By: Melanie | May 21, 2014 | (27) Comments

Review: Take Me On by Katie McGarryTake Me On by Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing The Limits, #4
Publisher: Harlequin Australia
Release Date: June 1, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Pages: 464
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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.

I’m running out of praises to throw at Katie McGarry. This is yet again another brilliantly woven story and contained a swoon-worthy romance. Despite the quibbles I have with these novels, she’s still one of my favourite authors.

I’m starting to feel like the characters are overlapping one and another. What I mean by this is that some of the characters feel like they’ve taken parts of someone else that we’ve already read about in previous instalments, and used bits of them in here. Sure, I might be a little too picky but I’m getting bored with the bad boy, good girl – but both have dark secrets premise. Diversity, in the main characters would be nice. Aside from that criticism, Katie McGarry still managed to pull me right into the story and feel. Both West and Haley’s situations were tough and grim and I could relate whole-heartedly. You have West, who has always been prejudiced for being a Young, and is kicked out of his own home by his father. Haley doesn’t even have a home. Her and her family have to live with her short-tempered uncle. I don’t know how McGarry does it but she pulls all the right strings to make us feel ineffably connected.

The romance, I feel, went too quick. Don’t run away yet! I wouldn’t label it as instant-love, but I was expecting a much slower burn between West and Haley. I thought the “I Love You” came too early on in the story however the chemistry was certainly there. And damn, it was so very sweet and authentic. If I had to say just one thing McGarry does best, it’s writing romances that are realistic and contain a lot of depth.

What I love about the Pushing the Limits series is that it’s not just the romance. Take Me On also possesses a sufficient amount of family dynamics. I loved how we still got to have snapshots of Rachel and Isaiah–even Abby was a pretty frequent character here. Haley’s family–I wanted to strangle. While her cousin and brother: Jax and Kaden were pretty cool (and I wouldn’t mind reading about their stories in the future) her uncle needs an award for being the worst human being to walk on this Earth. He’s absolutely infuriating; and the fact that McGarry could get that kind of emotion out of me deserves a gold star (or five).

If you are looking for some swoon worthy romance and a brilliantly constructed background plot, Katie McGarry is your lady. Take Me On is like chocolate. A fantastic ride and after I finished, I wanted more.

~Thank you Harlequin Australia for sending me this copy!~

3.5 Stars
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Melanie

Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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27 Responses to Review: Take Me On by Katie McGarry

  1. Great review Melanie! I love Katie McGarry! =)
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…Bookish Babble: When A Book Gets Too PersonalMy Profile

  2. OMGOMGOMGOMG I AM DYING. I REALLY REALLY NEED TO GET MY HANDS ON THIS! I think Harlequin ran out of review copies so now I’m dying. I’m relying on Netgalley but I don’t think I’ll be approved. But I don’t mind because I’d probably buy it anyway. I can totally see what you mean about the characters personalities overlapping. From the synopsis, it sounds like Katie McGarry was attempting to branch out from the stereotypes. Loved your review Melanie! You have gotten my heart going on a crazy spasm. <3
    Laura Plus Books recently posted…Discussion: The Dominant Co-BloggerMy Profile

  3. It’s definitely true that Katie McGarry has this uncanny ability to evoke such strong emotions with her stories. Almost all of her books just don’t have romance, they have family themes and values to learn from, too. It’s a shame it went too quick, though – but like you said, it doesn’t seem to be that big of an issue unless you’re the kind who exclusively likes the slow burner kind of books.
    Faye D’Social Potato (@kawaiileena) recently posted…Review: The Art of Lainey by Paula StrokesMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      I do like slow ones because they just feel more realistic for me but Katie does so well at making believable ones almost every time! (not CIY though–god I really did not like that book)

  4. Michelle says:

    Lovely review, as always, Melanie!

