All of my books have a gritty or raw angle to them, but what I think makes Take Me On different is how real it seems. While there are many of us who understand grief like Echo and Noah, but may not understand the foster care system or a repressed memory and we feel for characters like Beth who have parents that are drug addicts or love the idea of drag racing like Crash Into You, there's this sense that we will never live that life.
West and Haley are very, very real. I had several friends who were kicked out of their homes when we were teens. There is a reason there is the term throwaway--kids on the streets who were tossed out instead of them running away. This is what West faces. Haley and her family lost their home because her father lost his job. There are many of us who could possibly see these things happening to us or to someone we know. For these reasons, I think Take Me On has a different feel.