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Take Me On
Cover of Take Me On
Take Me On
Pushing the Limits Series, Book 4
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Acclaimed author Katie McGarry returns with the knockout new story of two high school seniors who are about to learn what winning really means Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in...
Acclaimed author Katie McGarry returns with the knockout new story of two high school seniors who are about to learn what winning really means Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in...
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Description-

  • Acclaimed author Katie McGarry returns with the knockout new story of two high school seniors who are about to learn what winning really means

    Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.

    West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her--fighting for her--is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault his family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.

    Haley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    A DOOR SQUEAKS OPEN at the far end of the barren hallway and the clicking of high heels echoes off the row of metal post-office boxes. I attempt to appear casual as I flip through the mail. All of it leftovers from our previous life: my brother's mixed martial arts magazine, an American Girl doll catalog for my sister, another seed and gardening catalog for my mother.

    Collection notices for my father.

    There are more demands for payment. I wonder if I should give them to Dad or hand them off to my mother or grandfather. Maybe I should save us all from the reminder and set them on fire. It's not like there won't be a fresh batch tomorrow.

    I juggle a few pieces to keep all of it from falling onto the floor. Beyond the windows, the sky darkens into dusk. I inhale deeply to calm the nervous adrenaline flooding my veins. Too much to do, not enough time: the mail, the grocery list from my aunt, convince the grandfather who hates me to write me a letter of recommendation, dropping off and picking up my father's antianxiety medication. It's Friday night and I've got two hours to make my uncle's curfew or I'll be spending the night on the streets.

    The woman with the noisy heels continues down the hallway and doesn't acknowledge my existence as she heads to the employee entrance. Unlike me, she's dressed in a thick winter coat. Her hair is the same light brown as mine, but my hair is longer. I imagine my cheeks are painted red, like hers, from the February wind.

    This building is normal for her. Nothing about this is normal for me. My family and I, we no longer have a brick-and-mortar mailing address in Louisville. We no longer have a home.

    I pause at the last letter in the stack, and not in an enlightening way. No, this is the same pause I had when my father announced he'd lost his job. The same pause I had the day the county sheriff taped the eviction notice on our front door. It's a thin white envelope. Its appearance wouldn't cause anyone else's heart to sink to their toes. For me, it does. It's from the University of Notre Dame, and it's obviously not an acceptance.

    I slam the door of the mailbox shut. Today sucks.

    Walking into my grandfather's gym, I feel a little drunk on hope and a little like I'm marching to the gallows. Getting the rejection from Notre Dame left an emptiness and the thought of scoring a letter of recommendation for a scholarship to anywhere is definitely a potent wine. Alcohol and an empty stomach shouldn't mix, but, at the moment, I'm feeling bold.

    "My, oh my, the flies are drawing in the shit." From the inside of an octagon cage, my cousin Jax shouts at me. Beads of sweat blanket him from head to toe. He wears boxing gloves on his hands and protective gear on his head. I say nothing as I'm fresh out of comebacks.

    A group of newer fighters warms up by jumping rope to the pissed-off voice of Dr. Dre booming from the speakers. Returning here, I feel younger than eighteen, older than six, and, for a few seconds, like I'm home.

    The gym is a metal building, a step above a warehouse and several steps below those fancy chain gyms. Black punching bags hang from metal framework, and pictures of my grandfather's various award-winning fighters cover the wall. A sweet combination of bleach and a tropical plug-in overwhelms my senses.

    In one corner, two guys go at it in a boxing ring, and in the other corner some guys, including Jax, watch a demonstration of a takedown in a caged-in octagon.

    The rustling of nylon athletic pants gains my attention as my grandfather cocks a hip against the doorframe of his office. His name is John, and he requires us to call him that. As...

About the Author-

  • KATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan. Katie would love to hear from her readers. Contact her via her website, katielmcgarry.com, follow her on Twitter @KatieMcGarry or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    June 1, 2014

    Gr 8 Up-Bottling up her emotions has become Haley's way to deal with her problems from her dad losing his job, to the family living under authoritarian rule at her Uncle's house, and her violent act of hitting back after her ex-boyfriend hits her first. West, on the other hand, has problems controlling his emotions while dealing with his tumultuous relationship with his parents, blaming himself for his sister's terrible accident and paralysis, and getting in one too many fights at school leading to his expulsion. Haley and West's lives and narratives intertwine after West nearly hits Haley with his SUV and a conflict with her ex-boyfriends younger brother results. To protect West and her family from retaliation, Haley trains West to battle it out with her ex in the octagon. That decision means she'll have to face the reason she gave up kickboxing. As the story progresses so do Haley and West, their romance, and their fight for what is best for them. Although dramatic and star-crossed, McGarry's novel adds realism to the romance, dialogue, and problems that both West and Haley encounter. With likable characters and a tensely building romance, this book will not disappoint fans.-Adrienne L. Strock, Chicago Public Library

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Pushing the Limits Series, Book 4
Katie McGarry
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