Published by Harlequin Teen on January 30th 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Blog Tour, NetGalley
My content rating: YA (Characters do more than kissing, but it's all implied and not shown)
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.
Say You’ll Remember Me is just what I’ve come to expect to Katie McGarry. It’s the type of contemporary that makes me laugh and makes me cry and leaves me truly thinking about all the complexities of the themes. These are my favorite types of contemporaries!
What Fed My Addiction:
- Elle’s Complex family dynamics. Elle’s family life is complicated, to say the least. But I love that McGarry doesn’t give us straight-up villainous, controlling parents. At so many points through the book, they show that they truly care about Elle and think that they’re looking out for her best interests. They pressure her into a lot of things, but they really do try to give her a choice, at least from their perspective—they sit down with her and talk to her about her role on the campaign and ask if she’s okay with it. It’s not that they don’t give her a choice, it’s that they’ve made her feel like she won’t be good enough for them if she says no. As a mom, I know how hard it can be to let your kids live their lives, bad choices and all. How you want to keep them from failing that class or in that social situation, etc. I really thought that McGarry got all those complexities across and showed a family that loves each other but that’s still messed up. (And they are messed up—especially toward the end of the book.) Elle’s parents have many faults, but not loving their daughter isn’t one of them. They just often go about showing it in really wrong ways.
- Drix’s inability to control his own life. A huge theme of this book is how hard it can be when you truly have no control—this plays out in both Elle’s and Drix’s lives, but it’s especially poignant for Drix. He has spent the past year making up for a crime he didn’t commit. His life is now beholden to a political candidate and he feels like he has to go along with everything that’s given to him because he owes Elle’s dad his life. Even though he didn’t commit the crime, the program really did turn his life around, and he’s truly grateful for that. In some ways, he feels he’s better off, even with people’s negative impressions of him. Because of that, he’s constantly being pulled in different directions—how much does he truly owe Elle’s dad? Is there anything he can say no to? Will he ever get past his bad reputation for a crime he didn’t even commit? Again, the issues are super complex, and McGarry delves into them all unflinchingly. I love that!
- The political side of the story. Elle’s dad might be the most interesting character in the book. Elle loves him deeply and she believes in him. She knows his heart and his desire to truly help people through his political position. And then politics itself gets in the way. In a lot of ways, this story is an exploration of how even good people struggle to stay that way once they’re in a position of power. I thought that this was done thoughtfully, realistically, and in a way that helped you see all sides.
- The romance. Okay, this book is a romance, so I should probably mention it, right? Honestly, the romance is the main focus of the book, and I absolutely adored it—but it’s just not as interesting to think about or talk about as the other elements of the story. To me, that’s a good thing. I got a romance that made me swoon with a story that kept my brain engaged! Drix and Elle were both fabulous characters individually, as well, so that made the romance that much better.
What Left Me Hungry for More:
- Not much. I mean, sure, there were things. A few elements of the story felt a little over the top or unrealistic (for instance, the perfect Second Chance program that absolutely transformed each and every life it touched—or the fact that all of Drix’s friends were somehow musical geniuses), but those elements were really small in comparison to the things I loved.
This is a story about how difficult it can sometimes be to gain control over your own life. I think this is a theme that will resonate with a LOT of YA readers. Once again, McGarry delivers. I give this book 4.5/5 Stars.
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley and Inkslinger PR in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
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About the Author
Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.
Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine’s 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.
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