keeperCrash (Visions #1) by Lisa McMann
Release Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

If what you see is what you get, Jules is in serious trouble. The suspenseful first of four books from the New York Timesbestselling author of the Wake trilogy.

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.

In this riveting start to a gripping series from New York Times bestselling author Lisa McMann, Jules has to act—and act fast—to keep her vision from becoming reality.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we here at YAdult Review love Lisa McMann. I think one of the first things Ashley and I bonded over was our mutual love of her Dream Catcher series. And I must admit that going into this book, I was predisposed to like it. It takes place in a town about 10 minutes from my house and even closer to my work. But that’s not the only reason. To explain, I must go on a tangent. Ashley and I are BFFs (she’s a maid of honor in my wedding in August), but we really only communicate by email. We rarely text (Tina doesn’t text) and NEVER talk on the phone. So, one day at work, she texts me and makes me promise to answer the phone if she calls. I am wary, but I say okay. She calls a short time later and hands the phone to… LISA MCMANN. I made a fool of myself and cried a little bit, and then Lisa informed me I was allowed to tell everyone that she set her book in my neck of Cook County FOR ME. SO THERE, EVERYONE. Crash is MY BOOK. Ahem. Anyway…

Jules lives in Melrose Park, Illinois, and her family runs an Italian restaurant. They are in a very intense rivalry with the Angotti family, though Jules has been in love with Sawyer forever. He stopped being her friend in seventh grade (they’re juniors now), probably due to something his father said, but Jules never forgot him. He shows up early in the book, as do Jules’ visions, which are recent phenomena. Oh, did I mention Jules’ brother, Trey, is gay? It’s hardly worth mentioning in the beginning, that’s how normal it is in this novel. Another interesting thing: Jules’ father is a hoarder and has depression (his father committed suicide when Jules was young). The way McMann handles depression is so awesome, so non-judgmental, and Jules’ evolution of opinion about the whole thing was just really great. My soon-to-be husband’s grandfather was a hoarder, and after he died, it took nearly half a year to clean out his grandparents’ basement and garage. There were stacks upon stacks of the same things, a million typewriters, boxes of papers from the 1970s, things like that. Hoarding is a mental illness, and while there are shows I don’t watch that exploit hoarders, I found this inclusion in Crash very interesting. These are the kinds of things I love about McMann novels: they aren’t cookie-cutter in any way.

Jules spends the whole book freaking out, which is totally within her right, but she is also kind of brave. I’ve had crushes like Sawyer before, boys I hung out with in elementary school who weren’t interested in me come middle school, but… let’s just say those things never turned out well for me. I wasn’t brave like Jules though. I didn’t throw myself into the lion’s den, but then again, I didn’t have visions either. I was a little jealous of her, to be honest. (Middle school feels are the worst, but Crash is the best for evoking such a powerful response in me. Par for the McMann course, really.) I also felt a little sorry for Sawyer and Jules both, because it’s no fun (and also unfair) to be caught in a feud between your parents, to be forced to choose sides over a recipe for sauce. Have people learned nothing from the worst play of all time, Romeo and Juliet? I mean, really. This never ends well for anyone.

I can’t really reveal anything plot-wise without giving anything away, but this book made me laugh and cry and confront feelings I haven’t looked at for lots of years. Only a great author can do that, and Lisa McMann is basically my favorite author ever. So pick this one up. The romance is in the background and being in Jules’ head was a serious treat. Get on it, people!