Author: Laurie Boyle Crompton
Publication: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (September 23, 2014)
Description: Seventeen-year-old Dyna comes from a long line of risk-takers and is an avid thrill-seeker in her own right, until she takes a terrible fall and shatters her leg. Her life used to be about bike racing and rock climbing; now it’s about staying home, except for attending physical and group therapy sessions at the bizarre alternative healing center her mom has chosen. Dyna's boyfriend saw her accident and supports her newfound desire for safety, but a young Iraq war veteran she meets at rehab challenges her to think about what she’s really avoiding in her old life and to take chances again—even with her heart.
My Thoughts: The book description tells the main points of this story but what it misses is the way the author sweeps the reader into Dyna's emotions. I am notably "risk-averse" but still found myself feeling the rush that Dyna feels when she almost wipes out on her mountain bike and when she does her barefoot climb above the swimming hole.
I was also with her when she wakes up in the hospital and fears that she will lose her foot and fears that she will never again be able to do the daring and dangerous things she loves. Dyna's family is not average. Her dad is a well-known tattoo artist whose body is a canvas for his own work. Her mother is also heavily tattooed and a fabric artist. Her older brother Harley is currently a pot-smoking skydiver. Despite their unique appearances her family is close and loving. And they take risks.
There is a love triangle in this book. She and the boy who saves her life when she falls begin dating. He says that, since he saved her life, he is now responsible for her. He's a writer on track to attend Columbia. She also meets Pierce who is a young Iraq war veteran who lost a leg while trying to save another soldier. He is pushing her to get back to her daredevil, risk-taking self while Jay is urging her to take the safe course. You know how this has to go. Jay didn't fall in love with the real Dyna and, once she recovers, their relationship has to fall apart.
I really liked Dyna's relationship with her parents and I liked all the quirky characters who are in her support group at the Ulysses Inner Outer Healing Center. This was a great story about willingness to take risks whether the risks are physical or emotional.
I chose this.I got this ARC from Macmillan. You can buy your copy here.
The thought hits me so hard I rub my forehead.
Everything—the fall, nearly dying, the possibility of being permanently crippled. These must be the experiences I've been searching for. The logical extreme conclusion to all my risk taking. I simply reached the end of the road I've been traveling down full-speed for years. Did I really chase after this with everything I have?
Maybe I am one of those psycho chicks with a death wish after all.