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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Book Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Series: Pushing the Limits #2

Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: May 28, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: eARC
Pages: 462
Source: Received from the publisher for review, via NetGalley
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....(Summary from

Katie McGarry absolutely blew me away with her stunning debut, Pushing the Limits. Now, after reading Dare You To, she has thoroughly won me over. I don't feel near as strong about this one as I did PtL, but Dare You To is emotionally charged, brimming with tension, and loaded with characters that practically walk off the page.

It is always hard for me to read a companion novel or spin-off with different narrators than the ones I originally fell in love with. but McGarry has a knack for making characters that are so real and stay with readers for a lonnnnng time. Once again, Beth and Ryan seem like opposites, but is reality, they compliment each other very well. Whereas Beth seems prickly, defiant, and stubborn (with trust issues off the charts), Ryan is the golden boy who everyone adores (with a secret hobby: writing). I was reluctant to get inside both of these characters' heads, but I do not regret jumping in. Both of them are full of secrets and family problems and personal obstacles they need to conquer. Seriously, both characters grow so much. I wasn't swooning hard-core for Ryan, but he was a good guy and I like him. And Beth isn't exactly someone I would want as my best friend, but I loved getting to know what was going on in her mind and understanding her life.

The relationship between Beth and Ryan is more than just a fluffy relief from the drama. The romance is used as a tool for growth and self-discovery. Ryan and Beth's relationship is far from perfect--it can get frustrating and repetitive--but the two continuously encourage each other to face fears and make better decisions. At it's foundation, their romance is solid and meaningful. Oh, and sexy. There's lots of kissing, in case you were curious. And then some.

The other people: 
But Beth and Ryan aren't the only characters in this book. Even those that only make brief appearances in the book had an effect on me. Scott (Beth's uncle) provides the parental backbone that Beth has needed her entire life. I really liked him. He kept trying to do the right thing, even when Beth made it difficult. And then there is Isaiah. I was sad when I found out that this book was Beth and Ryan's story, not Beth and Isaiah's. While I realize that Isaiah and Beth are not meant for each other, my heart still broke for Isaiah. He is so sweet and he deserves happiness. Needless to say, I cannot wait for his story, Crash into You. Ryan's friends are also great and I appreciate how supportive they are of Beth. Unlike his family and skankbag of an ex-girlfriend. Blech!

So, yeah...
Honestly, the plot isn't all that spectacular. Not very memorable. I read this book a few months ago and have since forgotten most of the details about the plot. It's the characters that make this book what it is. Still, McGarry demonstrates exceptional writing skills and a story that will envelop readers. It goes to show that McGarry is certainly much more than a one-hit wonder. I pray that we keep seeing LOTS more of her. Even if this isn't my favorite book in the entire world, I still flew through it, eager to see what happens next. Yeah, you want to read this.
Enter for a chance to win this book, or another summer release.
Read my review for Katie McGarry's Pushing the Limits.
Read Charlotte's review for Pushing the Limits. 
Read an old interview with Katie McGarry.

1 comment:

  1. I'm definitely giving this book a try. Thank you for posting this.

    Ann@Blogging Profits


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