Only a day late, but I did manage to read Laura Lascarso’s RACING HEARTS and I wanted to write a review before the book birthday (tomorrow!).
Synopsis: Jesse Copeland is dealing with his father’s tragic death and the mounting bills that his mother just can’t pay. To escape, he buries himself in work at a local mechanic shop where he spends time working on racing cars. (Before his father died, Jesse and his father loved racing and NASCAR.) By a stroke of fate, Jesse meets Brooke, who just so happens to be the daughter of his father’s ex-best friend. Despite the bad blood between their fathers, Jesse’s determined to get to know Brooke and spend as much time with her as possible.
Possible spoilers after the break!
Plot: It’s a mix between the classic ROMEO & JULIET love story (two houses who hate each other), mixed with the rich girl who meets the boy from the wrong side of town. Romance lovers are sure to eat this up! Lascarso adds to this plot by building a conflict between Jesse and Brooke when they both decide to race in a local amateur race (that’s sponsored by her father!). The novel ends with Jesse contemplating what it means to race against Brooke, but deciding (ultimately) he has to because the money from winning is just too tempting — and it’s exactly what his family needs to keep their house.
Characters: The novel’s told in Jesse’s point-of-view. He’s easily likable and the reader has a lot of sympathy for him. He’s angsty (the best boys are!) and dealing with his father’s tragic death. He’s focused on earning money and fixing cars, until he meets Brooke.
Brooke is snarky, which makes me like her. Instead of having the classic Rich Girl character, Lascarso gives Brooke a little bit better of a background: She has dyslexia. I like this added piece of Brooke’s history because it makes her more realistic, and it gives her a flaw that’s not normally seen in characters like her.
Thoughts: I read it in a few hours, which is always a great thing. I like when I can find an “easy read.” What I also liked was when I put it down, I was still thinking about Jesse and his story, so I wanted to pick it back up and finish it. Jesse’s likable as a character, which is always a good thing. I also like that Lascarso added to their backstories and the plot, so it’s not a completely classic plot of R&J. Also, she knows what she’s talking about! There’s a lot of “car talk”, which I had no idea what it meant but Lascarso makes it authentic.
If you’re a fan of the FAST AND THE FURIOUS series, I’d definitely give this book a shot.
Rating… 7/10 stars.