Book Club: Say You’ll Remember Me

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Author: Katie McGarry
ISBN: 9781489250537
RRP: $19.99
Publisher: HQ Young Adult
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

Katie McGarry has been a favourite of mine ever since I read her debut Pushing The Limits and fell in love with her flawed leads and their unlikely attraction. She is firmly entrenched in my must read list and I’m always excited about her upcoming releases. I have stated that my copy of Say You’ll Remember Me is courtesy of the publisher, and it is, but I have also pre-ordered a digital copy so that I can receive the exclusive digital content available only with the pre-order. This is something I have done for the last 3 or so novels.

Say You’ll Remember Me is a brand new stand alone and if I’m not mistaken there is no connection with any of her earlier novels. The Pushing The Limits and Thunder Road books are two completely different series but there is a connection, I don’t think that’s the case here.

My favourite thing about McGarry stories is her characters. They are vibrant, they are relatable and they are realistic; they come alive through her storytelling and they become your friends. They make you laugh, they make you cry but most of all they make you FEEL. Often McGarry’s romances are a case of opposites attracting only to discover they aren’t so different after all and Say You’ll Remember Me is no exception but it is much more pronounced.

Say You’ll Remember Me sees Hendrix and Ellison cross paths at a county fair, completely unaware of any connection between them. They have a harmless game on the sideshows before parting ways but then Hendrix notices her being bothered by a couple of college kids and steps in to help her out. The next time they cross paths is at a press conference and they discover that the attraction they feel towards one another is not their only connection.

The story is written in the first person in alternating chapters by both Hendrix and Ellison, better known as Drix and Elle. Their voices are strong and McGarry paints them vividly, it isn’t only their voices that are strong though; like all McGarry characters their personalities are strong. McGarry often writes of troubled teens and people from both sides of the tracks but this time the distance is a lot greater. Elle’s father is Governor Monroe, the man responsible for the Second Chance Program which aims to end the school-to-prison pipeline. Hendrix is the first teen selected as a poster boy for the program, a convicted felon who served time for armed robbery.

On the surface these characters couldn’t be more different, their lives are completely opposite and you would be hard pressed to discover common ground. We all know that people are much more than what you see on the surface and McGarry is adept at uncovering these layers as she helps us get to know the characters.

Drix has quite the bad boy reputation and having come through the Second Chance Program he can look back and see himself in a completely different light. He doesn’t like who he was and he knows he’s changed but he’s still trying to work out who he is now. He can see where his bad choices were and why he made them and now he is scared of going back. He is a good guy who made bad choices and this is his chance for a fresh start, a clean slate if he can keep it that way.

Elle is the ultimate good girl living her life in the media eye and striving for perfection to make her parents proud. She is part of the team on the campaign trail helping ensure her father, her hero, is re-elected. Elle idolises her dad, she is sure of his innate goodness and desire to give a voice to the voiceless. Elle is picture perfect, there’s no doubting that, but we are soon allowed to see beyond the façade to the real Elle and discover that Elle is a lot more than the picture that is portrayed.

Governor Monroe and his team have selected Hendrix to be the face of the Second Chance Program but will that second chance stretch to blessing a friendship between the two teens….

The attraction between Drix and Elle is instantaneous, their chemistry is electric, but this didn’t strike me as a case of Insta-Lust because that first encounter was intriguing for both of them and left them wanting to get to know each other, wanting to learn about each other and not just act on their attraction.

Drix and Elle have more in common than you would think and they feel comfortable together because for each of them they find a person that they don’t owe anything to or have anything to prove. They have the luxury of just being themselves, and that’s something neither of them find very often.

McGarry deftly explores the lives of her characters, the challenges faced by those from Drix’s neighbourhood and the difficulties faced by those trying to break the cycle, trying to better themselves and forge a different future. Drix was an innocent man who felt that his best chance was to plead guilty and take a deal rather than trying to fight the charges and clear his name because he didn’t have the money for a good lawyer, any lawyer really and the public defenders are completely overworked.

