Thursday, March 6, 2014

Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Title: Dare You To
Author: Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits #2
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: May 28th 2013
Format: library e-book
Pages: 480
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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....

Since I enjoyed Pushing the Limits so much I was excited to continue the series with Dare You To. This book picks up with Beth as the leading lady. Now I am going to be totally honest and say that I wasn’t all that excited about reading a story about Beth because she was such a meany in Pushing the Limits. I decided to just trust Katie McGarry and be open to finding out what lay behind Beth’s horrendous attitude. Of course, Katie McGarry came through! I really felt for poor Beth from the start. The poor kid never had a chance until now.

This book made me really feel for Beth. Although she’s got an extremely tough exterior, Beth is kind, lovely and loyal to a fault. We get to see a completely different side to Beth that we barely got a glimpse of in Pushing the Limits. So much of Beth’s personality is a defense mechanism to keep people away from her. The people she trust are few and far between but she will do anything to protect them. Beth has been broken over and over so she has leaned to keep her real feelings bottled into, yet deep down she is a beautiful girl. I rooting for Beth even when I really wanted to shake her!

I love that Ryan is more than a jock, although he truly loves baseball, there is so much more to him than just the sport. He really is a sweet guy who is able to see past Beth’s brash exterior to the crushed little girl inside. He determined to stick with Beth no matter how hard she tries to push him away.  Ryan also has his own problems, not only is he going out with the town pariah, but his perfect family is not what they seem. They are dealing with their own problems while also determined to keep up the appearance of the perfect family. Beth proves herself even more with how stands by Ryan and provides him with an outlet he would not have otherwise.

Beth and Ryan are dealing with some serious issues throughout this book. From homosexuality, drug and psychical abuse, and “keeping up with the Jones’s”, Beth and Ryan find a true confidant in one another. They form an unlikely and reluctant friendship that slowly turns into a deeply connected romance that is beautiful to watch bloom.
 Katie McGarry has done it again. True to form, Dare You To takes the main characters, Beth and Ryan, flaws and makes them redeemable! And who doesn’t love a good opposites attract story?! It is a raw, realistic, and beautiful love story. I can’t wait to read her next book, Crash into You. 

KATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.
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