Say You’ll Remember Me by Katie McGarry | ARC Review & Excerpt

book-review

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.

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9780373212378.inddWhen 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.

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EXCERPT

ELLISON

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.

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REVIEW

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.

 

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Black Hole Infection by Nazarea Andrews | BLOG TOUR

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Hey guys! I’m super excited to announce that second installment of the Hopeless World Series by Nazarea Andrews is out NOW. If you’re into zombies with a twist, I highly recommend that you check out this series! Below I’ll list all of the information you’ll need to purchase the books, get to know the author and read an exerpt from BLACK HOLE INFECTION.

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BLURB

They thought they knew how the world ends…
Parker has always been other, an outsider in the Last Holdout, a strange almost feral creature that trusted Josiah. Josiah always accepted his strangeness as a strength.
Africa changed everything.
Parker is different here. Dangerous and powerful in a way neither knew he could be. It’s terrifying.
But if they are going to survive the continent, they’ll need to trust each other–and their reluctant allies–in ways they never have before.
All of Africa is watching them as they change the balance of power.
And the zombies aren’t the only things trying to kill them.

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EXCERPT

Tomastribe will come for him. Theyre fractured right now, without a Malkia,Zika says quietly, blinking up at me, Theyre dangerous, Josiah. A Tribe without its Sauti and Malkia is dangerous and vulnerable. You would do better to walk in with a new Sauti than to wait for them to come to you.

Their Warlord would kill Parker,I say.

She shrugs. The Candehe is unusual. The Warlord might thank Parker.

I frown at her. Why?

They dont have a Malkia. She died a few months ago. Its odd for a Sauti to keep going after his Malkia dies. They generally turn reckless and get put down by their Dying.

Tomas didnt seem reckless.

Tomas never wanted Gen. He fixated on me when we were children. There is a strong likelihood that it was Tomas who killed Gen.She says it easily, like murdering a girl to clear the path for Tomas to court her is nothing to even think about, that it bears so little importance that its a mere footnote in this conversation.

Maybe it is.

The more time I spend on this damn rock, the more it turns my stomach and makes me want to bolt, with Parks in tow, to anywhere that makes a little more sense than the mindless savagery that passes as survival here.

If I take him there, the Warlord wont let us leave, will he.

It isnt a question. Zikas lips quirk into a wry smile, like she was hoping that I wouldnt put that little piece of the puzzle together.

No,she concedes. If he did, his tribe would slaughter him.

I snarl softly and she tilts her head, staring at me curiously. You cant survive Africa alone, Josiah. He cant. You need the strength of a tribe behind him, and he needs the balance of a Warlord and Malkia.

And I suppose youd volunteer for that,Finn says lazily.

She laughs, a bright noise at odds with the vicious girl I know she is. Parker has a Malkia, even if Josiah hasnt accepted that yet.

She smirks at me and Ren makes a noise, drawing my attention.

Its a triangle,she mutters. The Sauti, Malkia, and Warlord. Theyre bound to each other by more than just choice. The Sauti and Malkia are lovers. A Malkia is more than just the hand that guides the tribeits the hand that calms and tames the Sauti.Her gaze darts to Zika and the girl nods, a pleased little smile on her lips.

Who the hell has tamed Parker?Ren demands, a question that doesnt even need to be asked.

I was the one who brought a feral boy into the Holdout. I calmed his fury. I made him walk as a man among the last survivors of the apocalypse.

Ive been taming Parker since the day I met him.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories. When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binging watching TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series. Stop by her twitter (@NazareaAndrews) and tell her what fantastic book she should read next.

Author Links:

Site – http://www.nazareaandrews.com/
Blog – http://www.nazarea-andrews.blogspot.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/NazareaAndrews
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/NazareaAndrewsAuthor/
Street Team – https://www.facebook.com/groups/427502530700422/
Newsletter – http://eepurl.com/MtHwj

Join Nazarea’s newsletter to hear more about the book http://eepurl.com/MtHwj 

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Down the TBR Hole | #4

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Round 4!! If you want to see the first few rounds of this tag, check here: 1 2 3

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This tag was created by Lost in A Story. Be sure to go and check out her blog!

The Rules:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
  • Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next week!

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1. Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

This sounded interesting to me a few years ago when it first came out, but now it’s not a priority for me.

VERDICT: TOSS

2. Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder

This sounds like a great fantasy book but as it is the first book in spin off based on another series by Snyder, I’m going to take this off my list for now. I would like to have completed the first series before I start planning on reading its spin off!

VERDICT: TOSS

3. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

I feel like this dang book is haunting me! It has managed to show up in so many recent posts. This needs to be read before it (and Larkin) drives me crazy.

