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Magan: Take Me On by Katie McGarry

Take Me On by Katie McGarry (twitter | website) Previously Reviewed: Pushing the Limits // Dare You To // Crash Into You Publication Date: May 27, 2014 Publisher: Harlequin TEEN Pages: 544 Target Audience: Young Adult Keywords: mixed martial arts, job loss, family injuries, fighting and kickboxing Format Read: ARC from Publisher via Netgalley. (Thank you!) Summary: After swearing she’d never date a fighter again, Haley […]

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June 12, 2014 - 11:17 pm

Ellice Y - Great review, M! I just finished writing my review for Take Me On, and I really found it difficult to explain my thoughts on it! Like you, I felt that the book was a bit too long. Not only did it drag in places, I thought that the dialogue between West and Haley was VERY repetitive. I understand that it’s necessary to prevent an “instalove” situation, but at the same time, it slowed the pace of the story down a little too much.

Other than that, I loved Take Me On. It may beat Pushing the Limits as my favorite of McGarry’s books. I especially love the family dynamics in this book despite the few horrible and unlikeable family members that Haley and West have. The relationship between Haley, Kaden, Jax, and John was my absolute favorite– I love that they shared a special bond not only as family but because of MMA, and I really loved that the guys respected Haley’s talent as a fighter! I did get mad at them at first because, like West, I wanted them to beat the hell out of her uncle (he SO deserved it), but I also understood the bad situation that it would put Haley’s family in.

Anyway (I could go on and on about this book!), I really enjoyed your review. We share a lot of the same feelings about Take Me On! 🙂

June 10, 2014 - 6:47 pm

Danielle @ Love at First Page - I am a huge fan of this series, with Ryan’s book being my favorite, followed by Isaiah’s, but I liked this one a lot too. Katie McGarry is so good at writing complex family issues and swoony romance. Like you, I think this could have been cut shorter and I wish the second half didn’t have so many ups and downs in West and Hayley’s relationship. Otherwise, I thought the build up was perfectly done – the type of slow burn I love, filled with lots of tension – and I’m really hoping we’ll get stories for Abby and now Jax!
Great review, Magan!

June 6, 2014 - 3:21 pm

Alexa - I’m glad you ended up liking this one. This book is a chunky book and I’m sure there are a few parts that drag on in such a long story. I really can’t wait to read this one though because I do like this author and her books.

Thanks for the great review!

June 5, 2014 - 5:02 pm

Alexa S. - My favorite thing about Take Me On? Getting to know West Young. I already found him interesting in Crash Into You. But I totally fell for him because of this book! There’s just something about his personality (and his story) that really wormed its way into my heart. While he hasn’t quite eclipsed Ryan, he’s vying with Noah for second place. Other than that, I thought this was a solid McGarry book. A little long, a little too dramatic, but otherwise, a very good read!

June 5, 2014 - 4:01 am

Sue - I read Pushing the Limits recently and loved it. Looking forward to reading the rest of the series!

June 4, 2014 - 8:28 pm

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - I am a huge Katie McGarry fan. I’ve read everything she has written and enjoyed all of them. That said, Take Me On is my least favorite. I agree that things seemed slow at times. And I had a difficult time connecting to Haley and West, which is surprising because I’ve been able to connect to McGarry’s other leads so easily. I mean, I did care about Haley and West, but I just didn’t have that amazing connection to them that I usually do with McGarry’s characters.

I’m glad that you ultimately liked this one, though. Have you read McGarry’s other books besides Pushing the Limits?

Magan: If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin

If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin <website | twitter> Publication Date: April 1, 2013 Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire Pages: 336 Target audience: Young Adult Keywords: boy next door, childhood best friends, friends growing apart, tragic love story Format read: ARC received via NetGalley (Thank you!) Summary: Autumn and Finn are next door neighbors; […]

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October 28, 2016 - 11:46 pm

Ava .C - I am currently reading this book. This may sound silly but I am one of those people that needs to know all details while reading so I can help picture it in my head. I am wondering how old is Autumn and her friends in the beginning of the book?

August 11, 2014 - 3:52 pm

Magan - Caity, I completely agree. Loved the foreshadowing and knowing what was to come, but … I also dreaded it. Such a well-written, lovely book! So glad you enjoyed it, too! xo

July 29, 2014 - 1:21 pm

Caity P. - the book was so good but also really forshadowing. for example, in the book she always makes her books have a tragic ending and jamie ALWAYS hangs out with sasha it was bound to all come around. what really got me questioning the book is if sylvie died and if so, how? it says she was fine but i didnt really understand… such a great book and the amount of cliches and twists really evened out the books predictability.

July 16, 2014 - 10:59 am

Magan - Dani, I completely agree! The story was incredibly compelling and very well-written, which made it even more fantastic. 🙂

July 15, 2014 - 5:24 pm

Dani - It was a nice twist on the whole girl next door cliche.

January 9, 2014 - 10:19 pm

Aryana - loved this book wish she wrote more definitely gonna tell my friends about this!!!

