Taking on… Take Me On by Katie McGarry

Take Me OnTake Me On by Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits #4
Published by: Harlequin Teen on June 1, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Pages: 304
Source: Purchased
Book Details
Rating: ★★½

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.

My enjoyment levels

I think the best way to show you my feelings for Take Me On is to show you this graph:

Enjoyment level for Take Me On

I started out LOVING Take Me On. I liked the characters, I liked how Haley was this epic kickboxer and I was pumped for some Katie McGarry luuuurve. But after about the 30% mark, everything changed.

What’s up with all this disconnect?

I read the first 30% of Take Me On in one sitting. Suddenly, it took me about six days to get through the rest of the book. I think my biggest problem was that I felt disconnected from the characters and their problems. I feel REALLY bad saying this, given Haley and West’s circumstances and family problems, but I just didn’t care. In fact, I was actually ANNOYED with Haley for refusing to fight. And then I’d feel really guilty for being annoyed with her because of WHY she wasn’t fighting. View Spoiler »

I’m sick of horrible parents

Haley’s dad sucks. He lets her uncle walk all over her, call her a slut, and demand that she go into the kitchen and cook. Her dad just sits there and lets her take that kind of shit because he feels all pathetic since he lost his job.

West’s dad believes there’s only one right way to live: in privilege. This becomes particularly evident at the end when View Spoiler »

I think I’m just so sick of these family problems and all this drama. I find myself wanting to crawl back to My Life After Now because that book has some of the sweetest, most supportive parents I’ve ever read about.

It did pick up a little at the end

I did get more interested at the end, probably because we finally got to the big climax. So at least that was interesting. The kickboxing itself was probably the most interesting part of the book. I think I’m just disappointed we didn’t see more of it. For a book about kickboxing, we actually saw very little of it. It was mostly just about the ex-boyfriend drama, the family drama, the relationship drama… oh god, the drama!

Is this series rehashing the same thing over and over?

I still have a fondness for Katie McGarry, but I think I’m starting to lose my love for the Pushing the Limits series. I feel like each book is just a carbon copy of the previous one (with the family problems, drama, romance, and emotions) but with different characters and slightly changed conflicts. It makes me REALLY REALLY sad to say that, but I really feel my enthusiasm for these books waning. I wonder if it’s time for me to stop reading them. 🙁

The Verdict


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  1. I haven’t read anything by Katie Mcgarry yet and honestly, I’m not that bothered. I just know that I’ll be not into it. But I’m not saying I won’t try someday though. 😛

    It sucks when you don’t connect with the characters, it affects my reading when that happens.

    Maybe I should just read the first one in the series. 😀 Great review! I hope your next read will be better xx

  2. I’m a huge, huge, huge Katie McGarry fan, but this is by far my least favorite in the series. I also had a bit of a disconnect with the characters, too. And I actually got really bored about all the kickboxing talk. I’ve read other books with fighter characters (Lori Foster has some create books about MMA fighters) but for some reason I just didn’t care AT ALL about the fighting stuff in this book.

    But, I do still love Katie McGarry, and I’m hoping that it was just this book that wasn’t for me. I’ve also seen a lot of people say they loved this book. So I’m not writing her off just yet.

    Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook recently posted: Audio Review: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
  3. Oh no! I really loved the first book in the series, and then I think I liked book #2 even more – but then the third book wasn’t quite as good, in my opinion, so now I’m wondering if, like you, I’ll get frustrated with this next book. One of my biggest issues with the third book was how horrible West’s family was to his sister – so I’m figuring I won’t like them any better in this book. Sigh…

    1. You’re exactly right! The books all same to follow the same formula, the same family problems, and the same drama. It’s just a slightly different background story. She’s not a bad writer at all, she just needs to branch out more.

      I want something new and fresh!

  4. I’m so glad you brought up the family drama aspect Ashley! It is getting so “old” and cliche or something lately. Why does everyone have to have the most unrealistically horrific parents?? It appears that’s all I have been reading lately and it starting to annoy me. Can you tell? LOL 🙂

    Great Review! I think I’ll pass on this one.

  5. OMG thank you! I thought I was the only one who felt all of this. Both families were SO awful I can’t take it anymore. I think this will be my last book from this series. It’s all just a re-tread and the West family drama is too much for me. They need therapy – stat.

    And Haley’s family?? I don’t think I can ever think of any of those guys as potential love interests (if they ever are) the way they treated her.

  6. 100% agree about all her books being the same. When I read PLT, I was in love with it. It was emotional and romantic (and yes sort of cheesy, but not over the top). Then I read Dare You To and I was like okaaaay. It was the same thing except I didn’t like those characters as much and the romance was SUPER cheesy. The I DNF’d Crash because OMG the same thing!! Except this time the girl is super “fragile” and the guy has to “protect” her. BLAH!!! I don’t think I’ll be reading this one or any more of her books until she writes something completely off the wall. Great review 🙂

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