- Title: Dare You To
- Author: Katie McGarry
- Series: Pushing the Limits #2
- Previous Book: Pushing the Limits (#1), Crossing the Line (#1.5)
- Next Book: Crashin Into You (expected publication 11/26/13)
- Source: Received for review from Netgalley
- Release Date: 5/28/2013
Description 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…
I received this book for review from the publisher via Netgalley.
When I first requested Dare You To, I knew very little about it, other than that several people were really excited about it. When I realized it was the sequel to Pushing the Limits, I wasn’t sure what to think. I knew a lot of people really liked Pushing the Limits, but I hadn’t read it yet. However, I requested it and was approved and committed to reading it. Once I finished Pushing the Limits, I was super excited to read Dare You To.
I wasn’t sure exactly what to think going into Dare You To. I absolutely adored Noah and Echo from Pushing the Limits. Their story was super emotional but very romantic and heart-warming at the same time. Beth’s role in Pushing the Limits was fairly minor, as one of Noah’s friends, and honestly, she was kind of a bitch. However, I kept an open mind.
After an incident with Beth’s mother and her mother’s boyfriend, Beth is arrested. Her father’s brother blackmails her mother into signing over custody to him, and Beth is not happy about it. We don’t find out the full story right away, but Beth feels like he abandoned her when she was younger and resents him coming back in to control her life now, especially since his taking custody means she has to move to a new town with new rules, one of which that she have no contact with her mother or old friends.
With some help from her uncle, Beth quickly meets Ryan, a baseball player from her school, and the boy she met at a Taco Bell when the story first opened. They had a bad first meeting, and they are both very unsure of the other. However, they start to form a very hesitant friendship and find themselves spending more time together and getting to knew each other a little more.
Unlike with Pushing the Limits, I didn’t find myself immediately drawn in to the story of Dare You To or really relating to Beth. We know a little bit of Beth’s story from Pushing the Limits, so we know she’s had a rough life. Because of this, she’s got a very tough exterior. She has walls upon walls built up around herself, and she doesn’t really let anybody in. However, she really grows a lot throughout Dare You To, and I found that really interesting to watch. I also didn’t really care for Ryan. He has a very demanding father, but in comparison to Beth, Echo, Noah, and Isaiah, he pretty much led a charmed life. Sure, things aren’t perfect, and his home life is uncomfortable, but his situation really pales in comparison to the others. He was kind of frustrating and annoying with his “I don’t lose” personality, and his fascination with Beth seemed a little unbelievable at first. However, as the story progressed, I felt like he redeemed himself, and I started to really like him, too.
In several ways, I actually found Dare You To to be a more emotional story than Pushing the Limits. Though Echo had some bad history with her brother dying and the situation with her mother, she did have a father and stepmother who cared about her. Beth’s father left when she was young, and her mother is an alcoholic with an abusive boyfriend. For this reason, she has really grown to have major trust issues and very low self-worth. Even as things heat up with Ryan, she strongly doubts his feelings for her. Also, every scene involving her mother was heartbreaking in one way or another. I really felt like Beth was a more tortured soul than Echo was, and as I learned more about her history, I found myself really liking and caring about her.
Overall, I really thought that Dare You To was a great book and would highly recommend it, especially if you loved Pushing the Limits. It may take you a bit longer to get into it because Beth and Ryan are such different characters from Echo and Noah, but I think that once you do, it will grab you and not let you go. It releases next Tuesday (May 28th), so definitely pick it up!