December 31, 2013 - 12:01 am

Rather Be Reading: Magan's Farewell to 2013 - […] If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin really, really surprised me. The book begins with a scene that gives a snapshot of what’s to come, but the ENTIRE BOOK I kept hoping for something else. Or hoping that I misunderstood. […]

April 18, 2013 - 12:30 pm

Magan - Hey Mary! Email me at magan@ratherbereadingblog.com and let’s chat about the ending! It was pretty subtle, but I don’t want to ruin anything for someone who might be reading through the comments.

April 11, 2013 - 9:42 am

Mary - I just finished this book and absolutely loved it and couldn’t put it down, but I don’t understand how Finn died? could someone explain that to me? he seemed fine and the. it said he was dead, I though only Sylvia was?

April 2, 2013 - 11:05 pm

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - Oh this sounds really good! I love that you mention that the writing is poetic! That really makes me want to pick up this book. I also like the idea of their friendship and am really intrigued about the concept of basically knowing how it ends and then going back to the beginning and working your way forward!

April 1, 2013 - 10:32 pm

Kailia @ Reading the Best of the Best - This kind of breaks my heart becuase I LOVE the idea of childhood friends getting together but to know that Finn dies is sad. I honesty hadn’t heard much about this one so I’m glad I came across your review! I love how you “love and appreciate the story for all it’s complexity, beautiful writing, and passion” because that is what I want from a book too!

April 1, 2013 - 8:40 am

Rachel - I had never heard of this book until seeing your review but I am definitely adding it to my TBR list! I’ve read a couple books where the “end” is revealed in the beginning and like you, I hope for something different. I’m really curious to see how the author still manages to surprise you! Great review 🙂

March 30, 2013 - 11:06 am

Magan - Courtney, I agree with you — I haven’t seen many reviews for it yet, so I had no preconceived notions about what to expect going in. It was so, so great. I can’t wait for you to read it, too! 🙂

Leoni, please don’t let the going backwards deter you from reading this book. I prefer, actually, that I knew where things were going instead of being shocked by something really big and tragic happening at the end. I think that if I hadn’t had a glimpse of an idea, I would have felt it was too contrived or over the top.

Alexa, I AGREE! Childhood friends! I loved it — their history was just so perfect to me. I liked how their moms still forced them to do things together even though they could tell they weren’t best friends anymore and had no idea what had separated them. READ IT SOON!

Kelly, I loved that feeling too. When I read Rebecca Serle’s book When You Were Mine, I felt the same way. I knew it was a Romeo & Juliet retelling, but I wanted another end anyway because I loved the character’s story so much.

Kelley, thank you! Don’t shy away from this book! Don’t! You’ll be missing out! You won’t be let down by Laura’s amazing writing. Promise!

April, if your world is full of good books and pretty nail polish because of something I said, then YAAAAAAAY. I can’t be sorry! Read this book. For real. 🙂 It is exactly all of the things you said.

Maggie — YAY! READ IT READ IT READ IT! I hope you love it, too!

March 29, 2013 - 3:15 pm

Courtney @ Courtney Reads A Lot - This definitely sounds like a worthwhile read. I’m so happy you enjoyed this. Before I read your review, I had only vaguely heard of this book, but I am now anxious to read it. It sounds like a heartbreaking, emotional read but also a lovely one. Fantastic review! 🙂

March 29, 2013 - 2:48 pm

leoni - Sounds interesting although I’m not the biggest fan of going backwards in time in books, looks like there are lots of other positives though!

March 29, 2013 - 1:52 pm

Alexa Y. - Okay, this sounds like a book that I absolutely MUST read. There’s something particularly poignant about the fact that they were childhood friends, and that he passed away before things could happen. I can’t wait to check it out!

March 29, 2013 - 1:01 pm

Kelly - I hadn’t really given this one a good look until I caught a glimpse at your review; I love that feeling of knowing the ending, but hoping for a different outcome anyways!

March 29, 2013 - 12:44 pm

Kelley (Another Novel Read) - Wow, great review! I had been shying away from this book, but after reading your review, I think I want to read the book now. It sounds like a very different book, and if the writing is that amazing, then I definitely don’t want to miss out. This one’s going on my to-read list. 🙂

March 29, 2013 - 11:32 am

An Interview With Laura Nowlin, Author of If He Had Been With Me - […] Friday, friends! This morning I was so excited to share my review of If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin. I couldn’t stop myself from prattling on about the million and a half reasons I loved […]

March 29, 2013 - 10:17 am

April Books & Wine - Lawddddd, I am so broke right now BUT I WANT IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME because of your review, Magan. Sigh, I swear I am going to spend all of the money and it’s going to be Rather Be Reading’s fault — first with Julep, now with this, hahahaha.

But seriously, If He Had Been With Me sounds tragic and well written and emotional and great.

March 29, 2013 - 9:22 am

Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages - I’ve been looking forward to this one and I didn’t realize it comes out next week. Thanks for the reminder 🙂 Great review!