work for you, hon! Still, wonderful review ♥♥♥

  23. Shooting Stars Mag

    Sorry this didn’t work for you. I really love what I’ve read from Lisa McMann (but those were the Wake books…I need to read some of her more recent things). At any rate, it’s true. some authors just don’t work for people.


  24. Soma Rostam

    Well, I have not heard anything of this book. But it looks like it has so much potential. Unfortunately, it fell short for you, Giselle! Characters are the main building blocks of books, but many authors fail to capture their complexity.
    Cassandra Rose Clarke writes really good character-driven stories.
    GREAT review, Gielle!
    Throughout-ly honest!
    Your reader,

  25. russell1200

    So is this careening truck look like a bunch of meatballs bouncing around crushing people? Morbid but kind of cool. Or are they drowned in when a geletanous 700 pound deep slathering of marinara goo (how do you spell goo?) slithers down their windpipe when they are pinned in place?

    Your leaving out important details necessary for our buying decisions. Meatball mayhem would go a long way toward a yes.

  26. June G

    I’ve only read on of Lisa’s books: Cryers Cross and it was decent. I have the Wake series on the shelf, but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. I loved your review! It made me laugh! Doubt I’ll be picking this one up. Thanks for your honesty.


    I haven’t read a book by Lisa yet but I am eagly anticipating this one! It’s a shame you didn’t like it i see the potential there and now i’m worried I won’t like it as much either.
    Great Review 🙂