Review: Say You'll Remember Me by Katie McGarry

Note: This ARC was provided by Harlequin TEEN in exchange for an honest review.

“You saved me, too, Elle. Thank you.”
“I told you before, your life is worth saving. Always has been and it will always be.”

I wish I had been told I was going to need tissues for Katie McGarry's newest release because I found myself shedding quite a few tears at one particularly heartbreaking moment in Say You'll Remember Me. McGarry has created quite a niche for herself in the young adult (YA) arena, and it doesn't look like she has any plans of relinquishing her hold on it. Why would she when fans and readers devour her stories, even if it means a bit of crying in exchange for well-written books that make your heart squeeze in your heart and have hope blossoming as you join her main characters on their journeys to finding love and happiness. If you've never read any of her stuff, you're definitely missing out, because McGarry will wring emotions out of you alongside contemplative thoughts.

After spending nine months in juvenile detention and three months in the Outward Bound program, seventeen-year-old Hendrix Page Pierce is free, only freedom isn't all it's cracked up to be--not when Drix feels shackled to a plea deal he had no other option but to accept. He's the troubled teen turned poster child for the governor's Second Chance initiative. He may have been promised certain things, but Drix isn't stupid. Promises, after all, are all too easy to break when the constant reminder that you owe the powers that be your immediate future hangs over your head. He can count on one hand the people he knows have his back. He wants to be worthy of their love and support. So, when the governor's daughter comes along, Drix knows better than to hope he's got any chance...

At seventeen, Ellison Monroe is quite aware of the fact that her parents see her as a disappointment. They worry about her inability to choose something to be passionate about and sticking to it. Maybe they see her like they do her cousin Henry, who just happens to be the one person that Elle trusts. In the midst of her father's campaign, she's reminded that she must know her place and not rock the boat. That means keeping her distance from reformed criminal Drix Pierce. But there's something about the former bad boy with a good heart that calls to her. She doesn't see him the way she does the strays her heart can't resist but take in. Drix is someone worth fighting for, but is she ready to face down her own father when it comes time to prove Drix has been innocent all this time?

Goodness, but how these two got to me. In some ways, Drix and Elle were typical seventeen-year-olds, but there was more that set them apart from other kids their age. When I was seventeen, I was entering my second year in college, concentrating on school while making time to hang out with my friends, relishing in the freedom I had. Drix's and Elle's lives were managed by their circumstances, and it was up to them to push past the limits that were set, to prove that they were worth more than they were deemed by those who thought they knew better. Their respective support systems may not have be the usual kind composed of parents and siblings, but what they had--Elle her cousin and Drix his siblings and his true friends--was further bolstered when Drix found Elle and vice-versa.

Drix's innocence is established from the first chapter, and while my suspicion as to who the guilty party proved to be right, it was important for Drix to realize that he wasn't alone, that he had Elle, his brother and guardian Axle, and others by his side. It's proving his innocence that gives both Drix and Elle purpose, but not completely so. They had dreams for themselves, dreams that they had to learn to fight for, even if it meant the possibility of failure. I know this is a YA read, but I'm someone in my early forties and this book lay claim on my heart from cover to cover. I need to make special mention of Thor, the dog that Drix and Elle loved and cared for. Sigh. He was essential to the teenagers as individuals and as a couple and was the unexpected heart of Say You'll Remember Me. Five-plus stars. ♥

Release Date: 30 January 2018

Date Read: 29 January 2018

Learn more about Katie McGarry.

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