Title: Crashing in Love
Author: Jennifer Richard Jacobson
Publisher: Candlewick Press
What's it about?
Peyton is an average girl who looks to famous quotes for comfort and motivation in her life and even though this Summer isn't going to play out quit like she had planned, she's got some big hopes for the next few months.
But then, as she makes her way to say good-bye to her best friend before her friend leaves for the Summer, she comes across a bundle of clothes laying in the road, almost causing her start the summer with a pretty dramatic bicycle accident. That's when she realizes that the pile of clothes, wasn't what it seemed and, that instead, a cute boy who had fallen victim to a hit and run was clothed in the fabric.
Now he plans for the summer have taken yet another turn as she devotes her summer to finding who committed the hit and run and being there for Gray Olsen who she just knows she's destined to enter into an epic romance...as soon as he wakes up form his coma.
Favorite Character: I liked Mrs. Olsen the most, I think. She had a strength that complimented her softness and gentile nature. She was caring and attentive, even to those around her during the hardest moments of her life. And she was one of the few people who really understood Peyton's need for closure and seeing the situation through to the end.
I also liked Peyton's mom. While I didn't agree with everything she said or did, I do understand her and I respected that she was trying to balance an impossible and tragic situation, so, while she wasn't my absolute favorite, I did really like her.
And, of course, I liked Peyton, too. She was young, naïve and often jumped to conclusions, but I could see some of me in her, too. I liked her quirk that she loved quotes. her romanticism and her heart that kept her going back to make sure that, if nothing else, Gray was going to be okay. And yes, I could also relate to her perfectionism.
Least Favorite Character: This may be an unpopular opinion, but my least favorite was Peyton's grandmother. I feel like she over stepped her bounds on more then one occasion and was way too comfortable shelling out guilt trips and jabs to manipulate the kids to get her way. I get that she had opinions that may have not been the same as Petyon's mom's there were times that it seemed like she was trying to use the girls as a pawn against Peyton's mom and that is never something I'm particularly okay with.
Favorite Thing: My favorite thing about this story was that it wasn't a "girl meets boy" love story. The love story was more about Peyton loving herself and accepting herself and all of her imperfections rather then falling in love with the perfect guy. It was more of a "self love" story. I also liked that, through the entire story, Peyton is adjusting her "Boyfriend List" as she realizes what's really important to her and what may not be so important to her after all, which is not always an easy task to do, adjusting what you think you want and admitting that what you thought was so important may not really be that important after all.
Favorite Quote: "I so wanted him to be my boyfriend-m destiny. But I realize now that destiny sort of implies that you don't have to figure things out for yourself. It suggests the promise of not making a mistake...the same as my boyfriend list. If I've learned anything this summer, it's that the more I insist on things being the way they're supposed to be, the more I'm prevented from seeing (and accepting) things the way they really are." (pg. 240) Honestly, the coolest thing about this quote is that it's kind of my attitude going forward into 2022. It's a lesson that sounds so simple, yet, even the best of us need to learn this lesson multiple times throughout our life.
"And maybe, just maybe, by letting go of who you think you should be, you become more of who you are meant to be." (pg. 249) Another one of those lines that just hit awfully close to me.
When I picked this book up, I expected a fun, juvenile rom-com...and I have to admit, I do love the rom-com genre. What I found was something even better. I found a great coming of age story about a girl learning to love the most important person in her life deserving of her love...herself. Through seeking love from those around her, she comes to love herself in an heartfelt, relatable and empowering way. It's not a story full of action, there's no candle light dinners or supper sappy moments between Peyton and her "destiny". And, even as a self proclaimed fan of rom-coms, I'm cool with that. It's a story that I'd be happy to share with my own twelve year old in hopes that she, too, learns the layer upon layer of important life lessons I found among these pages.
I also appreciated that this story deals with some difficult issues, some more common among youth today then others, but still important. For starters, Peyton's parents are divorced, which means that Peyton and her sisters bounce between two homes, both homes different in so many ways. While the girls love both their parents and their grandmother, the "two houses" scenario is less then ideal for them. There are also points of conversation about safety and what is the parents' job verses the child's and even dementia in elderly family members. These are very real topic done in a way that opens the door to conversations and to ask questions which I'm a huge fan of.
What do I rate it?
I give this book a
10 Boyfriend lists
But that's just what I thought. What did you think? Did you love this book or did it crash and burn? Let us know below.