Early Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Dare You ToEarly Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry
Book 2 in Pushing the Limits series
Book provided by NetGalley and Harlequin Teen
Release date: May 28, 2013

Synopsis from Goodreads: Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. “Dance with me, Beth.”

“No.” I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again….

“I dare you…”

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….

AH’s Review – 4 Skulls – A

Dare You To was one of those books that just kept compelling me to read. I could not put it down. I loved how the author captured the voice of her main characters Beth and Ryan. I really didn’t remember Beth from Pushing the Limits. All I remember was that she was kind of nasty to Echo. OK, she was a bitch. So when I heard that Dare to You was focused on Beth, I was a little curious about her story. I mean, how could you base a story on someone so strung out as Beth? Does she even have a story? As I started the book, I was struck by how difficult it was to like Beth, or to feel any affinity for her. Once the events of her past and her dysfunctional relationship with her mother are revealed, it was easier to feel for her.

Oh, and let’s talk about Ryan for a moment. I think every girl needs a guy like Ryan. Ryan is the perfect son, good looking, a jock, good in school, and a gentleman. Ryan is surrounded by a nice group of friends and seems to be the polar opposite of Beth. Ryan’s entire life has been plotted out by his father who lives vicariously through Ryan’s baseball accomplishments. His parents even recommend a girlfriend for Ryan for appearances sake – the evil and conniving Gwen.

This book took me on a roller coaster ride of emotions. I was shocked by what Beth had to endure with her alcoholic and drug dependent mother. As I read the book, I often wondered who the parent was. I mean, what kind of parent would allow their child to be arrested for their own crime? I was perplexed by Beth’s need to “rescue” her mother from her abusive boyfriend. The role reversal was astounding as Beth took on a caretaker/parent role for her mother as early as 8 years of age, cooking, cleaning, and paying bills – a huge burden for a young child. I couldn’t understand why she thought she could save her mother, but kudos to her for trying.

I loved how Beth and Ryan’s relationship progressed. It always seemed like one step forward and two steps back. Ryan was intrigued by Beth – she always said what was on her mind, and usually what she said was completely unexpected. Beth has difficulty trusting anyone but herself and she could not accept help from others. And in yet another role reversal – Ryan is the one waiting for his special girl.

This is another great book by author Katie McGarry. It may not appeal to everyone, but it is a compelling read. Beth may not be easy to like, but she grows on you. If you enjoy young adult contemporary romance, this book may be for you.

Rating:  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠ 

Series Reading Order:

  1. Pushing the Limits
  2. Dare You To (release date – May 28, 2013)
  3. Crash Into You (release date – November 26, 2013)

Crossing the Line (1.5) novella

Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin for a review copy of this book.

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