Author: Katie McGarry
Synopsis: 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.
Huge thank you to Harlequin TEEN and Netgalley for this ARC!
After devouring Pushing the Limits and Dare You To, I found that Katie McGarry’s writing style just works for me. There’s something about how intense she writes her teens that I find my eyes glued to the pages. Take Me On was no exception to this.
Although I haven’t read Crash Into You yet, I must say that McGarry does a great job with still making the characters from that novel very accessible. Also, Isaiah. I love that boy and why I haven’t read his story yet is such a damn travesty because he was a favourite of mine in the first two books. I also enjoyed the subplot with West, Rachel and Isaiah, even though West didn’t always win me over with his behaviour or decisions.
It’s weird because at first I had a hard time with both protagonists. I didn’t find either of them interesting or likeable at first, but that seems to be the case with most of McGarry’s books. There’s this building process where you get pieces and pieces, and even though the full picture might be visible, there’s always this small little crack in the portrait that represent’s that character’s ugly past. Those little ugly moments were always my favourite for Haley and West. While I didn’t love these two as much as Beth and Ryan or Echo and Noah, I still liked their stand alone moments more than I did when the two were together.
There is a crazy amount of lusting in this book, which I wish wasn’t the entire focus of the book. I always have more of a preference when McGarry is breaking down relationships and showing all the pieces than I do when characters behind like they can’t keep it entirely in their pants. The action was a bit all over the place too and I wish there had been more with the MMA-style fighting since that’s a big aspect of Haley’s life. But at the same time, these two grew on me, just like the others.
While I don’t think Take Me On is the strongest of the books in the Pushing the Limits series (also the lack of sexy car made me sad), it was still a solid read with some fantastic moments that are intense, cringing and emotionally draining. McGarry writes some of the most heart felt, intense teens I’ve ever come across in YA, and I appreciate how she handles them as well.