I received this book for free from Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Take Me On by Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits #4
Published by Harlequin Teen on 05/27/2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Acclaimed author Katie McGarry returns with the knockout new story of two high school seniors who are about to learn what winning really means
Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.
West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her—fighting for her—is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault his family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.
Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for
I love Katie McGarry’s books. Her previous three books, Pushing the Limits, Dare You To, and Crash Into You, are some of my favorite books, and she’s one of the rare auto-buy authors that I have. So my expectations were pretty darn high for Take Me On, McGarry’s fourth book. And, for the most part they were met . . . but I can’t say I loved Take Me On as much as her others. I would probably give Take Me On a 3.75 rating, but since it’s McGarry, and the reasons I wasn’t madly in love are mostly personal preferences, I bumped it up to four stars.
West is one of Rachel’s brothers from Crash Into You, and I really didn’t like him all that much in Crash Into You. He was a jerk in some ways, and he wasn’t always looking out for Rachel, and he’s sort of paying the price for it in Take Me On. West is not dealing well with the events at the end of Crash Into You, and he’s sort of lost. But when he meets Haley, someone whose circumstances are much different from his own, things change. Haley is very poor, and, along with her parents and siblings, lives with her uncle who’s pretty much an asshat. He’s like the king of verbal abuse. Haley’s dealing with some stuff too, and West and Haley really connect and find comfort in each other.
As with McGarry’s other stories, I was sucked in pretty early on, and I was very much invested in Haley and West’s lives. I wanted them to be together, I wanted them to be happy, and I also wanted to smack all the grownups who were causing so many problems. However, I never was as connected with West or Haley or their relationship as I had with the other characters in McGarry’s other books. I don’t think this is a writing issue. McGarry is a fantastic writer, and everything is written well in Take Me On. I just couldn’t connect to them as much as I have with other characters, probably because of personal preferences.
There is so much talk about fighting (as a sport), which isn’t something that I am really interested in. I didn’t really care about a kick series, or a one-two series, or whatever they were called, and I felt like, for me personally, there was too much of that in Take Me On. It really isn’t ovewhelming, but when I have such a small tolerance for that stuff to begin with, well, it doesn’t take much for my eyes to glaze over. Again, there really isn’t fault with the amount of detail that McGarry put in Take Me On, this is just my personal preference. I love that McGarry does her research, and knows what she’s talking about. However, because I struggled a bit with all the fighting terminology, it made it a little difficult to connect to West and Haley, because fighting was such a big part of their lives.
Still, I really think that McGarry totally kicks behind with Take Me On. It delivers exactly what fans would expect – a great romance, troubled teens from different incomes falling for each other, and lots of feels. I absolutely love Katie McGarry, and although Take Me On isn’t my favorite, I still stayed up way too late reading, something that is tradition when I’m reading a McGarry book.