These are real issues that many teens are faced with and McGarry explores them with insight and sensitivity. The issues facing Elle may seem small compared to what Drix and his neighbourhood face but they are no less serious to her.

McGarry will take you on a rollercoaster worthy of the fair as you try to work out just what this pair is going to have to face. A book that will definitely appeal to fans of her earlier novels as well as a range of Young Adult readers. It’s sweet, it’s intense and it’s relatable. I promised myself one last chapter before bed last night and ended up staying up for the last 50 or so pages. I would be interested to see what comes next for them.

And here’s all the places you can stalk, I mean follow, Katie McGarry:


Say You’ll Remember Me is published by HQ Young Adult and available now from Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to HQ Young Adult 20 of our Beauty and Lace Club Members will be reading Say You’ll Remember Me so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.


20 thoughts on “Book Club: Say You’ll Remember Me

  1. A big shout out to Harlequin Publishers and Beauty and Lace for supplying the book for review, ‘Say You’ll Remember Me’ by Katie McGarry.

    The first book I’ve read by this author and it was a blockbuster. Appealing to the ‘Young Adults’ audience, I strongly believe all readers will enjoy this book. Powerful, gripping, emotional, thought provoking.

    Young 17 year old Hendrix (Drix) Pierce from the ‘wrong side of the tracks’ whose life spirals into drug and alcohol abuse, pays his dues after spending 10 months incarcerated in juvenile detention for a crime he didn’t commit. Playing the ‘poster boy’ for Governor Monroe who aims to continue funding and support for his Second Chance Program; he meets the beautiful, enigmatic, poised Governor’s daughter, 17 year old Ellison (Elle). So begins their tumultuous relationship that blossoms into love.

    Told in intermittent chapters from the perspective of Drix and Ellison, this book delves into many thought provoking subjects. Young lives being influenced by adult rules and regulations, having to choose between the worst of two evils, having to put your best foot forward and accepting that life can be full of hard decisions and exposing the truth doesn’t always produce a happy ending, that the choices you make influence other peoples’ lives and sometimes doing all you can to protect other people you love can result in agony and pain.

    What a plethora of emotions, tackling young love, responsibility, guilt, living up to expectations – all parts of adult life that young people entering adulthood often experience and live through. This is an emotional, heart wrenching but heart warming book of love, loss, acceptance and heartache. Oh but what a beauty of a book. Touches on very real, very life altering scenarios.

    A worthy read, very gripping.

  2. It must be a good book if I stay up until 2am to finish it!!!
    Thank you so much, Beauty and Lace, Harlequin and Katie McGarry for the opportunity to read “Say You’ll Remember Me.” I disagree with the “young adults” tag because I feel this is a story that has much wider appeal. Yes, it would appeal to young adults but also to anyone who enjoys excellent characterisation.
    The characterisation is excellent – this is my introduction to Katie McGarry – but from Michelle’s introduction I can definitely appreciate that characterisation is Katie’s strong point. The way Elle’s parents are portrayed with such underlying manipulation disguised as love is brilliant. Her parents really believed they were doing what was best for Elle and had no concept they were making her responsible for their actions. This manipulation was at the one time horrifying but essential to the story and was written brilliantly.
    The unlikely friendship with instantaneous attraction between Elle and Drix is the crux of the story but it is a book with much more than a bonding of unlikely relationships. I particularly liked the way nothing about the main characters was forced – they were totally believable. There were some very much less than likeable characters within the story but they were also real.
    The greatest strength of the book, in my opinion, was the weaving of relationships with nothing artificial about the way the relationships developed or about the people portraying those characters.
    There was a short time when I had a feeling that some of the book could be repetitive but I was completely wrong.
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone – especially a reader who loves to become involved with characters, who are truly real and alive. Thank you so much for this great read.

