ARC Review: Magnetic Shift

Magnetic Shift
Magnetic Shift by Lucy D. Briand
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The ability to magnetize and manipulate metal with the flick of her wrist makes seventeen-year-old Lexi Adams a crack mechanic, but it’s a disaster in the making when her stepdad trades her skills to NASCAR team owner Dean Grant for an entire season’s worth of sponsorship ads. Now Lexi has no other choice but to suck it up and hope she can keep her magnetic impulses under control—that is, until she runs into NASCAR’s hot new rookie, Colton Tayler.

When Carl Stacy, the ruthless team owner of the defending Cup Champion, discovers Lexi’s secret and plots to use it to ruin Dean’s race team for good, Lexi must either expose her ability to save Colton, risking Dean’s career and her own freedom in the process, or watch the only guy she’s ever fallen for race to his death.

I really wish I had paid more attention to the blurb and realized the world of angst I would be thrown into when I picked up this book. Lexi is a mini-Magneto, and her powers are tied to her emotions. She is sent (read sold) off to a racing car company as a mechanic – like the worst place possible for a person who can literally feel metal and control it. Her prowess with mechanics and speed is thanks to her ability, and it is of course, a very big secret. When Colton, the lead racer, starts taking an interest in her, suddenly she goes haywire. Cue the endless angst as she tries to keep herself away from him, him chasing her, they having some kissing scenes, and then she again running away. Sigh!

I really wish I could have enjoyed this book more, because the writing was pretty good. Lexi’s story had a potential to be so much more, with her background as an abused kid, the kindness of her employer and his family, her as someone who has to guard her emotions all the time, the slightly urban fantasy setting, the kindness of her employer and his family – but no, we get pages devoted to the back and forth between her and Colton. I get it – it is a contemporary-ish YA, and romance is a big part of the genre, but when the story was set up for so much and delivered not much in those areas, it felt like a disappointment; a slap in the face, if I must explain. There was a confusing second half where she was convinced she had to keep away from him to protect the team, but the issue was that she was on the team, not that she was his girlfriend, so I didn’t get that logic? As I said, unnecessary drama ruined this book for me, which otherwise was shaping up to be such a good plot.

Received a free galley from Spencer Hill Press, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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