Title: Dare You To
Author: Katie McGarry
Published: May 28, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Series: Pushing the Limits, #2
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher for a honest review. I receive a very small monetary percentage when purchased using links on this page.
If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk’s home life, they’d send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom’s freedom and her own happiness. That’s how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn’t want her and going to a school that doesn’t understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn’t get her, but does….
Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can’t tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn’t be less interested in him.
But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won’t let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all..
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I have a soft spot/weakness/whatever you want to call it for stories that pair the rebellious bad girl with the strong and sturdy good guy. Add the fact that Katie McGarry wrote the story is a total win. So yes, I absolutely love Dare You To. Dare I say that I loved it more than Pushing the Limits? Yes I do! Only by a tiny bit, though.
Pushing the Limits was a very emotional read for me with plenty of tears. I didn’t quite get the emotional roller coaster with Dare You To, but I identified so much more to the setting and characters that it felt more personal. So that’s why it’s a slight notch above Pushing the Limits. I know both Beth and Ryan’s worlds. The mix of city and country is what I grew up with. Seriously, I partied both ways Beth and Ryan did and with the same kind of people, so I loved the whole feel of the two worlds colliding. And boy, did they collide.
When we met Beth in Pushing the Limits it was obvious she’d had an effed up life, but we see just how deeply messed up it truly is in Dare You To. Her mom is an alcoholic and Beth has a lot of characteristics of an addicts child. She feels guilt, anxiety, like she has to take care of her mom, on and on. Beth is put in a position no child should ever be put in, and given responsibilities no child should be responsible for. When things get out of hand one night, she’s forced to go back to a town she left behind when she was little, and face secrets she’d rather stay hidden.
Beth has major trust issues, she’s angry and stubborn, but she is fiercely loyal to the very few people she cares about. I love the girl and her skater-punk attitude! She can be completely wicked, will cut someone with her sharp tongue, and she’s tough as nails. Yet, there is something so fragile about her that makes me want to hug her. Beth isn’t good with emotions and always runs from them, but Ryan may be the one to change that.
Ryan is a great guy. He’s a star baseball player, has great friends, and has the perfect family, but one of those statements is false. His family is far from perfect. He has to come to terms with a few things and decide who exactly he’s living his life for. His calmness and persistence was perfect for Beth and what she needed in her life. And one thing is for certain, he doesn’t lose – at anything, especially a dare. His level of competitiveness was one of my favorite things about him. However, there is one thing that he did to his dad that really rubbed me the wrong way, because it was just … wrong. Besides that, I liked the guy a lot.
There were some great secondary characters too. Of course I liked seeing Noah and Echo, even though it was small glimpses. And Isaiah, I’m so glad McGarry took the relationship between him and Beth the way she did for a number of reasons. I still love Isaiah, and think they have a beautiful relationship, but it needed to play out the way it did for Beth’s sake. One of my favorite characters, though, was Lacy. I loved her confident, tomboyish personality and the way she was there for Beth.
Like I said, I loved Dare You To. It’s full of great characters, laughs, angst, and growth – McGarry definitely knows what she’s doing. I’ve bought more copies of Pushing the Limits for people than any other book, and Dare You To won’t be any different. I can’t wait for Crash Into You, the third book in the series.
This song kept popping into my head while reading Dare You To.
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Published: July 31, 2012