Adrenaline Crush

192p. ebook available. Farrar. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780374300616.
Gr 9 Up—Dyna is a young daredevil and outdoor challenge junkie who loves nothing more than reveling in the mountains and forests of her mid-Hudson Valley home. The teen comes by her thrill-seeking naturally from tattooed and free-spirited parents and an older brother whose addiction is skydiving. A fast and flirty bike ride with a guy from school turns dangerous: Her impromptu cliff climb leads to a desperate fall into a shallow part of the swimming hole—and a splintering open break on her ankle. Doctors warn that it may not ever be right again. Jay, then just an afternoon's diversion, was there to get her help, maybe even save her life, and the two become romantically involved as Dyna attempts to recover. He is a little tame for wild-girl Dyna, but the chastened and more subdued daredevil likes him just fine. Her mom forces Dyna to sessions at a wellness center for physical and mental therapy, and that brings Pierce into the picture. A young injured veteran, who lost his leg in the course of saving another soldier overseas, Pierce assists Dyna's therapy group and challenges her assumptions about where her life will go next. Among the other wounded souls trying to put their lives back together, Dyna gains a new kind of strength. Thoughtful teens will enjoy this satisfying read with well-crafted characters and a nice sense of place.—Suzanne Gordon, Lanier High School, Sugar Hill, GA
When a chancy climb lands high-energy Dyna in the hospital with a serious ankle injury, she starts rethinking her daredevil ways. Despite support from her family, her boyfriend, and an unconventional group therapy program, a full recovery will come only after much soul-searching. Dyna is a refreshingly active character whose passion for nature and adventure sets her apart from the average teen protagonist.
Whether she's mountain biking, rock climbing, or hitting on boys, high-energy Dyna lives by her family's motto: "Risk nothing. Do nothing. Die anyway." When a chancy climb lands her in the hospital with a serious ankle injury, she starts to rethink her daredevil ways. Though doctors say Dyna should regain use of her ankle through physical therapy, the possibility that she may not be able to continue her extreme pursuits leaves her consumed with fear and regret. Although she has ample support from her family, her overly attentive boyfriend, and a group of trauma survivors who all attend an unconventional therapy program, a full recovery will come only after a great deal of soul-searching -- a challenging prospect for a girl who would rather work up a sweat than sit with her feelings. Dyna's physical recuperation comes a bit too easily considering this central premise -- she seems to transition from couch-bound to mountain hiking with only a few sessions on an Exercycle in between -- but her emotional journey is convincing. Dyna has a lot to learn about risk, reward, and responsibility, but she is a refreshingly active character whose passion for nature, adventure, and life's pleasures sets her apart from the average teen protagonist. jessica tackett macdonald

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