Say You'll Remember Me
By: Katie McGarry
Publication: January 30th 2018 by Harlequin Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Personal Kindle Library (Birthday present from Husband)
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Goodreads description--When Drix was convicted of a crime--one he didn't commit--he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the new Second Chance Program, the governor's newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.
Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor's daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn't may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.
When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle's parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix's messy life.
But sometimes love can breach all barriers.
Fighting against a society that can't imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves--Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence--and each other to finally get what they deserve.
First thing I need to address is that I'm not sure how the title fits for this one. If I'm missing something obvious, someone please let me know.
Say You'll Remember Me had a lot going on. Hendrix was convincted and went to jail for a crime he didn't commit. This begs the question "who did." Ellison's dad is the governor who created the program that helped Hendrix turn his life around. Ellison and Hendrix are both pawns...players on the board to serve a purpose yet have very little power. They're both on the campaign trail as shiny objects to be looked at as long as they play their role as written. Hendrix doesn't mind his role because he feels indebted to the governor. But Ellison... Her role includes being changed into someone else. She feels like she needs to change in order to earn her parents' approval, and she just never quite measures up to who they want her to be.
I find that I usually connect to the male lead pretty easily and this wasn't any different for me with Say You'll Remember Me. We learn quickly that Hendrix didn't commit the crime he went to juvie for so I immediately respected yet felt sympathy for him. Both of his parents are MIA--his mom a drug addict and his dad in a band off in the world making music. One thing Hendrix fears...becoming his dad. And that was the exact path he was headed down before the Second Chance program pointed him in a different direction. He's scared to trust his own judgment.
Unlike the leading males, sometimes I find myself struggling with the female lead. I didn't really feel this way about Ellison. She was easy to like even when I wanted her to stand up for herself a bit more. As a once teenage, I cheered Ellison in her rebelliousness to remain herself. I don't mean characteristics she might need to work on like a quick temper or a smart mouth, but things like her hair and eye color. I felt hurt for her that her parents wanted to change her so dramatically to appeal to the public just to support the campaign. I did really like how Elle handled herself in several situations. She didn't seem to have a retaliatory attitude which I appreciated.
From a plot standpoint I did hope that Ellison's faith in her father's character would be worthy. The public's role in this story was realistic and sad. I was torn on reading them because the portrayal was correct, but I get so annoyed with it in real life that seeing it in fiction wasn't much fun. Events ended up getting a bit dramatic there towards the end even if not unpredictable. I didn't foresee every detail, but I wasn't surprised by any of the "twists" exactly either.
I liked the side characters: Axel, Marcus, Holliday, and others. Their backstories and motivations all felt realistic and I was connected to each on an emotional level.
-How can I forgive someone who won't admit guilt? How can I forgive when I don't know who to forgive?
-Find something graceful.
-"Sometimes there isn't a best choice. Sometimes we're given two bad choices."
-"I'm sorry." "It's not your fault." "No, but someone should be sorry."
-"Have you not figured it out? This country doesn't want heroes. Not when it so thoroughly enjoys kicking a villain."
Say You'll Remember Me was consistent with what I've come to expect from Katie McGarry. Characters I can easily root for and connect to on an emotional level, a story that does have some drama to it, and everything wrapped up in the end. Plus a love story that always gives me the warm and fuzzies. Say You'll Remember Me gets 4 Stars. Have you read Say You'll Remember Me? What did you think? Let me know!