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Posts Tagged: Katie McGarry

Monday, July 7, 2014

Review: Red at Night by Katie McGarry

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: Red at Night by Katie McGarryRed at Night by Katie McGarry
Published by Harlequin Teen on 01 April 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Short Story / Novella, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 84
Format: eBook
Source: Free Download
Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Crossing the Line, Crash Into You

Place(s) Traveled To: Louisville, Kentucky

First Line(s): I like cemeteries.

Red at Night by Katie McGarry is a novella that set in the same world as her Pushing the Limits series but doesn’t involve characters from those books. This short little novella is told from the POVs of Stella (social outcast) and Jonah (popular jock). Stella comes from the poor side of town and has never had the best clothes and often worried where her next meal would come from. In grade school, because kids can be cruel, rumors where started and as a result she’s become the butt of many a joke and so has spent the majority of her school experience alone. Prior to the start of Red at Night she’s taken to hanging out in cemeteries, visiting the dead, because its quiet and the risk of running into anyone she knows is low. That is until Jonah starts to visit a grave a few stones away from Stella and eventually the two begin to talk without the pressures of high school weighing them down.

I loved this novella and was fully invested in the story of Stella and Jonah both of who were really complex characters and both dealling with some heavy issues. Red at Night gave me so many feels and I really wish that it had been a full length story. This is the writing and the character development that I fell in love with in Pushing the Limits and something that has been drifting out of her other novels. I still love McGarry’s work but after Crash Into You left me feeling a bit meh I don’t have much desire to read Take Me On as I hated West so much in Crash. There is just so much story in Red at Night that its bursting at the seems and even though its only 84 pages there is just so much that happens.

Red at Night gave me all of those heart-achy feels that I love and restored my faith in McGarry’s writing and storytelling. Stella and Jonah have so much chemistry and how they help each other with their different problems adds a lot of growth to their characters. My heart broke from them as high school pressures got in the way of their friendship and budding romance and I feared on how this one would end. I admired Stella’s strength and Jonah’s kind heart and I did like seeing a certain guidance counscelor make an appearance. Overall, this was a great novella and its one that I highly recommend for all fans of Katie McGarry.

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irishdarkblue

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Red at Night2

four-stars
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Will Make You Swoon

Posted by Irish in Top Ten Tuesday10 Comments

Graphic made by David at From My Bookshelf

Graphic made by David at From My Bookshelf

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and today’s topic is about the books that we consider to swoon inducing. This one was hard as I read several different genres and I wondered how I’d narrow it down to just ten. Then I decided that I read enough YA, NA, and Adult that I can make a list for each….and so I did!

 

Young Adult TTT1

1. Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt
2. Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
3. The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
4. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
5. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

 

TTT2

6. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
7. Forget You by Jennifer Echols
8. A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley
9. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
10. The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab

New Adult TTT3

1. One & Only by Viv Daniels
2. Sweet by Erin McCarthy
3. Anywhere by J. Meyers
4. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (Sold as YA but set in college)
5. Easy by Tammara Webber

 

TTT4

6. Wicked Thing by Angeline Kace
7. Rites of (Spring) Break by Diana Peterfreund (Sold as Adult but set in college)
8. On Dublin Street by Samantha Young
9. Tyler and Stella by Heidi Joy Tretheway
10. The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorenson

 

Adult TTT5

1. A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare
2. One Good Earl Deserves a Love by Sarah MacLean
3. The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas
4. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
5. The Gift by Julie Garwood

 

TTT6

6. Up in Flames by Starr Ambrose
7. The Prize by Julie Garwood (essentially you can’t go wrong with a Julie Garwood book)
8. Body Check by Deirdre Martin
9. Fight with Me by Kristen Proby
10. Persuasion by Jane Austen

 

irishdarkblue

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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
Goodreads
three-stars
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.

irishdarkblue

three-stars
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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
Goodreads
three-stars
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)

Internet,

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.

three-stars
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult3 Comments

Title: Pushing the Limits (Goodreads)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Kaye Publicity
Publication Date: 28 May 2013
Series or Standalone: Series/Companion Book
ISBN: 0373210639
Format: ARC
Pages: 462

The author on the web:
Katie McGarry – Official Site
Katie McGarry – Blog
Katie McGarry – Twitter

Place(s) Traveled to: Groveton, Kentucky // Louisville, Kentucky

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

First Line: I’m not interested in second place.

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)

When I first read Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry last year I was amazed at how good it was. I lost myself in the world that McGarry created and read the book in a single sitting and its a book I wish I could read again for the first time. When I finished the book I was so excited to hear that there would be at least one companion novel as I wasn’t ready to leave this world or these characters. I was eager to learn more about Beth and what made her so hard.

Throughout my read of Dare You To I flipped back and forth between absolute love and a wary outlook of the story. I wanted to love this one as much as I did Pushing the Limits but there was just something missing. I did enjoy this one, and it even kept me up well past my bed time the other night, but I was able to put it down. Beth and Ryan didn’t linger in my head whispering ideas on where their story might go after the final page was turned. They worked well together but didn’t seem to have the same chemistry as Echo and Noah. Perhaps it was because Beth was so very broken and Ryan not so much.