VERDICT: KEEP

4. The Summer Before by Ann M. Martin

If you know me, you’ll know I love The Babysitter’s Club. They were the books that got me hooked on reading. This one in particular is a prequel to the series and of course I want to read it!

VERDICT: KEEP

5. Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker

After reading some of the average to below average reviews my friends have left for this book, I’m going to skip this one. It doesn’t sound like my cup of tea.

VERDICT: TOSS

6. Slammed by Colleen Hoover

Nope. I’m done with her. Bye.

VERDICT: TOSS

7. The Young Elites by Marie Lu

I’ve read and really enjoyed the Legend trilogy by Lu and have been wanting to read more of her work.  I really would like to get to this!

VERDICT: KEEP

8. Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

I love the cover and the plot sounds intriguing but I don’t think this a book I would want to get around to anytime soon.

VERDICT: TOSS

9. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

I’ve had this book in my possession twice and never finished it. I just couldn’t get into it. There are plenty of other books in the same genre that I would rather get to so this is going.

VERDICT: TOSS

10. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

I really, really hated PASSENGER by Bracken so I’m very skeptical about diving into this one. I’m feel like her writing is very slow-moving. I’m thinking listening to the audiobook would be better off so I may give it a try.

VERDICT: KEEP

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I got rid of 7 books this round! I’m pretty dang proud of myself. A lot of these are books that were super popular when I first started to get back into reading and I could really care less about a lot of them now.

Let me know if you’ve read and liked/disliked any of the books listed!! Also link me to your Down the TBR Hole posts if you have any! They’re so much fun!

 

 

Books I DNF’d in 2017

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I feel like I am notorious for not enjoying and not finishing a lot of the most popular books of the year. I could only think of 6 books that I didn’t finish this year and 3 of them are well-loved around the book community. I feel like I’m going to get major backlash from this post but I should clarify that just because I didn’t like these books, that doesn’t mean they’re absolutely terrible. I’m sorry if one of your favorite books is listed on here but not everyone can like the same thing so please don’t take offense!

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The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg | When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon | The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern | Truthwitch by Susan Dennard | Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom | Gilded Cage by Vic James

I should start off by saying that I didn’t hate any of these books. I can understand why a lot of these are very beloved books in this community. However, there was something about each of these books that wasn’t clicking with me personally. THE NIGHT CIRCUS bored me. The writing was beautiful but nothing captured me enough for me to want to continue with the story. Dimple in WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI annoyed me. It’s a cute story. I love the cover, representation and the writing but Dimple got to me for some reason. This is only book on this list that I’ll most likely try to continue. Parker in NOT IF I SEE YOU FIRST was too big of a sarcastic bitch. I can appreciate that at times but she was just over kill. TRUTHWITCH was boring and not interesting. This is the second book I’ve read of Dennard that I wasn’t a huge fan of so I think I need to call it quits with her books. GILDED CAGE was just plain confusing. There were way too many POVs and way too many subplots going on for me to stay on page. The plot of THE CATASTROPHIC HISTORY OF YOU AND ME didn’t interest me and I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing with this one as well. This book is one I’d probably enjoy when I was younger.

Again, please don’t be offended if your favorite book is on here. Use this as a chance to convince me on why I should try to carry on with the book! Maybe I was in a weird mood while reading them, we’ll never know!

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Do you recommend for me to continue with any of these books? Are any of them your favorites or did you not like/didn’t finish as well? Let me know in the comments!

Standalone Sunday | #6

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Standalone Sunday is a feature created by Megan @ Bookslayer Reads where each Sunday we will feature a standalone book (not part of a series) that you loved or would recommend!

I’m trying to be consistent in my favorite daily features so here’s a Standalone Sunday for you!

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cracked up to beWhen “Perfect” Parker Fadley starts drinking at school and failing her classes, all of St. Peter’s High goes on alert. How has the cheerleading captain, girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, consummate teacher’s pet, and future valedictorian fallen so far from grace?

Parker doesn’t want to talk about it. She’d just like to be left alone, to disappear, to be ignored. But her parents have placed her on suicide watch and her conselors are demanding the truth. Worse, there’s a nice guy falling in love with her and he’s making her feel things again when she’d really rather not be feeling anything at all.

Nobody would have guessed she’d turn out like this. But nobody knows the truth.

Something horrible has happened, and it just might be her fault.

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I had this book on my Kindle for a good four or five years before I finally decided to pick it up the end of last year. I really enjoy hard hitting and dark contemporaries and this one definitely falls into that category. I liked how there was a bit of mystery on how Parker is “the way she is.” She’s a very unlikeable character yet you still find yourself caring about her throughout the story. I really enjoyed Summers’ writing and I’ve heard nothing but great things about the rest of her books so I’m looking forward to checking out more of her work. 
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Have you read this book or any book by Courtney Summers? Let me know in the comments! I would love to know any recommendations!