  3. Loved, loved and loved this book and it appealed to me and it flowed all throughout the book from start to finish.
    Loved Elle and Drix and all the good and bad characters/4 legged characters that made this book so believable.
    Am I a sook? I cried at least 4 times in parts when I was past pages in the 300’s and towards end of the book. Perhaps it was me being over emotional but no other book has made me tear up as much lol.
    I liked this book so much I just wished it didn’t end and at one stage I thought it was going to end differently than I thought so it had me second guessing.
    Thanks Beauty and Lace, Harlequin and the wonderful and talented writer Katie McGarry as you had me hooked on this book right to the end and reaching for the tissues.
    I would definitely say I’d Remember this fantastic book!!!
    Really recommend this to even my age group (43yrs+)and older as well XO

  4. As an older adult I enjoyed this book but think it will probably be more of a teen favourite. I can imagine this as a “feel good” movie with Hilary Duff and Channing Tatum (or some younger actors ), I think Katie McGarry developed the lead characters well and although they came from different backgrounds they showed similar strengths of character which makes them realistic and identifiable. I might have missed this but as Hendrix was wrongly accused of a crime, I am left wondering if the real culprit identified his accomplice as he had threatened to do throughout the storyline. The book was easy to read and kept me interested all the way through. Thank you for the opportunity to review.

  5. Thanks B&L for selecting me to read this book! I love any chance to disappear into a new world!

    While I enjoyed the story between Elle and Drix as the Good/Bad characters there were parts of the book that I found downright boring and I was fighting myself not to skip forward to the good bits-There was something about the way the book was written- im not sure if it was, every other chapter written as per the other persons perspective or something else, but I found it didn’t “flow” like I hoped it would and I think that contributed to my lack of enjoyment reading the story.

    My step daughter is right into books and in a few years I’ll give her this book I’m sure she will absolutely love it

    Now that I’ve put forward my negative thoughts about it I must say I feel that it was a great story line and touched on important real problems young people face such as parental expectations/drugs/friends/girlfriends/friendship bonds/lower socioeconomic families and issues they may face too.

    The characters were well thought out and had a nice “depth” to them (they weren’t thought up at the last second) this made them more relatable and made it easier to get enthralled in their story

  6. ‘Say You’ll Remember Me’ by Katie McGarry was a great read. I enjoyed the story of Hendrix and Ellison and their relationship that grew throughout the book.

    I think it was interesting to compare how two different people from two different upbringings could both feel so trapped in their own worlds. I liked that the characters in this book all had such strong personalities.

    There was a strong positive role model presence throughout this book that showed support for the main characters. They influenced Hendrix and Ellison to create their own ideas of the world and to strive to do what they were passionate about, instead of what was expected of them.

    I was intrigued to find out who was the cause of the temporary destruction in Drix’s life. The book is a perfect mixture of suspense, romance and intense situations.

    It showed the reader that a chance meeting can change the path of life. It also informs the reader of the importance of programs for juvenile offenders to give them a second chance in society to prevent a vicious, re-offending cycle.

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin Publishers for the opportunity to read this book.

  7. Say You’ll Remember Me is the first book by Katie McGarry that I have read
    and I hope not the last. This book had me hooked right from the very beginning.

    Drix was convicted of a crime that he did not commit and thought his life was
    over but he was helped by a Second Chance Program, a project that the Governor started to help delinquents be rehabilitated back into society.

    Elle the Governors daughter knows she lives a privileged life in many respects but there were expectations and pressure to be someone she was not.

    When Drix and Elle meet they connect from that first moment. They are from
    different sides of society but push the boundaries in order to get what they deserve.

    Drix and Elle are very vibrant characters with a story that is a realistic, heartfelt conflict with romantic tensions, in fact all the characters have great depth which teach you about compassion, honesty, respect and love while challenging notions about loyalty, family, and power.

    This was truly an awesome book.

