Author: Lisa McMann
Release Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: SimonPulse (S&S imprint)
Jules lives with her family above their restaurant, which means she smells like pizza most of the time and drives their food truck shaped like a double meatball to school. It's not a recipe for popularity, but she can handle it. What she can't handle is the recurring vision that haunts her. Over and over, Jules sees a speeding truck hit a building and explode... and nine body bags in the snow. The vision is everywhere, on billboards and television screens and 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 one of the faces in the body bag, and it's someone she knows.
Crash is fast-paces, tense, and complicated. It's an intriguing mystery thriller reminiscent of the Final Destination film series mixed with some intense family rivalries, a combination of contemporary real world high school life and the paranormal. It's all up to Jules to figure out what the visions are showing her, if they're real. If not, it's a sign that she's slowly losing her mind.
What she sees is impossible, but that doesn't stop her from trying to solve the mystery of where the explosion is and how to stop it. There are times when no one believes her and she has to struggle to not look insane. Nothing is easy for Jules, but that doesn't stop her from trying to figure it all out.
Jules' home life isn't the easiest as well, meaning her visions arrive at possibly the worst time. On the other side of the visions is an exploration of sanity, of what people hide from the outside world in the confines of their home. Of obsessive tendencies and the different ways in which people cope with trauma or stress. Something is lurking around, something that started before the book did, and what Jules learns will impact what comes next.
Taking what the visions show her, Jules believes she can tempt fate and change the outcome. It's a curious notion: what teenager wouldn't want to change the future if it meant saving people from dying? If it meant saving someone you cared about?
The fact that the story moves so quickly comes from the immediateness and directness of the prose, which is similar to the author's previous Wake series. It's a serious and complicated story but the reader is only given what's needed at certain moments. It gives the story a sense of urgency, because how can it not be urgent when lives are on the line and there's only one person who knows when and where they're destined to die?
(I received an advance copy to review from Simon & Schuster Canada.)