Title: Take Me On
Author: Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits
I really didn’t think the books in this series could top Pushing the Limits. Not because they wouldn’t be as good, but because there’s something about that first book that has some sort of magic. It’s the first book, the first introduction to the world, and it’s hard to beat that first bit of magic.
It’s almost like eating a pizza. All slices of the pizza are delicious, but it’s that very first slice that melts in your mouth and reminds you just how delicious pizza is.
Take Me On is my favorite book of the series. It beat Pushing the Limits for that honor. It has characters that don’t need each other for completeness. They make mistakes, yes, but in the end, they make decisions based on what they need, not what the relationship needs. Haley has an amazing concept of wanting to be yellow. She’s yellow, West is blue. She’s not ready to be green yet. She wants to figure out how to be yellow before mixing and making green. I think that’s the perfect way to describe this novel. These characters need to figure out how to be yellow and blue before they can create other colors.
Haley has some trouble in her history. She was a fighter, but one incident took that away from her. She sees weakness in a moment of strength, and it costs her the thing that made her happiest. When she’s thrown back into that world, she resists. She doesn’t want to feel that weakness again. She fights against it with everything she has. West is there to challenge her, but he can’t bring her back to fighting. She has to decide to do that on her own, and the moment she makes her decision is perfect. I had a huge smile when she faced her demons and moved on.
West should have everything. We met him in Crash Into You. He has a rich family that looked happy on the outside. Then his sister met Isaiah and found herself in trouble. West blames himself for her accident and her injuries. He remembers clearly his actions that led to his sister being in a car crash. He can’t bring himself to face her. It was tough to read those emotions. It’s clear that he misses her, but to him, he doesn’t see how she could miss him. He doesn’t feel like he fits in with his family, and the accident was the final nail in the coffin. He acts before he thinks, and that’s how he ended up training with Haley.
The colors metaphor is probably one of the best I’ve read in a novel. Both characters have to figure out how to be their own person before they can work on relationships. Haley has to figure out how to be yellow before she can try to make green with West, or any other colors with the members of her family. She’s been belittled and lost sight of who she is because of her family’s circumstances. She’s a muddled grey at the beginning of the novel from trying to be everything to everyone else before owning who she is. West is trying so hard to be his family’s color that he forgot he’s supposed to be blue. The fact that the color metaphor can be applied to every single relationship in this book is perfect.
Take Me On is my favorite book of this series. The characters and perfectly imperfect, and their growth is amazing. The story was tense with some wonderful sweet moments. Mostly, I love that this book focused on finding out who you are before you try to add more pieces to your whole. You can’t be a whole person if you don’t know what makes you, you. I loved it.