Rated Reads

Crash (Visions, Book One)

by Lisa McMann

Rated: High

Jules starts seeing a horrific crash scene playing out wherever she looks: she sees still shots of it on billboards and even darkened windows and movie versions of it when she turns on the TV. It’s disturbing enough to see it, especially the nine body bags that lie on the snow-covered ground, but then when she starts to realize it involves someone she knows and cares about, the whole thing gets that much more upsetting. As time wears on, she alternates between feeling crazy and wondering if it’s a real event she might be able to prevent.

She can’t really confide in anyone, especially her parents, since her dad’s got his own depression and hoarding issues, and she doesn’t want to end up in a mental ward. She also doesn’t really have many friends; her “social life” consists of working in her family’s Italian restaurant. There is one boy she’s known since she was little — and whom she’s loved pretty much that whole time — but he’s the one she really can’t talk to because his family owns the rival Italian restaurant in town. And any contact between the families angers both sets of parents.

So Jules really is in a tough position. But as the visions get more intense and detailed and really are everywhere she turns, she tries to see what she can do to pin down a date and time and stop the crash from happening.

The story is fairly interesting and pulls in a variety of interesting plot elements that are kind of serious: a parent with mental issues, a homosexual brother, a crazy family rivalry that has gone far beyond friendly competition, isolation, etc. I cared about Jules and wanted her to get the vision figured out and save the day. But even when things come to a head at the end, there are still plenty of issues to deal with (hence this being just the first book in a series, which, honestly, seems unnecessary — I think this would be better just as a stand-alone book; the premise could very well become tiresome with more books).

Rated: High. For such a short book, there just seemed to be a really excessive amount of bad language. There are a dozen uses of the f-word and plenty more uses of moderate language. Weirdly, the narrator says “oh my dogs” throughout rather than using the name of deity. Uh, ok. But it’s not like she’s trying to use “cleaner” language, so it doesn’t make much sense to me. There are some mature themes and just a brief kissing scene. I think I was a little disappointed in all the vulgarity because I’d only read McMann’s Unwanteds book, a middle-reader one that doesn’t have any language in it, so I wasn’t expecting so much language in a book aimed at older readers.

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for more than 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

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  • Crash (Visions, Book One)
  • by Lisa McMann
  • Rated: High
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: