Thank you so much to Inkslinger & Harlequin Teen for providing me with an early copy of SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME by Katie McGarry and allowing me to be a part of this review tour! All opinions are my own.
When Drix was convicted of a crime–one he didn’t commit–he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the 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.
The sights and sounds of the midway fade, and all I hear is buzzing. I close my eyes as more pissed-off tears fill my eyes. Why won’t they go away?
“You okay?” a guy asks.
I open my eyes and focus on the ground. My eyes are red, I know they are. I can feel the puffiness of my skin. I take a deep breath, look up to explain I’m okay, and freeze.
Holy hell. It’s the boy from Whack-A-Mole. He’s so much more breathtaking this close, and I have no idea how that’s possible.
“Are those guys bothering you?” he asks.
My forehead furrows. Yes, they are, but telling him the truth and inviting him into my problems seems wrong.
“Since you’re so talkative, I’ll start the conversation,” he says. “If you want to get rid of those guys then stand here and talk to me, and I’ll stand here and talk to you. You can smile like you know me because it’s tough to make me smile, and it will seem fake. Then I can try to win you a stuffed animal. Won’t be a snake, but it will do. Those losers will catch on we’re friends. Eventually, they’ll keep walking, and then they’ll return to their loser frat house where they’ll play with themselves for the rest of the night because they don’t know how to properly talk to a girl.”
I blink because all thought processes have taken a mini break. Either that or I’m having a stroke.
“Just a smile. Maybe a few mumbled words. Tell me anything. Doesn’t have to be poetic. Just your lips moving in my direction without your current blank expression.”
I blink again, many times, as the sights, sounds and smells of the midway blast back as if someone had pushed the play button on my life. I flash the perfectly practiced public smile I’ve used too many other times in my life.
“I don’t know how to get them to leave me alone.” I pause, then the bitterness leaks out as well as a grim grin. “At least not without a baseball and a well-placed throw. Some people shouldn’t be allowed to continue their genetics.”
The right side of his mouth tips up, and my eyes narrow on him. “I thought you didn’t smile easily.”
“I have a twisted sense of humor, and I didn’t think a girl like you could make me laugh. You’ve done it twice now. That’s a record for the past year.”
I bristle, still on the dangerous edge of anger. “A girl like me?”
“Yeah, one that’s out of my league. Listen, if you want to get out of this situation without it escalating, let me know. Otherwise, I’ll take a step back, and you can do whatever you need. I’m all about helping, but I’m not looking to get into a fight. Your call on how this goes down, but if it’s violence, you’re on your own.”
He says he doesn’t want to partake in violence, but there’s an essence about him that says he could drop anyone at any time and do it without breaking a sweat.
He’s looking at me, I’m looking at him, and the flutter in my chest returns.
SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME is the first novel I’ve read by Katie McGarry but it definitely won’t be the last. I’m a sucker for YA contemporary, especially for the more realistic, raw, heart-tugging plots. This book hit every one of my expectations.
We follow Drix, a teenage felon on the wrong side of the tracks and Ellison, the governor’s daughter who is made out to be the perfect Southern belle. When these two characters meet, their chemistry is undeniable. They know they shouldn’t be together, that it would be wrong, but they care for each other. They fall in love with not only the person who they are but also the person that they know they can become to be. And to me, that’s beautiful.
I really enjoyed the family dynamics in this book, granted some of it isn’t healthy. I love how Drix’s family aren’t all bioligcally related, which goes to show that you don’t have to share the same blood in order to be considered family. The way his brother, Axle, will let anyone who needs a safe place to live stay with him, even though they don’t have much money or barely any room for themselves in their small one bedroom house is amazing. This family is not about to let the troubled people from their past destroy any hope for them to have an amazing and bright, successful future ahead of them.
Which leads me to Elle’s parents who seem to be doing everything but that. I understand having supportive parents but there is a fine line between support and control. I couldn’t help but feel so awful for Elle while she was trying to make a career path for herself and was working hard to do what she loved, only to have her parents tell her no and that her time is better worth spent helping them on a political campaign. Now I’m not expert considering I have no children, but shouldn’t parents be wanting the best for their kids and helping them pursue their dreams instead of holding them back for selfish reasons? That really got me.
Overall, SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME is a heart-wrenching, make you wanna sob your eyes out kind of book but it’s so worth the read and I highly recommend that you pick this up as soon as possible.
Again, thank you so much to Inkslinger, Harlequin Teen and Katie McGarry for providing me with a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.