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Series: Pushing the Limits

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Review: Crash Into You by Katie McGarry

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Review: Crash Into You by Katie McGarryCrash Into You by Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits,
Also in this series: Crossing the Line
Published by Harlequin Teen on 26 November 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 474
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Also by this author: Crossing the Line, Red at Night


Place(s) Traveled to: Louisville, Kentucky

First Line: Eleven year, two months, seven days. The last time I had physical contact with a blood relative

Pushing the Limits Series Order
Book 1: Pushing the Limits
Book 1.5: Crossing the Line
Book 2: Dare You To
Book 3: Crash Into You
Book 4: Take Me On (20 May 2014)

If you’ve spent any time talking books with me chances are that I will mention Katie McGarry’s Pushing the Limits series at least once. These are books that I tend to devour with characters that really stay with me. When I was able to read an early copy of Crash Into You I was so excited as I had been dying for Isaiah’s story since first meeting him in Pushing the Limits. While I was initially disappointed that he and Beth didn’t end up together I totally get Katie McGarry’s reasoning for giving these two separate stories. As good as they are as friends, Beth and Isaiah just aren’t meant for a long term romantic relationship. Though when I pictured the girl he would end up with Rachel Young is the last person I would have thought of.

Rachel first makes an appearance in Crash Into You and she is from the upper class. She wants for nothing and could be a total mean girl and yet she is very down to earth and tends to suffer from panic attacks. I really enjoyed meeting Rachel and getting to know her. It was great seeing her transform over the course of the story from a meek mouse of a girl to someone with a backbone. I loved all of her scenes with Isaiah and thought that they really played well off each other. Rachel and Isaiah are two broken and flawed people but together they help heal the cracks and become better people. Which is trademark McGarry writing and what normally has me racing to reach the end of the story.

Where this book loses me is Rachel’s family. OMG…I don’t think I could dislike a group of characters more than I dislike her parents and her brothers. What a bunch of selfish, hypocritical and demeaning group. They all put Rachel down every chance they get. Saying she’ll never have friends as she’s so dull and boring one moment and then the next saying if she just went out more she’d make friends and be normal. Then in the very next they freak out if she actually wants to leave the house. Because even though her brothers go out, date, and party Rachel isn’t allowed. Nor is she really allowed to own anything as her brothers just take whatever they want without asking and then make her feel guilty for being mad about it.

But all of that isn’t even in the worse thing that this family does. No, that comes from how they tell her constantly that her soul purpose for being born was to make her mother happy. Therefore, she can’t wear the clothes she likes, paint her room in the color she wants, or do the things that she enjoys because they would all make her mother sad. Because Rachel was born to replace the void filled when her older sister died. This made me see red throughout the book. Especially when Rachel’s brothers would condemn her for doing the very same things they they have down for years and kept throughout in their mother to add to the guilt. No wonder the girl has panic attacks!! Her family was HORRIBLE and they totally ruined this story for me.

Rachel’s family always assumed that they knew what was best even when it came to driving her car and wouldn’t let her do so at one point as she was just a stupid ignorant girl who was going to kill her mother for being such a disappointment. At that moment I totally would have tossed the book across the room if it wasn’t for two important facts 1) I was reading on my ereader and 2) I was on a plane. I kind of feel bad for my seat mates as I was making very angry angsty faces (not to mention all the eye rolls) throughout my read of this story. And if you could see all my highlighted notes you would get the full brunt of all my issues with the Crash Into You.

I swear the only things that kept me reading this one until the end was my love of Katie McGarry’s writing and Rachel and Isaiah. I loved Rachel and Isaiah’s story and if you could cut out every moment with Rachel’s family then this would have been a 5 star read for me. For me, this was a slower read as I kept getting pulled out of the story by the secondary characters. All in all, Crash Into You was a bit of a disappointment for me. I just couldn’t get past the horrible family of Rachel’s and while I still love McGarry’s writing I am hesitant to read the next book as Take Me On, involves Rachel’s brother West. That’s how much I dislike the Young family.



Saturday, October 19, 2013

Review: Crossing the Line by Katie McGarry

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Review: Crossing the Line by Katie McGarryCrossing the Line by Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits,
Also in this series: Crash Into You
Published by Harlequin Teen on 01 April 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Young Adult
Pages: 67
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Also by this author: Crash Into You, Red at Night


Place(s) Traveled to: Louisville, Kentucky

First Line: Dear Lincoln, I saw this card today and thought of you.

Pushing the Limits Series Order – Companion Book
Book 1: Pushing the Limits
Book 1.5: Crossing the Line
Book 2: Dare You To
Book 3: Crash Into You (26 Nov 2013)


If you recall when I finished Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry I was head over heels in love with it and just wanted more. But the wait until Dare You To seemed forever and I needed a fix and Harlequin Teen responded by publishing a novella from Katie McGarry featuring Echo’s best friend Lila. At first I was ecstatic and I rushed to a mega internet book retailer to DL my copy….only to stop and gasp at the prince. At the time I think it was $2.99 and currently its $1.99 both of which I think are too much for a story that is only 67 pages. Especially since I know that at least 10 of them will be dedicated to a preview of either Pushing the Limits or Dare You To or both. So I backed away from the internet store checking back every so often to see if it went on sale.

Then I had an epiphany one day when I was looking through the ebook selection of Boston Public Library. They have an amazing catalog of ebooks and audios available for borrowing and if you are in Massachusetts you should have an e-library card to the BPL. (Just click this handy dandy link to sign up.) Anywho, while looking randomly through the catalog I checked to see if they had Crossing the Line, not really expecting it, but was so very happy when they did.

Crossing the Line is a very short novella, maybe clocking in at 30-40 pages as the end of the book did have preview chapters to both Pushing the Limits and Dare You To. Just as I thought it might. It was a cute story and I really loved Lila and Lincoln’s romance. While how they met was really sad I liked how they decided to remain in touch through letter writing. Like real letters, hand-written with a stamp. It added a certain old fashioned charm to their getting to know one another and made me want to write a few letters to friends myself. Its so easy and sometimes impersonal to dash off an email. Letters take a little more thought and tend to be longer.

As a novella, the story progresses really quickly and there are times when I think it felt a but rushed. I really think that there was enough material for Crossing the Line to be a full length book and I, for one, would have loved to spend more time with Lila and Lincoln. They were just so sweet and genuine. I also liked how this is was just a straight romance. There were no really big issues that Lila or Lincoln were dealing with. Unlike Echo and Noah or Beth were dealing with in their books. This isn’t to say that Lila and Lincoln didn’t have problems. Because they did. Lila is battling with insecurities and is a bit scared of going to an out of state school where she knows no one while all her friends are staying local. And Lincoln, well, you’ll just have to read the novella to see what he is dealing with.

As with Pushing the Limits and Dare You To, Crossing the Line was a real story. I believed during my read that Lila and Lincoln were real people and I was a voyeur into their lives. This novella never felt like I was reading a book and I got swept up in the world. But, as I said above, I do wish that it was longer. It just seemed to be over before it really began. And that in a nutshell is my main problem with pretty much every novella I’ve ever read. I just want more from them and there is only one that I can think of where I was completely satisfied with its length.

As a whole though, if you are a fan of Katie McGarry’s books then you should check out Crossing the Line. If you don’t want to pay the $1.99 for roughly 40 pages or so then be sure to check out the digital catalog of your local library. Most can be accessed through the Overdrive App on your phone or tablet and with your regular library card. This was a quick read and a fun story and makes me hunger a bit for more Katie McGarry books.