Sunday, March 24, 2013

Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)
Dare You To by Katie McGarry
Publisher-Harlequin Teen
Released- May 28th 2013
Pre-Order- Amazon / B & N

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.

My Thoughts:
Dare You To is the much anticipated companion to one of my favorite stories ever, Pushing the Limits. This is Beth's story and I have to admit, I was a little worried  to officially meet her since we only saw her through Noah's eyes. Even then I knew she was going to be an intimidating but interesting character and I couldn't wait to know what her story was about.

Beth Risk has always did everything in her power to protect her mother, but one night she went  a little to far when she took the rap involving her mom's scum boyfriend, a bat and jail. But it doesn't matter, Beth would rather be the punching bag if it meant her mother was safe. So when her long lost uncle, Scott Risk, comes back to save her from this horrific lifestyle, she doesn't  go down without a fight, but it's either play nice and follow the rules or be responsible for sending her own mother to jail.
Ryan Stone's two favorite things in this world is baseball and dares. He loves the rush they both can provide and he loves the fact that he doesn't lose. That is, till Skater Girl from hell walked into his life, changing it forever. 
What started out as a dare slowly becomes the real deal as Ryan and Beth push each other in all the wrong and right places, challenging and daring each other to believe in the possibilities of love and ultimately trust.

Katie McGarry is rapidly becoming one of my favorite edgy contemporary authors. I love the ways this women can write! She has this very sharp skilled way with writing messy, flawed and complicated characters with intense issues but still finds a way to add humor and romance to the story line. This isn't always easy to convey since you want to be sensitive with the problems that they're dealing with, but at the same time, not be overly serious so it wont be dragged down or depressing. Katie does wonders with all the colors of human emotions laced throughout this entire book, making it feel more realistic and consuming us with flesh and blood characters with a lot of heart and soul.

The word 'push' seems like a running theme in McGarry's novels. In one way or another these characters are pushed in the right direction to make their situation better, that is, till they stop pushing back long enough to give it a chance.
~Beth Risk doesn't make it easy my friends. With her ninja-throwing-star attitude and extracted claws that likes to come out and play, Beth is all bite and bark. But underneath it all, there is a sweet little girl who loved ribbons and dresses just dying to come out and be loved. Beth is a scared and vulnerable little thing hiding in tight ripped clothing and black dyed hair. Most of the time she doesn't know which way to go, who to trust or who to be. It's easy to lose your heart to her and sympathize with what she has to go through, but apart of me also wanted to shake her stubbornness and doubting straight. She made it difficult to say the least. I understand the why's, but it was still hard none the less.
~Ryan Stone isn't your typical jock. He has his fair share of family related issues, but for the most part he's a real sweetheart with good manners and morals and understands Beth in ways that even surprised him. At first I wasn't sure what to think about this whole dare thing and thought it was kinda selfish of him and his over-confidence was starting to get a little thick for my taste. But as the story plays out I got to understand him more and liked the fact that he stands up for what he believes in and tries to protect Beth, even if it's from herself.
~Now I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't a little surprised with the whole romance. In Pushing the Limit and even in this book I always thought Isaiah and Beth were meant to be. There was a part of me that was sad that it wasn't so, but I'm also happy to say it didn't take long to warm up to the idea of Ryan.
~Ryan and Beth have some really good chemistry and moments that really matter. It's a far cry from insta-romance, which I loved. They're like night and day mind you, but opposites do attract, making it some how stronger then something predictable and safe could ever give.
~I also loved all the secondary characters and what they brought into the story. Lacy, Chris and Logan as well as Scott, but I didn't care for his wife. It was also really good to see Isaiah, Noah and Echo again, even if it was for a short while. They made me smile.

All in all, I thought this was an amazing companion. The writing is honest, raw and emotional. The characters are snarky but sweet and while we got a clean ending, there were still things left unsaid which makes the next installment that much more of a must have! Dare You To is a sexy, smart and edgy young adult contemporary that will have you daring to believe in new beginnings, happily ever after and "Can"!

Next please! 

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                                                                  4.5 Snowflakes


  1. Great review. I wanted to read this book, but now I have to get my hands on it sooner. So glad you liked it, and I know my teens will -- if it's anything like Pushing the Limits!

  2. Thank-you! If you enjoyed Pushing the Limits then I'm sure you will just love this book to pieces!:)

  3. I cannot wait to read this one!! I've had it for awhile, but keep putting it off. And I'm like you - I though Isaiah and Beth were meant to be, so I'm glad to hear it's easy to warm up to the idea of Ryan!

    1. Yeah...that was a surprise for sure. Isaiah and Beth had one of those great connections, but Ryan is wonderful and I think understands Beth in ways no one else will:) It's a great read, hope you enjoy it!:)

  4. I'm reading this one right now. I did like Pushing the Limits but it lacked something for me because I thought Echo was just slightly unlikable. I do have to say I'm really enjoying this one though because Beth is completely like me in certain regards and I love reading about her and about Ryan and his problems.

    Thanks for the great review, sorry you didn't like this as much as the first book.

    Maycee Greene (Ad Wizards)