Ryan had his issues but they didn’t seem as intense as what Beth, Noah or Echo went through. This could be because Ryan’s issues weren’t as deeply explored as they could have been so they seemed to be more surfacy than anything else. Even Beth lacked some depth that I was hoping for in the first book. I think it might be because her surroundings changed so much and we really didn’t get to see Noah, Isaiah, or Echo all that much. I really missed seeing those familiar faces and I was always peaking around corners hoping to see that that I didn’t really pay as much attention to those new characters in front of me.

Now, it might seem like I didn’t like Dare You To at all and that is far from the case because I did like it. I’m just not head over heels I’ll beat you over the head until you read it over it. The story was fast paced and there were several heart in your throat moments. There were even those heart achy scenes that I loved as well. Like that seen with the rain when Ryan and Beth were starting to hang out more.*swoon* I did feel the ending was a little rushed but then I might be saying this even if Dare You To clocked in at 1000 pages long.

I do love the world that Katie McGarry creates and I can’t wait to read Isiah’s story later on in Crash Into You. As I said, I really missed seeming him in this book and I hope that in his story we’ll get to see more of Noah and Echo as well as Beth and Ryan. I really think this would have been a 5 star read for me if there were just as many scenes with old friends as well as the new. Or maybe even with Beth and Lacy or with Beth just hanging out in a group with Ryan. The secondary characters in this book just didn’t get much page time and as such they never really felt real.

I am still a huge fan of Katie McGarry’s writing and as I said I can’t wait to read not just Crash Into You but also the stories that come after. McGarry has a gift with creating wonder contemporary YA worlds and she’s definitely on my auto read/buy list for life. I may not fall head over heels in love with everything she writes but I know that each book of hers will be well written with realistic stories. You really can’t go wrong with a Katie McGarry novel.

irishdarkblue
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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Review, Young Adult3 Comments

Title: Pushing the Limits (Buy the book.)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Publisher
Publication Date: 31 July 2012
Series or Standalone: Series/Companion Book
ISBN: 0373210493
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 384

The author on the web:
Katie McGarry – Official Site
Katie McGarry – Blog
Katie McGarry – Twitter

Place(s) Traveled to:Eastwick, Kentucky

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

First Line: “My father is a control freak, I hate my stepmother, my brother is dead and my mother has… well … issues. How do you think I’m doing?” That’s how I would have loved to respond to Mrs. Collins’ question, but my father placed too much importance on appearance for me to answer honestly. Instead, I blinked three times and said, “Fine.”

Related Posts: Teaser from the Book // Contest (Ends 29 Aug 12)

Pushing the Limits Series Order – Companion Book
Book 1: Pushing the Limit
Book: 1.5: Crossing the Line
Book 2: Dare You To
Book 3: Crash Into You
Book 4: Take Me On

Internet, I am having trouble on trying to decide where to begin with my thoughts on Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry. When I first heard about this book I thought it my be your typical YA contemporary and that it wouldn’t really stand out from the crowd. Then it just seemed to be everywhere with much love given to it and my interest was peaked. Once I started Pushing the Limits I found that I couldn’t put it down. I was sucked into this story and loved every page. McGarry made me laugh and cry and feel every emotion in between. Oh the feels that were felt!

Echo and Noah are both broken characters and in the other person they find what they need to move forward and find a new normal. They are both trying so hard to reclaim what was that they are missing out on the what’s happening right now. Together, along with the the help of the formidable Mrs Collins, they learn to let go of what was and accept what is. Its such a powerful story of love and loss and betrayal and just about anything you can think of. It all just depends on how you look at a particular event. I loved Echo and Noah’s relationship and everything about them and their story was so very realistic. During the time I spent within the pages of Pushing the Limits this world was a tangible thing. I could see it every time I closed my eyes to blink and felt it in every heartbeat.

Of all the characters in this book I think that my favorite was Mrs Collins. I am so glad that she is fictional because if she was real should would strike fear and awe deep into my heart. The real world is missing something though because she is fictional because she would do so much good. Though I think that she is a magician. Really, the woman was spooky with her vibes and apparating all over the place. And yes, I firmly believe that she apparated because her driving was just ATROCIOUS! Not that people can’t be crazy drivers…because heaven knows my co-worker Angie could give Mrs Collins a run for her money there…but you’ll just have to trust me on this one. Mrs Collins is a wizard.

If you’ve been on the fence about Pushing the Limits then I seriously suggest that you jump off of it and dive into this story. It was one that I didn’t expect to love but found I enjoyed it more than words can say. The only problem with this book was that it ended. My only consolation is that there will be at least one, hopefully more, companion story Dare You To which will be released an eternity from now and will tell Beth’s story. Beth is a character that you meet often over the course of Pushing the Limits but you only learn a little about her. She is definitely a character that I am looking forward to learning more about so I can’t wait for 2013 to get here.

This is one of those books that I can’t stress enough that everyone should read it. Its definitely going onto my “bully list” so friends, you have been warned. I am also certain that this is a story that I will want to re-read often. It just hit all the right notes and made me feel all the right feelings that it will be a lovely companion in the years to come. Or maybe even now because even though I just finished it I am itching to start this whole story all over again.

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