    Thank you to Beautyandlace and Harlequin for the opportunity to read this.

    I will be looking for more books by Katie McGarry

  8. An amazing story about Drix and Elle who are the main focus. Centred around different upbringing and surrounded by loved and well meaning families these young people meet and strike up an unlikely friendship. Many challenges keep them together as they are supported by those around them. Living some lies and planning futures which are also testing their attitudes and relationships.
    Elle coming from a upper class background and being the Governor,s daughter is on the campaign trail to support her father in his election and programs. Drix is the face of the Governor,s Second Chance Program who also attends events as part of The Governors campaign.
    Can they meet their challenges? Can they be friends and can they meet the truth of the hidden secrets they each hold?
    A story to be read by young and old. A compelling story of friendship, love and family values.

  9. Say You’ll Remember Me by Katie McGarry is the first book I have read by this author and what a wonderful read.

    The story focuses on Drix who is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. He was placed on the Second Chance Program, a programme that the Governor began to help offenders to rehabilitate back into society.

    Elle the Governors daughter unexpectedly meets Drix without knowing who he is and vice versa and from this moment they have a connection. Elle lives in a very privileged life to Drix but really in lots of ways they are similar. With different types expectations on both of them Drix by doing the Second Chance Programme and proving that he has changed and Elle being the Governors daughter with high society expectations but really wanting to find herself and be herself.

    The story of Drix and Elle goes through the struggles of romance, real life situations, honesty, compassion, respect, family and love all which are not easy when you have two different people from different backgrounds/society. But through perseverance they both push to boundaries to get what they really want from life.

    A story to be read by young and old, truly a great read which was hard to put down at times.

  10. Katie McGarry’s ‘Say You’ll Remember Me’ tells a story of Ellison (Elle) and Hendrix (Drix) and how their worlds collide in unexpected ways.

    Elle is an admired poised teen who on the outside looks like she has it all together. Her fathers’ job as Governor, equates to high expectations and the need to succeed. Appearances are everything as the judging public eye could damage his reputation. The Governor’s campaign trail requires Elle to be present at the many public events and fundraisers, including the latest initiative called the Second Chance Program. Managing her own individuality and desires while trying to please and seek the approval of her parents, puts an immense strain on the humble abode.

    Cue in the cute guy at the fair.

    Drix and Elle meet by chance, not once but twice. Drix’s story is one so very different from hers. Drix’s questionable lifestyle leads him to be held accountable for a crime he didn’t commit and to dodge a jail sentence he accepts the verdict. Thankfully a condition for early release from Juvenile detention sees Drix partake in the Governors Second Chance Program. This involves months of intensive therapy and wilderness survival-skills aimed at breaking the cycle of reoffending and setting the teens up for success.

    Together Elli and Drix come to find out about themselves and those close to them. A lot of trust and understanding goes a long way, but will their vast differences in social upbringing be a recipe for disaster or be used as an advantage? Can their forbidden love prevail?

    I found this novel enjoyable and very easy to get into. Plus perfect timing as I was stuck unexpectedly in hospital for almost a week and with nothing but curtain walls staring at me I found this a pleasant distraction!

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace Book Club and Harlequin Australia for this reading and reviewing opportunity, I am happy to recommend this novel.

  11. Thankyou Harlequinbooks and Beauty andLace for the opportunity to read Say You’ll Remember Me byKatie McGarry
    Although I enjoyed reading this book like other reviewers I would recommend it for young adults.
    The book is written mostly about two characters Elle,who is the beautiful Governor s daughter completely controlled by her parents and by her respect for her father is pushed into being someone she is not and is pressured into being the “pretty daughter” stand by her father and saying all the right things.
    Drix is a young man who has been chosen by the Governors campaign to be a “poster boy” for a new Second Chance Programme after spending time in jail. Drix bitter and sulking after being convicted of a crime he didn’t commit is on probation and determined with the help of his brother Axel and sister Holiday to try and be a better guy.
    A chance meeting between Drix and Elle starts the series of troubles as Elle goes on the campaign trail with her parents and Drix goes with them to promote the Second Chance Programme. Constantly getting onto the bad side of her parents, trying to get into a coding course and the very secret and backhand way of trying to see Drix with whom she has become very close too.plays a big part in Elle’s problems.
    Drix being right out of his comfort zone and trying to stay out of trouble is desperate to get back into the music he left behind. Being pressured by his sister Holiday Drix is determined to be with Elle and to also find out who committed the crime he was convicted of. Not the usual book I would read but I’m sure it would be enjoyed by many.

