Author Jennifer L. Armentrout tweeted it quite frankly the other day.
And super YAY for @KatieMcGarry Take Me On. It’s out today, and I LOVED it. No one does YA contemporary romance like her.
— JLArmentrout (@JLArmentrout) May 27, 2014
It’s true. No one does contemporary YA romance like Katie McGarry. I don’t know what it’s about the Pushing the Limits series that has me so hooked. Breaking it apart and analyzing these books, they don’t really fit into the kind of books I enjoy or even praise. Yet, there’s something fascinating about McGarry’s star-crossed characters and romance. It’s purely formulaic, but the ride is just so much fun. And unlike other formulaic stories, these books never have me rolling my eyes over clichés, and the melodrama never feels exasperating or unbelievable. In fact, I find Haley’s story in Take Me On to be one of the most relatable of the Pushing the Limits novels yet.
Take Me On follows West and Haley, two people trying to find their place in the world. You’ll recognize West from Crash Into Me. He’s Rachel’s brother, and Take Me On takes place in the same timeline as Crash Into Me. With the reckless Young brother as the lead, you know we’re in for some bad boy trouble. West is feeling immense guilt over his sister’s accident. It causes him to lash out at his dad, who then decides to kick him out of the house.
Haley, on the other hand, is trying to deal with the bad cards life as dealt lately. Her father lost his job, which led to his nervous breakdown. With just her mother’s low income, Haley’s family became homeless, and after a few days in a public shelter, they moved into her uncle’s home. Her uncle happens to be a judgmental tyrant with no respect for women. If things weren’t bad enough, Haley relationship with a previous boyfriend has her on the outs with not just her brother and cousin, but with a sport she loves most: fighting.
West and Haley are both fighters in their own right. But the thing they’ve seemed to have lost lately is their wills to fight for themselves. West has no problem putting up a fight for Haley. In fact, that’s sort of how they meet, but he does have an issue with confronting his personal demons. Same goes for Haley. Her past relationship broke her in a way, and with her current dire situation, it’s hard for her to not give in and keep fighting. The transformations these two go through are a rewarding experience. I enjoyed seeing their relationship evolve into something romantic, but I doubly loved how they each came into their own.
Take Me On has a couple of McGarry’s strongest characters to date. Not to say that her past characters are underdeveloped, but West and Haley had a little more depth and meaning. I left this novel truly caring about them. I hope we get to revisit West and Haley in some capacity in future PTL novels.
Take Me On by Katie McGarry is now available wherever books are sold.
Publisher: Harlequin Teen (May 27, 2014)
Length: 544 pages (Hardcover)
Series: Pushing the Limits – Book 4
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Romance, Drama
Completed: June 2014