I enjoyed the fact this author did not bow down to the en-vogue propensity in YA to blame the victim or excuse the bad boy. Instead McGarry has created and displayed the issue of teen relationship abuse within the constructs of a secondary romance.
Instead the author has dispelled some of the mythical attitude about victims of abuse only being physically weak. In this case Haley is a prize-winning martial arts champion, and yet she still falls prey to an abusive boyfriend. She struggles with the acknowledgement and comprehension of the abuse. Part of that inner struggle is due to her own physical capabilities and strengths.
Although it seems as if that particular sub-plot only sails by quietly during the storms of the main plot it is, as far as I am concerned, the most important part of the story.
Family dynamics and dysfunctional relationships within families are put on display and that includes the relationship between Haley and West.
The two teens dance around their emotions and the instability of their surroundings in a way only people of that age can. Obsessive, passionate and often irrational. Going from angry to heartbroken and then deliriously happy in a matter of seconds.
It is a spirited tale of connection, support and encouragement.
This paperback edition also includes a bonus ‘Pushing the Limits’ novella by Katie McGarry called ‘Crossing the Line’ featuring Lincoln and Lila.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of Harlequin UK & MIRAInk UK.