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Teen/YA Review: Crash and Bang (Visions trilogy)

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Book By Book

Pulling books off my shelves for my large “pile of possibilities” for the R.I.P. Challenge and Series September last month, I noticed a forgotten YA novel: Bang by Lisa McMann, book two in her Visions trilogy. Lisa McMann is an old favorite author of mine (I loved her YA series Wake, standalone Cryer’s Cross, and middle-grade series The Unwanteds, links to my reviews), so I requested book one of this newer trilogy, Crash, from my library and read both of them in September. They lived up to my high expectations, and I read these gripping paranormal thrillers in record time!

Jules is sixteen and lives in Chicago but doesn’t have a typical teen life. She spends her free time helping out in her family’s Italian restaurant, and her best friends (only friends?) are her older brother and younger sister. They’re the only ones who really understand what it’s like to live with their father’s severe depression and hoarding. But Jules is managing OK until she starts to see frightening visions whenever she looks at screens. In her repeated vision, she sees a snowplow jump the curb and hit a restaurant full of people, followed by a huge explosion. Her vision ends with nine body bags in the snow, and she can see a face in the last one, of her old friend and current crush, Sawyer. As her visions increase in intensity and frequency, showing up in mirrors, windows, signs, and more, she searches them for clues and figures out that it’s Sawyer’s family’s Italian restaurant that she’s seeing exploding violently. The problem? She and her siblings have been forbidden from even speaking to Sawyer and his family because of some age-old feud among the adults in the families. How can she pinpoint the exact time of the impending disaster and warm Sawyer and his family in time? Or will the increasingly violent visions make her go crazy first? What if her dad’s mental illness runs in the family?

No spoilers of Crash‘s ending, but in book two, Bang, Jules’ visions have ended, but someone close to her begins to see different–but similarly horrifying– visions of another impending disaster. Together, they are trying to figure out what is being seen so they can stop it from happening.

As always, McMann has created a bizarre but believable paranormal premise in the midst of a very realistic situation. The tension here ramps up higher and higher as Jules’ visions worsen, while she tries to navigate high school, working in her parents’ restaurant, and dealing with her dad’s issues. She’s a fully-developed character, with wonderfully close relationships with her siblings as the three of them band together to keep their family’s secrets. There is even a sense of humor in these novels; did I mention that Jules has to drive a food truck with giant meatballs on top to school? That humor is on display in the audio sample below, as Jules lists “5 Reasons Why I’m Shunned.” I love the way this novel is a thriller, with great suspense, while it also has so much emotional complexity, dealing with issues like mental illness. Lisa McMann has done it again, with an original premise and engrossing page-turner, and I can’t wait to read book three in the trilogy, Gasp.

Crash, 256 pages, Simon & Schuster

Bang, 272 pages, Simon & Schuster

These books fit in the following 2023 Reading Challenges:

Mount TBR Challenge (Bang)

Diversity Reading Challenge (both)

Literary Escapes Challenge – Illinois (both)

R.I.P. Challenge (both)

Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. My review is my own opinion and is not influenced by my relationship with the publisher or author.


Note: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases from these links provide a small commission to me (pennies per purchase), to help offset the time I spend writing for this blog, at no extra cost to you.

Visit my YouTube Channel for more bookish fun!

Listen to a sample of the audiobook here and/or download it from Audible. This sample highlights the humor in the novel as well as some background about Jules and her siblings.

Or get this audiobook from and support local bookstores (there’s also an audio sample here, a different one, about the visions).

You can buy the book through, where your purchase will support the indie bookstore of your choice (or all indie bookstores)–the convenience of shopping online while still buying local!




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