Overdrive – Dawn Ius – Simon Pulse – Published 13 September 2016
Gone in Sixty Seconds meets Heist Society in this edgy novel about a crack team of teenage criminals on a mission to learn to trust, build a life, and steal a wish list of exotic cars.
Jules Parish has screwed up. After three years of boosting cars, she got caught. She’s too goodto get caught, but she let her (ex)-boyfriend talk her into a questionable job. And now she and her little sister, Emma, will be kicked out of their foster home, left to survive on the unforgiving streets of Las Vegas alone.
Eccentric, wealthy Roger Montgomery wants to open up his mansion to Jules and Emma. The only catch? Jules must steal seven of the rarest, most valuable muscle cars in the world…in seven weeks. Even worse, she’s forced to put her trust in three complete strangers to help her do it.
First there’s Chelsea, the gorgeous redhead with a sharp tongue and love for picking locks. Then there’s Mat, who hasn’t met a system he couldn’t hack. And finally there’s the impossibly sexy car thief Nick, whose bad attitude and mysterious past drive Jules crazy.
With nothing in common and everything to lose, can Jules and her amateur crew pull off what could be the biggest car heist in history? Or will things spin out of control faster than a Nevada dust devil?
Any book that claims to be similar to Heist Society is an immediate must read for me, and this book sounded fantastic. While it did not live up to my adoration of Heist Society, Overdrive is an exciting novel of car chases, stakeouts, cool gadgets, family, friendship and romance.
Four teens are brought together in a foster home. But their rich and eccentric foster parent doesn’t plan on providing a roof and food for nothing. He has hand-picked these four teens to help him track down and steal seven of the most famous, elusive muscle cars. The teens have seven weeks to find and boost these cars.
Jules is a likeable protagonist. She is doing her best to survive in the foster system, while also taking care of her little sister. Jules didn’t intend to get caught stealing another car. She knows the risks of being removed from her current foster home and putting both her and her little sister on the streets. She doesn’t trust Roger, her new, slightly creepy and very rich foster parent, nor does she trust the three other teens she and Emma must now live with. Take Nick, for example. Impossibly handsome, rough around the edges and seems to hate Jules from the moment he meets her. Then there is Chelsea, who is both gorgeous and an expert lock pick. And finally tech whizz Matt rounds out the group.
The focus of Overdrive is the heists the group must pull off and there are plenty of high-tension scenes and very fast car chases. The author works hard to keep the reader on the side of Jules, Nick, Matt and Chelsea, who are ultimately breaking the law and stealing cars from innocent, hard-working people. But this is handled well with the teens disliking what they are doing, despite being so good at it, and wanting to break away from the life of crime in which they find themselves.
There is little shown of their downtime. I would have liked to see a little more if their interactions when they weren’t focused on stealing the cars, but the focus and quick chapter changes keeps this book very fast paced and action-packed. In this way it is a little less Heist Society and more action movie.
The romance is a nice touch in this fast-paced book, showing a softer, vulnerable side to the tough Jules. Nick starts off being rude and grumpy and he and Jules at first butt heads and share some vicious words. But they make a great team and I enjoyed their interactions, from the teasing and name calling to the very hot and steamy kisses, looks and touches they share. The romance is not the focus of the book, but it adds a great relief to this otherwise full-on book.
I loved the car references, everything from the car talk and trivia to the little terms and metaphors thrown in for good measure. The whole book is a neatly executed novel that is perfect for readers who love a bit of family backstory, strong characters and romance with their action and thrills.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Themes: Family, foster parents, car theft, muscle cars, vintage cars, romance, friendship, sisters.
Reading age guide: Ages 14 and up.
Advisory: Frequent coarse language, f***, s***, m*****f*****, as*****, bi***. Sexual references, mas********.
Published: 13 September 2016 by Simon Pulse.
Format: Hardcover, ebook. 352 pages.