Due to circumstances beyond her control, she finds herself attracted to these other guys who are pursuing her with gusto. She feels guilty, even though she's never done anything with any of them. Her boyfriend feels betrayed. However, there is never a moment where her rebuffing the advances of these guys leads to them shaming her or saying that she's been sexually active in the past so why not with them? There is a character who talks like that, but well, he's not quite himself either. So I'm finding this reverse harem theme really empowering for females without stripping anything from males. I'm excited to see how it progresses.
3. PARENTS THAT ROCK. For a moment, I just want to chat as a parent. I love Tori's parents. They gave me so many emotions through this book. Their love and support was a constant. Their ability to accept the crazy stole my heart, and the pancake scene had me all in. When my daughter wants to read "The Lost Savior", I hope she sees that Tori is able to tell her parents all kinds of things, and they support her.
4. EXCITING, SOLID, and WELL-CRAFTED. I know, I just chucked three reasons into number four. Sorry! I just keep coming back to those words though. It's an exciting kick-off to a series including solid world-building and plot with well-crafted writing. Every time I put it down, I picked it right back up again. I'm pretty hopeful for this series!
1. Forgiveness, forgiveness, forgiveness.
This is a theme often missing from young adult/new adult novels. The freedom of forgiveness is the ultimate redemption in this book in every single relationship model. It's a notion that folks need more experience with in this harsh world: forgiveness doesn't "fix" things, but it does give you a place to go from there.
2. Healthy relationships vs. unhealthy relationships.
Both kinds of relationships abound in this book, with a stressor on the fact that there are no perfect relationships. Many relationship flaws are profiled as well as possible solutions or, in the case of habitual abuse, presenting the difficulties of walking away from unhealthy relationships. While Drix and Elle -the main characters- acknowledge that their relationship is not without its issues, they navigate a plethora of situations and model an overall healthy relationship. Familial relationships are also a point of focus - including that sometimes your family isn't the people you grew up in the same house with.
3. Steam but responsibly and with a side of consent. Yes, please!
I'm not normally a romance reader (someday, I will have to quit saying that!), but who doesn't enjoy a little steam now and again? This book was great for me because I could read it without feeling old and creepy and uncomfortable. It's also one I'd let my twelve year old daughter read. It's steamy and realistic and passionate while Elle makes if very clear that she doesn't want to go farther. Drix is exactly what a reader would hope. He understands and respects her decisions. He also makes it clear that, when they are both ready, it's on. It's a great example of a positive relationship and how to voice how far you want things to go.
4. It's just fun.
I know, it's not a deep takeaway. There were so many deep things to choose from in this book, but when I step back and look at the overall picture, what resonates and fills my reader soul is that it was really fun to read. I'm kind of sad it's over! I found myself excited to snuggle in my warm bed and open the book again.
"Say You'll Remember Me" was a bit of a dark horse for me. I'm normally exclusively fantasy and science fiction, but the popularity of Katie McGarry in my library had me curious. I'm glad I stepped away from my norm, and I'm insanely happy that I looooooved it.
I encourage you to take a chance and read something you normally wouldn't. Who knows? I may try a historical fiction next!
Mandy Peterson is the author of "Before I Shatter". She is also a mother, wife, librarian, book reviewer, and self-proclaimed chocolate connoisseur.