Author: Laurie Boyle Crompton
Published: September 23rd 2014 by (Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR))
Genres/Themes: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Adventure, Self-Discovery
Rating: Two and a Half Stars
Purchase: Barnes and Noble / Amazon / Book Depository
You know when you have this story idea and you’re so excited to one day actually write it all out and make a story out of it? And then all your hopes are crushed because “Oh my gosh, that person stole my idea and published it!”? (Kidding). I had that fear when I first began reading Adrenaline Crush…
I really love how Adrenaline Crush opened up with an excerpt from The Steadfast Tin Soldier by Hans Christian Andersen. As Adrenaline Crush goes on, we see Dyna go from a girl who thought if she wasn’t able to climb mountains, she wasn’t much at all to a girl who realized there’s more to life than that.
I picked up Adrenaline Crush to get an idea of how to create my own adrenaline rush junkie. Going into Adrenaline Crush, it’s obvious there’s going to be an injury and a love triangle by the summary. It’s also obvious on what boy Dyna will pick. In regards to the love aspect, I’ll say that i’m glad there’s more to Adrenaline Crush than just that because it definitely wasn’t what I was looking for.
Adrenaline Crush, not to be cheesy, definitely began with a burst of adrenaline as the MC Dyna is racing her mountain bike through a forest. Dyna meets Jay, a guy she initially brushes off as being boring, but sees she could have some fun with him. When Dyna decides to climb a cliff, she takes a turn for the worst and ends up in a hospital.
Dyna was a little hard to swallow, I didn’t care for how she kept initially referring to Jay as her “play thing” and from her talking, she gets a lot play things. I wish this aspect would have been more explored because after the accident, Dyna’s in this relationship with Jay, we never hear about her fooling around with anyone again. This could be because she’s found out Jay’s the right guy.
After the injury, Dyna winds up in a relationship with Jay. I never really bought their relationship at all. It seemed really rushed, unrealistic and sort of like they were only put together because he saved her life. Speaking of how he saved her life, we’re never really shown the event. Dyna gets into the accident and then she’s suddenly just…saved. There’s no mention of them getting together, we only see the aftermath of the big event. I didn’t care for this at all and I couldn’t quite believe it.
Dyna’s mom suggests she go to a physical and emotional therapy group where she will heal outwardly and inwardly. Dyna’s immediately against this idea and tries to get out of it. This ends up failing, so off she goes to the Ulysses Butterfly Inner/Outer Healing Center. I loved the story behind the Ulysses butterfly we read from Miss and how the center got its name.
I loved Dyna’s healing process. It was great seeing her being extremely quiet about her accident when she first goes to the therapy group, then branching out. Dyna definitely goes through a struggle being newly injured and unable to take on her more adventurous side. She becomes afraid to climb mountains and get ouside her comfort level. I loved this change because in the beginning she was just this adrenaline junkie who only cared about going fast, getting a rush, and feeling the adrenaline when she did something dangerous. When that’s done with though, I really got to see who she was on the inside aside from that. This was great because Dyna seemed selfish at times, self-centered and reckless.
I like that Dyna grew closer to the other people in her group, even though she had reservations about them. The therapy group was very interesting. I loved how there was a physical side, the side Dyna loved and the emotional side, the side she initially hated. One interesting aspect of the emotional side was that in order to get a certificate, you had to go and do the thing (or something similar) that got you into the accident in the first place. The thought behind this is that they’re grow stronger through it and not be afraid. It plays into the “struggle factor”, the struggle the Ulysses butterfly needed to go through to break free from the cocoon.
An example of this “challenge” is a girl named Polly who was injured by a bear while camping. She’s required to go camping again, the good thing about this though is that she doesn’t have to go alone. For each challenge, while they’re solo challenges, the entire therapy group goes along with them. This is to help the “challengee” and give them support. I thought it was a bit extreme considering what some of the group members have been through, but it was really interesting to read about it. Though there wasn’t as much of it as I would have liked. I wish these characters were more developed as well.
~Opposites Don’t Always Attract~
The romance in Adrenaline Crush definitely wasn’t the most interesting, exciting or developed. This is mostly because I’m never shown how exactly Dyna and Jay became a couple. I wish Crompton had expanded Adrenaline Crush to include the time Dyna and Jay spent together post-accident, pre-release. I never got a sense of who Jay was or even Pierce for that matter. They felt two one dimensional, Jay was good and Pierce had a past with the army. I con’t remember ever hearing how old Pierce is which would have been really nice because he’s apparently a war veteran. It becomes evident that Dyna is only with Jay because he makes her feel “safe” and doesn’t push her to go out on cliffs. Unlike Pierce. This is where I had a problem with Pierce. While Dyna did need to stop being so afraid, she needed to do that in her own time and not have Pierce push her so much.
I do like how Pierce helped Dyna though. Even if it was a bit much at times. I loved seeing their relationship develop, even though it’s weird because I didn’t see Jay and Dyna’s relationship do so. That was very off putting. I’m not even sure if this qualifies as a love triangle because Dyna’s obviously in a relationship but then she “bonds” with Pierce a bit closely like cheating. I would have rather Dyna broke up with Jay because it really didn’t even sound like she cared for him in the same way.
The parents are present in Adrenaline Crush throughout the entire thing. I loved this. I loved how close her family was and how much they really cared. Dyna’s whole family is full of adrenaline junkies, from her Harley Davidson, tattoo covered parents to her cliff diving brother. I loved how her parents were a bit hard on Jay and over-protective. At times though, this did get annoying. I would have liked for her family to be developed more than it was.
I’m happy to say Adrenaline Crush didn’t “steal my idea” 😉 Merely my “idea” for an adrenaline junkie. Now I know somewhat how to not make her.
I had a hard time finishing this, but I’m not sure why. It’s very short with only 192 pages. I guess I just couldn’t get into it as much as I would have liked. I liked how Dyna grew throughout the story, I liked her parents and I loved the therapy group.
~Do I Recommend It?~
Fans of self discovery