  12. Say You’ll Remember Me is a story that you will engross yourself in , the characters will implant themselves within you and you wont stop till you have finished the last page. The author has delivered a compelling story , filled with second chances and the fact that often they do come around. Friendship, family and love.

    A wonderful coming of age story with strong meaning behind it. !! Never judge a book by its cover so to speak and the fact that we all do deserve second chances.

    The author pens her words and draws you into the lives of the characters , we see growth as the story progresses and many aspects woven within the story to give us food for thought.

    Elle and Drix are two lost souls not looking but discovering each other. They find meaning in each other, a purpose, love, friendship and direction. The author penned the characters well, giving us two lovable souls that you cant help but root for along the way. We are shown that love finds direction and can change the path of life and thoughts.

    Overall, a young adult novel that can be easily enjoyed by anyone. Fluent story line and lovable characters.

    Id recommend to all 😀

  13. Thank you Beauty and Lace and Harlequin Publishers for the opportunity to read this book, “Say You’ll remember me” authored by Katie McGarry. Although this is aimed at young adult fiction I could not put this book down, I enjoyed the 2 main characters Elle and Drix and the development and of their individual lives and stories. I also enjoyed the way the author focussed each chapter on the perspective of either Elle or Drix. Its a wonderful book about communication, love, our differences and differing versions of the “truth” or reality as determined by individuals in a given circumstance.

  14. Say you’ll remember me by Katie McGarry.
    Everyones worst nightmare… being convicted of a crime that you didn’t commit.
    Drix was on a self destructive path when an unfortunate sequence of events led him to prison.
    He was given a second chance with a new initiative set up by the Governor. This was his only chance to get his life back on track but at the expense of being on show for the world. Along the way he meets a gorgeous girl who happens to be the Governor’s daughter. Life gets very interesting and there a few twists along the way.
    I enjoyed this book. I really think this would appeal to the younger population.

  15. Firstly thank you Beauty and Lace for allowing me to review this book.
    It’s such a beautiful thing young love. In this case Elle and Drix the main characters have been brought together by unfortunate events. Throughout the book it seems to be a race against time. There are not many characters in this book so it emphasises on both Elle and Drix.
    You can’t but feel sorry for Drix with all the bad luck he has faced during his short life.
    It was a light hearted, yet eventful story which many teenagers will enjoy reading.
    Highly recommend this book to all.

  16. The story was well written and the characters were well developed though I generally found it hard to relate to them as I am not a reader of YA in general. I found the story a little long winded in places and the whole control over Elle drove me mad, but it made for a very clear contrast with Drix’s life.
    Did I enjoy this book? Not really, but again, it must be noted that it is not my genre of choice. I do think though that readers of YA would find it interesting and perhaps even engaging.

  17. Thanks again for another read.

    I really enjoyed this book. It was written and although I found it long-winded in some parts I wasn’t able to put it down. I had to read it til the end.

    This is the first book that I’ve read by Katie McGarry and I loved it. I enjoyed each chapter being alternate to who’s point of view it was written from.

  18. I felt this story was for a younger reader. I still enjoyed the read.
    I thought this was about many kinds of love. First love albeit a very strong and loyal love. Parental love which was very controlling, love of a pet unconditional love and friendship and loyalty..Thank you for the opportunity.

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