Smash Into You by Shelly Crane

18338512Jude has spent the whole twenty one years of his life running. From what, he wasn’t quite sure. His mother tried to keep him safe; a low profile, a constant move on the horizon, a week’s pay always stashed away. She tried to instill in him that he was special somehow, though would never elaborate. He never felt different. He was so completely normal and vanilla that he wondered if it had all been in her head. But then she was murdered and all he saw was a running silhouette of a man as his mother said three final words to him. Three words that changed his whole being.

Never stop running…

Now he’s semi-settled into a big town. The college is huge and easy to blend into. It’s been three months since he had to move because ‘Biloxi’, as he calls the man who killed his mother, found him once more.

Then Marley, an eighteen year old girl who is as infuriating as she is blissfully ignorant of her gorgeousness, smashes into his car with hers. Then smashes into his life as he realizes that whatever it is he has that Biloxi wants, she has it, too. And now, they’re after them both.

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My Review:
2.5 stars — *sigh*  When I first started reading this and wasn’t getting into it, I wondered if I just wasn’t in the mood for this type of book (a mystery/suspense/thriller), but unfortunately I think that was only a tiny bit of the reason.  In the end the plot and characters just never ended up grabbing hold of me and taking me on a ride.  The ride was there, but it felt like it was malfunctioning, so I just never hopped on board.

Jude was kind of a jerk, and I just never really ended up falling for him…I didn’t see a whole lot of depth to his character, or maybe it just didn’t feel authentic to me.  I honestly don’t know what other people saw in him, b/c I just never got the same sexy vibe about him.  And after reading some other reviews, I’m so glad I’m not the only one who was totally flabbergasted by the repeated use of “Daggumit”.  Uh, what?  I have never heard anyone use this word before, and I just could not picture some supposed alpha loner male using it unless he was making fun of somebody.

Marley was, in some ways, worse than Jude.  I never really got a full grasp on her personality. She just felt very flat to me…like she was being given qualities, but I didn’t believe them.  Sometimes she was sweet, sometimes sassy, sometimes scared, but they just didn’t feel like a full picture of her.  It was like she didn’t have a personality or something.  I’m not sure.  And some of the stuff we learn about her in the past just felt totally gratuitous and didn’t add anything to her character or storyline.  It was like we were meant to see how horrible her foster home life was like, but they were just little side stories that didn’t shape her at all…one incident in particular, should have had a bigger impact, but it was just occasionally mentioned like a forgotten about fact.

And their chemistry?  At first I didn’t feel it AT ALL.  Like not at all.  It felt forced, and I didn’t understand what they saw in one another, just what I was told they saw in each other I guess.  If I just accepted that they liked each other, then later when they started flirting, I actually enjoyed it.  But I had to let go of my skepticism first.

And then there’s the plot.  *sigh*  I just could not suspend my disbelief in this one.  I kept internally asking questions — like how does Biloxi find them?  Why aren’t they more careful about hiding the car sometimes?  How does Biloxi escape all law enforcement even though he doesn’t appear to leave the crime scene immediately?  Why didn’t anyone ever go to the cops????  Seriously.  And then once we found out what they were running from, I had questions about that whole set up too.  And when they were in tense situations, why in the world would they stop to kiss???  Mind just would NOT shut up for me.  And then the whole suspense plotline was just miraculously resolved, and I did not feel like I got enough answers there…it just seemed so sudden and neatly tied up.

So yeah.  Part of me wants to round this up to 3 because I actually love a lot of Ms. Crane’s work.  But I’m trying to be honest with myself…and this book just didn’t work for me in too many ways to ignore.  And I didn’t even get started on the need for some better editing…usually I can ignore that, but when it takes me a minute to figure out what a sentence is supposed to say, it takes me out of the reading zone.


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