RYAR Review: ADRENALINE CRUSH by Laurie Boyle Crompton

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ADRENALINE CRUSH by Laurie Boyle Crompton
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) on September 23, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Provided by: Publisher
Rating: 5 stars


This book was provided in exchange for an honest review.


When a daredevil teen pushes herself too far, she must choose between two boys: the one who wants to keep her safe, and the one who dares her to return to her old self.

Seventeen-year-old Dyna comes from a family of risk takers and is an avid thrill-seeker herself, until the day she splinters her ankle in a terrible fall. Her whole life goes from mountain biking and rock climbing to sitting at home and attending group sessions at the bizarre alternative healing center that her hippie mother found. The boy who witnessed Dyna’s accident believes her injury is a wakeup call and he encourages her mild new lifestyle, but a young Afghanistan War veteran she meets at the healing center pushes her to start taking chances again. Forced to face the consequences of her daredevil impulses, Dyna finds herself in danger of risking the one thing she’s always treated with caution—her heart.


ADRENALINE CRUSH is a heartwarming and engaging story with an incredibly positive message at its core. When the story’s protagonist, Dyna, has an accident that results in a potentially life-changing injury, she has to fight for her recovery and decide whether to let fear dictate her life.

Through her interactions with the others in her therapy group who have suffered even graver injuries – especially Pierce, an injured war hero who challenges her to be the girl she used to be – she’ll learn that it’s fear more than the injury itself that can alter her life and change who she is. And she’ll discover that she alone has the power to decide what effect her accident will have on the rest of her life.

At under two hundred pages, ADRENALINE CRUSH is a quick but satisfying read. The characters are well-developed and allow readers to become invested in the outcome, the story’s message comes across clearly, and everything wraps up nicely in the end. And there is a love triangle, but one that is necessary to the story as it’s about choosing safety versus risk more than it is about the two boys.

The author’s passion for the setting – the forests and mountains in New Paltz, New York – and her love of the outdoors really comes through in her story. Her character, Dyna, is not only a risk-taker who loves a challenge, but someone who feels most alive outside under the trees and stars.

ADRENALINE CRUSH is a story that can easily be read in one sitting. It’s a story whose main character is likable and interesting, whose family is unconventional, and who really grows and learns about herself. And it’s a feel-good story that might just motivate readers to push past their fears and take a risk.

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