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This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Katie McGarry is a contemporary YA writing god. I mean, I know I’ve said it before, but it deserves repeating. She manages to take the same basic formula (boy with troubles + girl with troubles + difficult situation = swoony romance), but it feels different every time. Even though you know it’s going to work out in the end, there are moments where you just can’t wrap your head around how that’s going to happen.
Razor may be my favorite male of the series thus far. He’ll probably be beaten by Chevy when we get the next book, but I definitely like Razor more than Oz….not that I didn’t like Oz. ANYWAY, Razor is tough and has a reputation for being the baddest of the bad for the Reign Of Terror. He’s the strong, silent type, but he’s so sweet. They way he treats Breanna had me melting for the entire novel. I felt so bad for him, watching him struggle with his trust of the club, his father, and his father’s newest piece of ass. In fact, his entire relationship between him and his dad just broke my heart. His dad is a man I don’t care for. Even in the end, I couldn’t get over certain things. I’m not even talking about the big secrets he kept, it’s more about how he could have put more effort into his relationship with his son. Instead of being such a man-whore, he could have spent more time with Razor, progressing that relationship and helping with his grief instead of burying himself in women to avoid his own grief.
Breanna’s family was not any better. Though they weren’t necessarily abusive towards her, they tended to forget about her if she wasn’t directly in their line of sight or depending on her to be responsible when they needed help with the other kids. She’s the 5th of 9 children and she’s the responsible, smart one. Her role as the responsible one is used and abused. No one is caring for her, no one is looking out for her best interests. They just use and abuse her. I just really sympathized with her. I was an only child, but I was always very responsible and I can easily see myself as having been put into her role had there been siblings. I love how she steps up for Razor and acts more confident.
This story introduces a subject we haven’t really touched on a lot in YA, or at least, not one I’ve read about a lot in YA. Privacy issues and blackmail are a big problem. The idea that a person’s future can be hinged upon keeping questionable pictures off the internet is mind-boggling. For all the good computers have done the world, there are quite a few horrendous downsides. When did social media start to factor in to college acceptances? Why does that matter? It brings up a whole set of issues in my mind that just keep the wheels spinning and spinning. That’s something Katie excels at. On the surface, she gives you a teenage love story with just enough angst to keep it interesting without going overboard, but she weaves deeper lines into it. Her novels stick with you and the issues they bring up just make you think.
Bottom line? This is lines up with all the rest of Katie’s work. It doesn’t beat Pushing The Limits for my top spot, but it’s still a solid 5 star read. What more do you need to know?
****Thank you to Inkslinger PR, Katie McGarry, & Harlequin Teen for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****