Sunday, March 4, 2018

Review: Say You'll Remember Me by Katie McGarry

Firstly, thanks to Harlequin Teen Australia for this review copy <3


Date Read: February 16 - 23 2018
Date Released: February 1st 2018
Publisher: Harlequin Teen Australia
Source: Review copy via publisher
Genre: Contemporary
My Rating:

Synopsis:
"When Drix was convicted of a crime--one he didn't commit--he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the new Second Chance Program, the governor's newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.

Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor's daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn't may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.

When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle's parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix's messy life.

But sometimes love can breach all barriers.

Fighting against a society that can't imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves--Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence--and each other to finally get what they deserve."

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Katie McGarry has a real knack for writing page turning contemporaries centred on someone from the wrong side of the tracks. Whether it’s bad girl meets good boy or vice versa she always writes a good story that has me hooked.

Drix is a reformed bad boy who’s spent the last year in a special program for juvenile delinquents. He comes back home completely changed but also with a heavy heart because he was accused of a crime he didn’t commit. And he knows someone close to him did it but he took the fall. That’s the kind of guy Drix is, he loves his family and friends so much he’d protect them to no end. What I liked about Drix was he wasn’t afraid to think about his emotions and how he was feeling. He didn’t brush them away but considered how he was feeling and the impact that might have on those around him. Like if he was angry he’d stop and pause, move away from the situation if he felt like he could possibly punch a guy. What I really loved about Drix was his ability to admit his mistakes. While he didn’t commit the crime, he acknowledges that the life he was previously leading was heading towards a downward spiral. He was self-destructing, he knew it, but he couldn’t stop it. The second chance program really helped him and he openly says so instead of fighting it. I think it really shows great character growth when someone can see ways to improve themselves.

On the other perspective, governor’s daughter Elle is the external picture of perfection for her dad’s election campaign. I’m not entirely sure I enjoyed being in Elle’s head. I appreciated the way she was written in that she knows she’s privileged and extremely lucky to be living in the luxury she has. Her parents both came from tough backgrounds and worked hard so she could have everything and she knows this. She’s sheltered and quite na├»ve, struggling to earn her parents’ approval because she’s not perfect at everything. I understand all that but after a while her internal arguments just became privileged white people problems for me. Constantly complaining about how she hates being part of her dad’s campaign – understandable given the disgusting older white rich men leering at her – but at the same time loving it. I couldn’t tell if she really did enjoy spending hours memorising bullet points so she could speak to younger votes, if she really believed in a lot of those policies. She said she did but it’s easier said than done. She also hates her parents for not letting her pursue an internship because they don’t think she can handle the hours with the campaign. I didn’t get why she didn’t just pick one when it was obviously destroying her inside. I mean, at least she even had extra-curriculars to choose from? First world problems.

Obviously there’s the chemistry between them and romance which kind of developed quickly. They’re both immediately drawn to each other’s appearances. Drix was captivated by the exact shade of Elle’s blue eyes and I do admit I thought it was a bit cheesy. They do get to know each other more and like each other’s internal qualities but I couldn’t help but notice how much of it was physical?

This was the majority of the book to be honest. Flipping between Drix and Elle as they went through their internal struggles, both trying to do their part for the governor’s campaign. There’s some focus on finding the real culprit but I didn’t think it was major. This book was sloooooow. I mean that 80% of it was pretty uneventful and there’s family stuff thrown in but I was pretty bored. The only thing keeping me going was McGarry’s writing.

Overall, it was ok. I was turning those pages very quickly at the end. I enjoyed Drix’s character and the way it started with him reformed so he’s adjusting back into his life. However, I didn’t care for Elle much and the book moved slowly. The highlight was definitely McGarry’s writing and I do think her Pushing the Limits series is her strongest work yet.

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