[ARC Review] Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Monday, May 27, 2013

Title: Dare You To
Author: Katie McGarry
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Format: Hardcover, 462 pages
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: ARC supplied for honest review

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 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...

When I read Pushing the Limits last year I was so surprised at the level of the writing and how addictive the story was. So when I picked up Dare You To I was expecting the exact same thing, and that is exactly what I got.

This is the story of Beth and Ryan, two characters that should have nothing in common, but ultimately connect on a level that neither expected. Beth is such a hard character to like because she is loyal to a fault, even if it means she is jeopardizing her own life. We see this with her mother, a woman we first heard in Pushing the Limits and she doesn't improve in this novel, for sure.

I hated Beth's relationship with her mother, I wanted to shake her and tell her that her mother will never change and trying to save her is only going to make things worse. But alas, it all continues. Beth herself is hard edged and hard to connect with, but that is where Ryan comes in.

Ryan is the All America Boy, who is being pressured by his family to be this poster boy everyone expects him to be. But Ryan has some secrets to, ones that have torn his family apart in ways that no one knows. I loved Ryan's character because he was real, yes he was obsessed with baseball and winning but that wasn't who is really was. And I love that it was Beth's interactions with him that brought that side of him out. Beth and Ryan's connection was intense and slow building, and I loved how their ultimate friendship helped both of them discover things about themselves they never knew were there.

Did I love Dare You To more than I loved Pushing the Limits? No. But it was very close, Katie McGarry has a way of creating characters that stay with you even after you have turned that last page, and Dare You To will not disappoint. I promise.

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  1. I love this book too. After reading Pushing the Limits, I kinda expected to see Noah and Echo a bit more but I also loved that they were nowhere near the focus of the story. It was great and now I hope the third book is at least as good as the first two. Great review!

  2. I loved Pushing the Limits and both Beth and Isaiah. I remember reading the night after the house party thinking ‘Yep, they’re going to make a great book…can’t wait’. But then I got that book 2 teaser chapter at the end and thought ‘oh no she (yes you Katie) didn’t!’! But after it all settled in I realized this means we can get Isaiah’s story in book 3 *fingers crossed*. I am so glad to hear that Beth and Ryan paired for an enjoyable read. Dying to read Dare You To!!!