Friday, July 10, 2015

Review: Take Me On by Katie McGarry

Book Blurb:

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.

Haley 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.

My Review:

4 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Teen--

West is a mess after his sister’s accident, which he blames himself for. One night while secretly following his mother to a bad neighborhood, he runs into Haley. Literally. His actions that night caused ripples in both their lives, forcing them into roles they never expected to be in. Haley doesn’t want to be a fighter any more, but has no choice. She can either accept the challenge thrown in her path aka West, or she accepts defeat.

I am a huge Katie McGarry fan. Each book in this standalone-yet-interconnected series has been an engaging read for me, with developed characters that the reader can’t help but root for. The scenarios in each book are realistic and utterly heartbreaking at times, showing the hardship that some teens have to face. I knew when I picked up this book to read that I was going to enjoy it because that is a given based on my experience with Ms. McGarry’s work.

West has to come to terms with some hard truths in this book, not only about his family but about himself too. He has been given every tangible thing possible and amazing opportunities with his life, yet his family is a mess and he struggles with his choices. West uses fighting and drugs as an outlet for the repression and passive aggressive relationship he feels from his family. He goes from having everything at his fingertips but being aimless, to having the clothes on his back but learning what is real. When West meets Haley he is instantly attracted to her and wants to know more. But he had no idea that becoming involved with her would cause him to want to become a better person. Haley on the other hand has spent the last year trying to make up for her bad choices and will do anything to protect her family, mainly her brother and cousin who are her best friends, even if it means making them hate her. She wants nothing to do with West, but because his pride and stubbornness, she has to train him to fight, the one thing she never wants to go again. Haley struggles with a difficult family situation where she has to sacrifice so much, as well as the intense struggle with PTSD that she tries to hide. The two of them develop a relationship slowly and it was so cute to watch how they learned who the other really was. I liked that there was the initial attraction, but they did not fall into insta-love, but the feelings slowly became real and intense, just like in life.

The ending to the book was the best, I sincerely could not have asked for anything more. I liked the way the fight went down and Haley coming to terms with her family to help West reach his potential. I hope to see more of them in later books in the series. I enjoyed the snippets of Rachel and Isaiah again and seeing how sweet they still are together, regardless of West’s dislike. And I love Abby and her craziness, so I am really excited for the next book in the series. I am a big fan of the series as well as the author.

I received this title from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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