Review - Walk the Edge by Katie McGarry
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Katie McGarry is one of those authors that I auto-buy from, no matter what she writes. I’m not going to lie, after finishing Breaking the Rules (which I reviewed before) and Chasing Impossible, I was rather disappointed to see the Pushing the Limits series come to an end. Luckily for us loyal readers, though, she already had another series lined up and the first book of the series, Nowhere But Here was released last May. I read the book in less than two days and immediately fell into a post-book depression, knowing I’d have to wait at least another year before I’d get the chance to read more about the Reign of Terror world.
As if to add more salt to the wound, we had a YA Festival in my hometown, which Katie McGarry attended and her newest book, Walk the Edge, was available TWO WEEKS before the release date and I had already preordered. D= On the plus side, though, I got to get a couple books signed. And well, I decided to be patient. I’d waited over a year, so two more weeks weren’t going to kill me. (Though they nearly did.)
Luckily, Walk the Edge was certainly worth the wait. It was everything I expected and more. Since I have read her previous novels, I’ve come to expect a great amount from McGarry in terms of character development, emotion, and plot. And, book after book, this woman delivers.
While I loved Oz and Emily from Nowhere But Here, I found myself more drawn to both Razor and Breanna, not only due to their character, but the circumstances they found themselves in throughout the course of the novel. Razor is something of an outcast among both his friends and his family. He’s expected to love and trust the members of his motorcycle club, and while he certainly loves them, Razor’s left with a ton of trust issues, due to the death of his mother and the mysterious circumstances behind it. It’s these very issues, and the questions he has concerning his mother, that cause waves in the club and cause him to feel as if he has no one to depend on but himself. The pain he feels from losing his mother, of him still feeling like a lost child, is particularly heartbreaking and McGarry does a fabulous job of guiding her readers through those emotions. She does a great job of taking a character that might not be easily relatable and making them seem utterly human. Seriously, when I found out exactly what happened to Razor’s mother, it took an effort of will to hold back the tears.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of McGarry’s Pushing the Limits series was the strong female characters, particularly Beth and Abby. I loved the fact that they didn’t take any crap from anybody, that they weren’t afraid to tell others what they thought or go after what they wanted. When reading through Nowhere But Here, it was almost an adjustment to go from the ballsy girls to the more timid and shy type. In fact, I juggled with whether I liked the change or not. But, as usual, they grew on me and – in fact – I found them more relatable. I suffer from anxiety myself, so I could definitely relate to Emily. And with Breanna in this story, I could certainly understand her desire to be someone else, someone other than the smart, quiet girl. I fit that stereotype to a tee in high school and was often alienated because of it, too, so I found her struggles particularly engaging and the aspect of cyber bullying and social media was especially poignant in today’s time, when it is so easy for someone to anonymously attack and destroy another person’s credibility and life. Moreover, the fact that these female leads were so timid made their character growth all the more rewarding. It was nice to see how they changed and grew into themselves over the course of the story.
McGarry’s tone throughout the story is right on point. I’ll never understand how she is able to write both male and female perspectives so flawlessly. She’s able to blend humor, drama, and anguish together seamlessly and it was interesting to see the problems that arose from Razor and Breanna being in a relationship, instead of the novel simply focusing on the romance coming to fruition. What I found most interesting personally was the issues Breanna faced by dating someone within the club, that she would come across instances in which she wouldn’t be privy to secrets or club dilemmas and, instead, would have to trust Razor and the other members. Further, there was the issue of her reputation by dating a “bad” boy, someone who rode a motorcycle. Romances in McGarry’s books aren’t all flowers and sunshine and it is definitely one of the things that draws me the most.
Really, I can’t praise Katie’s work enough and I’m eagerly awaiting the next book, which will deal with Violet. If you’re a fan on YA/NA contemporary romance, then this is definitely a series you should look into. It’ll give you ALL the feels and more!
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