    I love everything by Katie McGarry- her writing is truly amazeballs. I’ll have to read this one and the rest of this series!
    Michelle recently posted…Infinite, by Jodi MeadowsMy Profile

  5. I thought this book was long but I still liked it. I still wish Abby had her own book because that girl is just begging for her story to be told.
    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted…Waiting On Wednesday! (110)My Profile

  6. Tanja says:

    LOL Mel, your first sentence explains my feelings to the point! I really don’t know how to praise that woman anymore. I love how every her book makes me feel! She is one of the rare contemporary authors that does that. Great review! 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (#96)My Profile

  7. Wahoo, so glad you enjoyed this, I am looking forward to reading it soon 🙂 Great review Mel 🙂
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…The Bad Boy Billionaire: What a Girl Wants by Maya RodaleMy Profile

  8. Megan says:

    I REALLY need to start this series! I have the first book and everything!
    Megan recently posted…WoW: Sister’s FateMy Profile

  9. I’ve been feeling as if this series has been steadily declining in quality, likely because so many of the characters feel eerily familiar. I’m not sure if I’ll be picking this up seeing as I’ve begun to lose my taste for McGarry’s novels, but I’m glad to see you still found a lot to love in this latest installment. Wonderful review! 🙂
    Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings recently posted…Review: Mystic and Rider by Sharon ShinnMy Profile

  10. Melliane says:

    Oh I didn’t know this cover. I heard so many great things about this series and I know I really need to try it but I need to buy book 1 before that. Thanks for the review. I’m glad you had a good time with it.
    Melliane recently posted…Hasta la Vista, Lola! by Misa RamirezMy Profile

  11. Amelia says:

    OOh cant wait for this release1 i love katie mcgarry and am very excited to read West’s story

  12. I still haven’t read any of these. The covers put me off, I guess. But whenever someone mentions contemporary YA, her name is attached, so maybe I should give them a go…
    Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer recently posted…Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (hey, it rhymes!)My Profile

  13. I… still have not read from Katie McGarry. Shameful, I know! I did try Pushing the Limits before, but for some reason I never got past the 5% mark. Anyway, I know now that I have to try it again. I love authentic romances and novels where family matters. Awesome review, Mel! <33
    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings recently posted…Review: The Dark World by Cara Lynn ShultzMy Profile

  14. Great review Mel! Hmmm I’m not sure how I feel about this series. I’ve read the first one, but the characters were kinda boring/stereotypical for me. If the same rehashed characters are used throughout the series, then I might not continue.
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas Review: Brilliant, shocking, addictive murder trialMy Profile

  15. I only read the first book in this series and that was enough to know that this author was not for me, but I agree with you on her characters, they were a bit stereotypical :/

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist
    The Bookish Manicurist recently posted…Paper Aeroplanes by Dawn O’PorterMy Profile

  16. I have read Pushing the Limits, which I loved, and Dare You To, which was okay. I have yet to read Isaiah’s story, but heard it was better than Beth’s. This sounds better than Beth’s story, too, so I await its release! Fabulous review, Mel!
    Dre @ Sporadic Reads recently posted…It’s Sporadic Reads’ 1st Blogoversary Giveaway!My Profile

  17. Romi says:

    Hmm… I really wanted to read Pushing the Limits when it first came out/was being anticipated, but after reading reviews of it and learning more about it, it stopped sounding like my sort of book, even when others loved it. I had no idea there were multiple books following it, and I am sorry to hear that, despite all the enjoyment you had for this book, the characters don’t seem to be becoming entirely their own and the plot is getting a little wearysome. I hope you find a bigger difference in your next read by Katie McGarry, and excellent review, Melanie! xx
    Romi recently posted…First Test by Tamora Pierce…My Profile

  18. Giselle says:

    Oh whoa this threw me off for a second I hadn’t seen this cover yet. >.< I can't wait to devour this one I just love this series. Both you and Nick mention how the characters are starting to blend into one another though. I can totally see that. I still love her writing and the emotion that are so palpable everytime I read one of her books.
    Giselle recently posted…Review: (Don’t You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus QuinnMy Profile

  19. Jaz says:

    I’m still really excited for this. I know what you mean by some of the characters take from others – especially in the bad boy situation but Katie McGarry does write really swoony and authentic books.
    I keep hearing about Jax and everybody says they want his story so I’m excited to meet him 😀
    I must get on my ARC ASAP!
    Lovely review as always (:
    Jaz recently posted…Review: The Art of Lainey by Paula StokesMy Profile

  20. Alise says:

    At almost 500 pages, a slower burn romance should almost be guaranteed. Too bad on that front. I do want to read this one but I’m worried about it getting repetitive, I was already seeing that in Crash into You. I want some more variety too!
    Alise recently posted…Review: After the End by Amy PlumMy Profile

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