Series: Pushing the Limits #4
Published by: Harlequin Teen on June 1, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Sports, Young Adult
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:
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 » [Haley stopped fighting because her ex boyfriend hit her and then she hit him back. So whenever she thought about fighting, all the could think about was the “blood” on her hands from having been hit and then retaliating. I feel like I was SUPPOSED to really ‘get’ Haley and sympathize with her, but instead I just disagreed with her… and that makes me feel guilty because am I really ‘allowed’ to disagree with someone who’s been hit by their boyfriend? Ugh. But anyway, I think I just realized that it wasn’t her fault and she was defending herself in the only way she knew how. I wanted her to take that situation and own it and have it make her train even harder (self defence and all that). But instead she ran and cowered and… I just didn’t like that. God, now I feel like a bad person. « Hide 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 » [West brings up his grades and starts acting more like a ‘man’ than a boy. That’s a good thing, right? West’s father commends him for it and basically says, “You can come home now, son. Leave that public school, come back to the rich school, and dump that poor girlfriend of yours because she’s a bad influence. You’re finally on the right track.” He goes as far as to bribe West to leave her because she’s not good news. « Hide 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. 🙁