Monday, January 29, 2018

Author Spotlight: Say You'll Remember Me by Katie McGarry + Interview & Other Works

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM

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,, follow her on Twitter @KatieMcGarry, or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.

Blogger Note:
Katie McGarry is one of my favorite authors of all time. Her hard-hitting YA books are one of the first ones I picked up when I transitioned from Adult Horror books to YA books 5-6 years ago. I started out with Noah and Echo in her amazing Pushing the Limits series and I have since continued to read her books all the way up to her current release, Say You'll Remember Me, with Drix and Elle. Each of Katie McGarry's books are based around a couple and the trials and tribulations they go through as a couple and separately before and after being a couple. Each couple usually has some huge transgression that has happened and the couple must defy the odds and survive everything to be together. The main reason I love Katie's books is because they are REAL. Most YA Contemporaries are fluffy and unrealistic whereas Katie's books touch on some pretty tough topics. With all of that being said, Katie agreed to be on my Author Spotlighting series and I was COMPLETELY thrilled. Hearing that might make you guys think I will give her a 5 stars no matter what but I wanted to say that I hold Katie's book above all and I judge her books very highly because I expect them to be fabulous. So being on of my favorite authors doesn't give her any help in the judging department. She is actually judged more harshly. So trust that if I say this is a great book, then this is a great book. Thank you for reading this and I hope you will look into Katie McGarry and her amazing books.

Title: Say You'll Remember Me
Genre: YA Contemporary
Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication: January 30th 2018
Cover Rating: 5/5
Reading format: Owned ARC & Hardcover

Say You'll Remember Me by Katie McGarry is the story of Drix and Elle. Drix just got out of juvie and Elle is the puppet for her parents political campaign. This story was one of Katie McGarry's best yet, in my honest opinion. Nothing will ever compare to Noah and Echo, the main characters from her first book, but you can definitely see how her stories have evolved over the years. I feel like with each book I become more emotionally invested. It definitely helps that this book was VERY full of emotions and at certain points I definitely teared up and cried at one point.

Character wise, I really liked both of our main characters, Elle and Drix. Drix was the "bad boy" and Elle was the "good girl" but we all know it goes a lot deeper than that. Drix just got out of jail and some program that the Governor created to help give teens a second chance so maybe they wont end up in the adult jail system. Drix is an excellent example of 'Bad Things Happen to Good People'. Drix wasn't perfect before he went to jail but he definitely didn't deserve what happened to him. I do kind of wish we could have seen a little bit more of how he was before jail. Then we have Elle, the Governors daughter. She is supposed to be this prim and proper teenage girl who has her head on straight and knows exactly what she wants from life. Problem is, none of that is who is she truly is and she is trapped in her parents lifestyle. Her and Drix meet and that starts them both down on hell of a rocky road.

So let's talk about the parental figures in this book. I likes Axel. He might have been too young and had loose morals when it came to women but I feel like he was a good parent with the resources he had. Now Elle's parents... They were horrible people. I feel like they thought they loved Elle and what they were doing was the best for her but if a kid can't learn things on their own and see how hard the world truly is then are you really helping them? I feel like her parents were just trying to get ahead politically by having their daughter involved and appearing like the perfect family and that just disgusted me. Especially because both parents always sat Elle down and tried to make it seem like they truly wanted the best for her because they both had horrible childhoods. UGH!

The program that this book centers around is such a brilliant idea. I know I said I disliked Elle's parents but if it wasn't for her dad, Drix, and many others, probably would have ended up a lot worse off. The program in this book is basically a second chance program for teens in jail. It is meant to help steer at-risk teens away from the adult prison system by giving them opportunities that might now have had otherwise. But only if the program is actually set up to help kids and not just be used as a publicity stunt to help further your political career. 

In the end, this was probably one of the most difficult Katie McGarry books for me to read. Both characters  felt trapped and that made me feel trapped. Everything they felt, I felt. That isn't a bad thing. I love when a book can make you feel THIS involved. But I just found myself so volatile while reading this book. I didn't want to be interrupted and I wanted everything to end a certain way. Everything did end up turning out to be okay so I think that is the only reason I didn't end up screaming when the book ended. If you want something to make you feel angry, sad, trapped, alone and raw then you should really pick this book up.

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.

1) Do you feel like your books and their subject matter are important for todays teens to read?
Yes. Say You'll Remember Me was born out of real life situations facing my teens' schools. 

The school-to-prison pipeline, an issue I address in Say You'll Remember Me, is real. Teens who are arrested and placed in juvenile detention are more than likely to end up in juvenile detention again and again until they turn eighteen and then end up in the adult prison system. A good majority of these teens don't have the resources to hire good attorneys, aren't given adequate legal counsel and often make plea deals that land them in juvenile detention.  

This is what has happened to my main character, Drix. He's seventeen, was convicted of a crime he didn't commit and, terrified of being prosecuted as an adult, he accepted a plea deal that landed him in juvenile detention. We meet Drix at the beginning of the novel when he accepts being a part of the Govenor's Second Chance program, and we see how tough it is for teens to overcome a system that isn't set up to help them. 

2) If you were given ANY 3 wishes, what would they be and why?
I would wish for the health and happiness of my three children. A mother is only as happy as her saddest child. Their joy is my joy. Their sadness is my sadness. They own my heart, and I love seeing them happy. 

3) From your first book to your current book, who is your favorite character?
Oh, this is so hard! It's like having to choose between my children!

Drix and Elle from Say You'll Remember Me have a special place in my heart as there is a scene in Say You'll Remember Me that makes me cry each and every single time I read it. There is a special connection between them that made that scene so emotional!

I have a huge crush on Isaiah from the Pushing the Limits series. I loved him so much that I wrote him into the Thunder Road series, plus I wrote what he is like as an adult in First Loves and And They All Lived Happily Ever After (a novella I'm giving away for free with a preorder of Say You'll Remember Me). 

4) Are any of the characters in your books based off of people you have met in real life?
I do have characters who are combinations of people I know. I also put a piece of my husband into every of my lead male characters. 

5) Are you currently working on any new books?
Yes! Stay tuned as I'll be announcing more on my next projects soon!

Katie McGarry has a huge repertoire of YA novels. If you go to her Goodreads page you can see a lot of novella's along with bonus content for her series. 

Her first series is Pushing the Limits and contains 4 main books and a bunch of other side stories.

Her other series is Thunder Road and contains 3 main books.


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