Review: Take Me On by Katie McGarry

Take Me OnTake Me On
by Katie McGarry
Pushing the Limits #4
Publication Date: 27 May 2014
Harlequin TEEN, Hardcover, 544 pages
Source: Library

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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.

Rating: ★★★★½

Wrap me up in a swoon cocoon and ship me off to the land of intense shipping. That’s exactly what Take Me On has done to me. After Dare You To and Crash Into You, I really shouldn’t be surprised at Katie McGarry’s ability to take my breath away with her beautiful characters and their poignant stories.

This time round, we’re introduced to Haley Williams and West Young (who’s also the older brother of Rachel in Crash Into You). Set in the time period between Rachel’s accident and when she started physical therapy—recall the end of Crash Into You?—West was still dealing with guilt, thinking he had been the one who caused her accident. It was sad seeing him going through the struggle, especially when it was obvious he loved his younger sister a lot, but it was slightly overdone wherein his self-blame started to get a little tiresome.

Despite that, West is one of the sweetest fictional guys I’ve ever come across. I’m 100% serious here. In contrast to his bad boy exterior, West’s caring and kind side really isn’t buried that deep. He was still hilarious and had trouble reigning in his temper but his good heart shined through little actions. One of my favorites was this:

When a scuffle in the corner draws her attention, I toss my remaining French fries onto her plate. I hold my breath when she turns back and breathe again when she doesn’t appear to notice. If I got caught doing that shit, she’d kick my ass.

By the way, Haley was completely capable of kicking his ass. She’s a tough kick-boxer who used to hold a national title. If that’s not awesome, your awesome-meter needs a check-up. However, long story short, she faced a series of debilitating hardships in life, stopped kickboxing and was living in a literal hellhole. Although she was also extremely prideful and hates accepting help, these flaws helped make her all the more well rounded as a character. I did like that she learned to open up to West though.

ship it violently

Moreover, I would usually disapprove two insanely feisty people being together but when it came to West and Haley, things actually worked. They might clash every once in a while (fine, that’s an understatement) but concerning the stuff that truly mattered, they complemented each other perfectly, flaws included. Though that’s to be expected since Katie McGarry is a master of breathtaking romance.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the plot of Take Me On was as good as that of the previous two novels. Some of the events that took place seemed awfully convenient and the family aspect could’ve been better written, more touching, and more personal. Nonetheless, Take Me On was still an amazing read overall even if it might not be on par with its predecessors.

Hence, I’m just the same going to vigorously shove this book in everyone’s faces, forcing their eyes and brains to read and get this story ingrained. By now, many of you should know I’m a violent book recommender. Sorry, not sorry. I digress but back to the focus here—Take Me On. Anyhoo, my point is any book by Katie McGarry is one that should not be missed (unless you’ve got some vendetta against spectacular characters, feels, and good books).



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