Title: Dare You To
Series: Pushing the Limits #2
Author: Katie McGarry
Published May 28th 2013 by Harlequin Teen
Source: Received 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…
I enjoyed Katie McGarry’s first book, Pushing the Limits, but I definitely had issues with it that prevented me from loving it. And the same is true of Dare You To.
Thankfully free of pet names (as in PtL), the biggest issue that I had with Dare You To was definitely me-centric: I had a hard time connecting with Beth because she’s so different from me. She’s a hard person in the beginning, tough as nails, smokes, curses, does drugs, and tries to take care of her alcoholic mother at the risk of her own safety– becoming angry at those who dare to interfere.
As the book goes on, that issues don’t disappear, but she starts to let people in and she becomes easier to know. Some of her tough girl act is just that: an act. It’s a hard outer shell to protect her vulnerability inside. She’s desperately afraid of trusting people and them letting her down, so logically, she is determined to be there for the people she considers family like her mother
She rekindles an old friendship with her former best friend, who’s a wonderful girl and friend, and Ryan determinedly pursues her. I liked Ryan. I liked him a lot to be honest. If I were to hand a favorite character award to someone, it would be him. I liked how obsessed he was with making sure that girls are respected. His whole “I must win ALL THE THINGS” shtick got a little old, but hey, we all have our flaws. And the swoony moments between him and Beth, while a little on the cheesy side– were swoony.
Oh except for the kissing. Not that the kissing wasn’t swoony. It was. But there was no cheese in those moments. Only heat.
The main (functioning) parental figure in this book is Beth’s uncle, Scott. And he– ugh. I am so divided on Scott. ON THE ONE HAND, he’s trying really hard to be a good father figure in Beth’s life, but ON THE OTHER HAND, he is so sure that he knows best on everything. He takes away her old clothes (at first) and prohibits contact with anyone from her old life. Like, okay, I understand keeping a close eye on her, but this is ridic. There was a moment where he calls Beth “Elizabeth” and she asks him to please for the love of God (I’m paraphrasing) call her “Beth” because that’s what she goes by. His response? “I prefer Elizabeth.” Well, Christ, no wonder Beth wants to run away! I kind of want to punch you, dude.
So yeah, overall? An enjoyable book, but I just didn’t love anyone in it. Except perhaps for Beth and Ryan’s best girl friend, who doesn’t have too huge of a role.
Need a second opinion?
“Katie McGarry seems to know exactly what I want and when I want it” -Realm of Fiction
“I officially LOVE Beth. Katie brings this character to life.” -Belle of the Literati
“A Nicholas Sparks book with angsty teenagers.” -A.A. Omer’s The Fangirl Who Reads